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En busca de lo nuevo: el testamento de O'Jaral (1995) de Marcelo Cohen

Ilse Logie (UGent)
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Abstract
In this study I set forth the poetics of the so-called ‘insecure realism’ practiced by the Argentinian writer Marcelo Cohen, drawing on observations in his essay collection ¡Realmente fantástico! among other works. This original vision of literature is characterized by a constant attempt to find new forms of expression and by a criss-crossing of genres—an amalgam of realist and fantastic codes—that gives rise to a very particular mode of science fiction. Cohen takes up the scientific notion of chaos theory to formulate alternatives to the ideological and linguistic aporias of Latin American neoliberalism. The analysis will focus on the novel El testamento de O’Jaral (1995), which revolves around a solitary translator. O’Jaral is given a mission that takes him to the dystopic city of Talecuona, where ‘concentrationary democracy’, rampant consumerism and prepackaged language—hallmarks of the global era—prevail. Opposed to this unidimensional rhetoric is the personal project of O’Jaral, who seeks to preserve his own voice. O’Jaral, however, is unable to construct a coherent account—one that would debunk the existing power structure—and gradually loses the ability to decipher texts. Paradoxically, it is to this failed narrator that we owe the work that has come down to us in the form of the novel The study examines in detail the narrative devices, the treatment of the reader and the various strategies of resistance in the novel as well as their relation to the act of translation, which is ultimately a metaphor for our ability to interpret the world around us.
Keywords
Traducción literaria, Literatura hispanoamericana, Marcelo Cohen, Teoría del caos

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Chicago
Logie, Ilse. 2011. “En Busca De Lo Nuevo: El Testamento De O’Jaral (1995) De Marcelo Cohen.” Revista De Critica Literaria Latinoamericana 37 (74): 171–191.
APA
Logie, I. (2011). En busca de lo nuevo: el testamento de O’Jaral (1995) de Marcelo Cohen. REVISTA DE CRITICA LITERARIA LATINOAMERICANA, 37(74), 171–191.
Vancouver
1.
Logie I. En busca de lo nuevo: el testamento de O’Jaral (1995) de Marcelo Cohen. REVISTA DE CRITICA LITERARIA LATINOAMERICANA. 2011;37(74):171–91.
MLA
Logie, Ilse. “En Busca De Lo Nuevo: El Testamento De O’Jaral (1995) De Marcelo Cohen.” REVISTA DE CRITICA LITERARIA LATINOAMERICANA 37.74 (2011): 171–191. Print.
@article{1148207,
  abstract     = {In this study I set forth the poetics of the so-called {\textquoteleft}insecure realism{\textquoteright} practiced by the Argentinian writer Marcelo Cohen, drawing on observations in his essay collection {\textexclamdown}Realmente fant{\'a}stico! among other works. This original vision of literature is characterized by a constant attempt to find new forms of expression and by a criss-crossing of genres---an amalgam of realist and fantastic codes---that gives rise to a very particular mode of science fiction. Cohen takes up the scientific notion of chaos theory to formulate alternatives to the ideological and linguistic aporias of Latin American neoliberalism. The analysis will focus on the novel El testamento de O{\textquoteright}Jaral (1995), which revolves around a solitary translator. O{\textquoteright}Jaral is given a mission that takes him to the dystopic city of Talecuona, where {\textquoteleft}concentrationary democracy{\textquoteright}, rampant consumerism and prepackaged language---hallmarks of the global era---prevail. Opposed to this unidimensional rhetoric is the personal project of O{\textquoteright}Jaral, who seeks to preserve his own voice. O{\textquoteright}Jaral, however, is unable to construct a coherent account---one that would debunk the existing power structure---and gradually loses the ability to decipher texts. Paradoxically, it is to this failed narrator that we owe the work that has come down to us in the form of the novel The study examines in detail the narrative devices, the treatment of the reader and the various strategies of resistance in the novel as well as their relation to the act of translation, which is ultimately a metaphor for our ability to interpret the world around us.},
  author       = {Logie, Ilse},
  issn         = {0252-8843},
  journal      = {REVISTA DE CRITICA LITERARIA LATINOAMERICANA},
  keyword      = {Traducci{\'o}n literaria,Literatura hispanoamericana,Marcelo Cohen,Teor{\'i}a del caos},
  language     = {spa},
  number       = {74},
  pages        = {171--191},
  title        = {En busca de lo nuevo: el testamento de O'Jaral (1995) de Marcelo Cohen},
  volume       = {37},
  year         = {2011},
}