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E-Lit in Spanish: Voices of Dissent in a Globalized World

Critical Writing
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Year: 
2017
Journal volume and issue: 
16
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Abstract (in English): 

E-lit narratives in Spanish have been developing at a steady pace with a profound embedded interest in denouncing some of the historical, social and political events which are commonplace in the Spanish speaking world. Their origins can be traced back to iconic works such as Extreme Conditions (1996) and The Wright Brothers’ First Flight (1996) by Juan B. Gutiérrez. Whereas the first e-lit work immerses the reader in a science fiction narrative which portrays the effects of capitalism, the second literary piece takes place in an isolated Latin American town deeply affected by corruption and the typical idiosyncrasies of a small Latin American town.  As a follow up to this declamatory gesture portrayed by these narratives, Gabriella infinita (2000) by Colombian writer Jaime Alejandro Rodríguez Ruiz brings to the fore topics that are common in many Spanish speaking countries, such as a civil war, censorship, repression, fear and exile. In turn, Golpe de gracia (2006) also by Jaime Alejandro Rodríguez Ruiz discusses the role of authoritarianism in society, as represented by one of its main characters. Though the topics discussed in these narratives are highly representative of issues that have taken place either in Latin America and/or Spain, they also reflect how these regional idiosyncratic events have transcended their boundaries to become commonplace circumstances in a globalized society. But it is the Peruvian-Venezuelan writer Doménico Chiappe who has transformed his e-lit pieces in declamatory narratives which entice the reader to reflect and act upon historical, political, social and technologically driven events which have drastically altered a region and/or a globalized society in general. In the polyphonic multimedia novel Tierra de extracción (1996-2007) Chiappe incisively depicts the enduring hardship of a small Venezuelan town and its people who have lived under the shadows of exploitation by the oil companies, whereas in Hotel Minotauro (2014), his latest and most declamatory piece, Chiappe addresses issues such as the financial crisis, human trafficking, the role of economic, social and political power as well as the role of social media. Even though the topics developed stem from a Latin American perspective, they are able to transcend to become topics of global significance, since they represent issues of a globalized society.  It is very clear that from its inception e-lit in Spanish has been influenced by its own unique voice which echoes its own geography, history and social and political essence. In spite of its rooted regional elements that clearly differentiates e-lit in Spanish from its American counterpart, e-lit in Spanish becomes global from a regional rather than from an English speaking or European hegemony. E-lit in Spanish with its regional perspective has been able to transcend to become global without losing its unique, intriguing and fascinating aspects that differentiates it from its American and European counterparts.

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Adela María Ramos