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The urban, porteño and popular imaginary of the sub-Panamanian coast: literature, inhabit and 'poetic of the border'

Grant number: 15/03762-4
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2015
Effective date (End): June 30, 2016
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Literature - Comparative Literature
Acordo de Cooperação: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal Investigator:Marcos Piason Natali
Grantee:Marco Antonio Chandía Araya
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


We attempt to create a "poetic of the sub-Panamanian border". We mean an imaginary that recreates how the popular world inhabits the Pacific's ports from the south of Panama to the Chilean Patagonia. To do it, we use two epistemological fields that are closely linked. The first one, the multidisciplinary Latin American Studies, provides the basic notions in order to build a regional city model and show us how the people inhabit the port-city. A relational inhabit built between the ancient "focus" (light and warmth) and the megalopolis of the postmodern globalization. The dialectic of the nineteenth-century modernization created this urban, porteña, popular culture that puts a strain on the inhabit paradigms. The stress occurs because the mentioned culture recovers the links with the ancient home and restores a dialogue with the environment, in other words, a "poetic inhabit". Against the metropolitan threat, this world view proposes a vitalism that establishes a new (and traditional) way of be-in-the-world. This inhabit vitalism remains captured (between others multiple expressions) in scriptural manners whose analysis requires an appropriate literary critical theory (second epistemological knowledge). When the development of this writing, from the journey tale to the contemporary expression, creates an imaginary, it reveals not only that inhabit but also the modern, complex and contradictory process that the literary discourse assumes. This task is double: it gives a poetic thickness to these manifestations and, at the same time, it demands, because the historic character, an alternative perspective to study the whole literary process. As it is more linked to the orality than to the lettered universe, this is a writing that talks from the border: creation space that goes in an opposite direction to the hegemonic modes of production of the editorial and academic world (urban bourgeois intellectual) that establishes the traditional canon. That "writing of the border" offers a corpus, a reading way and a literary conception that are different. It is because the referent and the enunciation are different. And they must be different because they answer to strategies of re-appropriation that require and propose the dismissal/restitution of the mankind. But, it doesn´t want to set up an unique model that displaces others. In fact, it will relocate and update them from this logic of the border; as the canon: it doesn't disappear, but renews and strengthens itself.The same applies with the literature and the projects that attempt to configure a notion of the Latin American. This sub-Panamanian cultural universe builds an inclusive discourse with the complex reality that inhabits the margins of the power centers. This discourse gives a voice and shows these spaces that are neither the capital cities from the Pacific nor from the South Atlantic. They are ports that the accelerated modernizations and the opening of Panama Canal restrain its development and neglect a powerful sociocultural capital. However, it's a vital energy that doesn't disappear: it still prevails, rebuilds and recreates itself from the everyday life. That is what we attempt to demonstrate using a corpus that has been badly read in the literary study centers of the region. This misinterpretation occurs because those intellectual institutions didn't/don't take over the complex and conflicting heterogeneity of the modes of production from where the corpus emerges. In that way, this reading route covers six ports, ten literary works and ten writers, and also proposes a "poetic of the border". We mean a discourse that pronounces about the manner of read the Latin American literature and literary criticism of the last decades. (AU)

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