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Home arrow Philosophy arrow Playful Memories: The Autofictional Turn in Post-Dictatorship Argentina


  • 1. Felix Bruzzone studied literature at the University of Buenos Aires and is a schoolteacher. He also earns his living cleaning swimming pools. He is the coeditor of the independent publishing house Tamarisco dedicated to publishing new Argentine authors. In 2010 he was awarded the Anna Seghers Prize in Berlin, a prize that recognizes one Latin American author each year. In 2010 he published his second novel, Barrefondo, a story about a young man who cleans swimming pools and who believes that he is the only witness to a shooting that took place near a pool that he was cleaning. Even though I do not analyze this novel here, it is worth noting that the main conflict in the plot is also related to common motifs in Bruzzone’s fiction, including violence and crime. Moreover, the narrator of the story lives near Campo de Mayo (like Bruzzone).
  • 2. In March 1976 the author’s father disappeared; Bruzzone was born that August only for his mother to be disappeared in November.
  • 3. Gamerro, “Remembering without memories,” 110. Patricio Pron’s Una puta mierda (2007), which also addresses the 1982 armed conflict between Argentina and the UK, can also be understood as an autobiography in the sense stated by Gamerro.
  • 4. Colonna, “Cuatro propuestas y tres deserciones (tipologias de la autofic- cion),” 94.
  • 5. Bruzzone, Las chanchas, 9.
  • 6. Bradbury, Martian Chronicles, 3.
  • 7. Bruzzone, 76, 63.
  • 8. Bruzzone, Los topos, 81.
  • 9. Bruzzone, Los topos, 78.
  • 10. Ibid.
  • 11. Bruzzone, Las chanchas, 27.
  • 12. Borges, “El escritor argentino y la tradicion,” 270.
  • 13. Bruzzone, Las chanchas, 52.
  • 14. Bruzzone, Las chanchas, 122.
  • 15. Bruzzone, Las chanchas, 145.
  • 16. De Leone, “Promesas de marte.”
  • 17. Bruzzone, Las chanchas, 165.
  • 18. Bruzzone, Las chanchas, 93.
  • 19. Bruzzone, Las chanchas, 15.
  • 20. Bruzzone, 76, 51.
  • 21. Bruzzone, 76, 60.
  • 22. Bruzzone, Los topos 14.
  • 23. Bruzzone, Las chanchas, 20.
  • 24. Bruzzone, Las chanchas, 128.
  • 25. On 28 July 2008, the Government of Buenos Aires moved the red-Iight district from Godoy Cruz to the area known as El Rosedal, near the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club.
  • 26. Maria de los Angeles Veron disappeared in 2002. She was twenty-three years old and came from the northern province of Tucuman. Her case unveiled the network of politicians, cafishios and members of the police force involved in the lucrative business of people trafficking.
  • 27. Bruzzone, Los topos, 76. Here Los topos echoes Martin Prieto’s Calle de las escuelas N° 13 (1999), a novel that draws on a group of young people who, during the post-dictatorship, decide to kill a member of the armed forces. On the back cover of Prieto’s book we read: “With Calle de las escuelas N° 13 Argentine literature takes justice into its own hands.” Ludmila Da Silva Catela notes that there is a surprising absence of such cases (relatives of victims of the dictatorship attempting to kill the murderers of their loved ones) in real life. Her investigation starts from a simple, yet fundamental, question: “Why in a society where the armed forces disappeared 30,000 citizens were there no cases of revenge as a social strategy? Why, despite the rupture of all the codes of living together and social unification, have the responses of the relatives of the victims always been non-violent?” (Da Silva Catela, No habra flores en la tumba del pasado, 21).
  • 28. Bruzzone, Los topos, 128.
  • 29. Bruzzone, Los topos, 17.
  • 30. Rothberg, Multidirectional Memory, 2.
  • 31. Rothberg, Multidirectional Memory, 3.
  • 32. Rothberg, Multidirectional Memory, 272.
  • 33. Rothberg, Multidirectional Memory, 274.
  • 34. Rothberg, Multidirectional Memory, 285.
  • 35. Rothberg, Multidirectional Memory, 308.
  • 36. Ibid.
  • 37. Aiub and Axat, Si Hamlet duda le daremos muerte, 9.
  • 38. Bruzzone, Las chanchas, 68.
  • 39. De Leone, “Promesas de marte.”
  • 40. Gelos, “Felix Bruzzone habla de Las chanchas, su ultima novela.”
  • 41. Bruzzone, Los topos, 42.
  • 42. Bruzzone, “Sueno con medusas.”
  • 43. Bruzzone, Las chanchas, 39.
  • 44. Vinoli, “Irrupciones politicas en el tiempo del Estado.”
  • 45. Bernini, “Una deriva queer de la perdida: A proposito de Los topos, de Felix Bruzzone.”
  • 46. Vikki Bell reminds us that the Argentine military dictatorship began the same year as Foucault delivered the lecture series translated as “Society Must be Defended” at the College de France in Paris. In the lecture delivered on 17 March 1976 (only seven days before the coup), Foucault argued that in biopolitical regimes “the killing is cast in biological terms such that the death of the other could be figured as the guarantee not merely of my safety but of the health of the living in general.” The Art of Post-Dictatorship, 22.
  • 47. Giorgi, Formas comunes, 137.
  • 48. Giorgi, Formas comunes, 132.
  • 49. Giorgi, Formas comunes, 137.
  • 50. Giorgi, Formas comunes, 33.
  • 51. Bruzzone, Los topos, 126.
  • 52. Bruzzone, Las chanchas, 20.
  • 53. Bruzzone, Las chanchas, 12.
  • 54. Bruzzone, Las chanchas, 24.
  • 55. Bruzzone, Las chanchas, 77.
  • 56. Bruzzone, Las chanchas, 31.
  • 57. Bruzzone, Las chanchas, 35.
  • 58. See, for example, Sosa, Queering Acts of Mourning in the Aftermath of Argentina’s Dictatorship, and Jelin, Pan y afectos.
  • 59. Camaano, “Entrevista a Felix Bruzzone.”
  • 60. Bruzzone, Las chanchas, 58.
  • 61. Bruzzone, Las chanchas, 59.
  • 62. Bruzzone, “Los escritores de ficcion preferimos no chequear nada.”
  • 63. Ibid.
  • 64. Giorgi, Formas comunes, 37.
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