By Persephone Braham
The transplanted, inherently glossy detective style serves as a particularly powerful lens for exposing the fissures and divergences of modernity in post-1968 Mexico and progressive Cuba. Combining in-depth serious analyses with the theoretical insights of present literary and cultural idea and Latin American postmodern stories, Crimes opposed to the nation, Crimes opposed to folks indicates how the Cuban novela negra examines the Revolution via an incisive chronicle of existence lower than a decaying regime, and the way the Mexican neopoliciaco unearths the oppressive politics of modernization and globalization in Latin the USA. overseas in scope, comparative in technique, Braham’s learn offers a special inquiry into the moral and aesthetic complexities that Latin American authors face in adapting style detective fiction—a smooth, metropolitan model—to notably assorted artistic and ideological courses. contemplating the paintings of writers akin to Leonardo Padura Fuentes and Paco Ignacio Taibo II, in addition to such English-language impacts as G. okay. Chesterton and Chester Himes, Braham additionally addresses Marxist reviews of the tradition and emergent Latin American thoughts of postmodernity.
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Extra info for Crimes against the State, Crimes against Persons: Detective Fiction in Cuba and Mexico
Antonio Gramsci likewise posited that popular culture, including prosaic, realistic, or nonartistic literature, was a vehicle for “naturalizing” hegemonic views by subtly inserting them into the common sense of the public. The Marxist dramatist Bertolt Brecht advocated the insertion of formal elements into drama to keep A REVOLUTIONARY AESTHETIC | 31 audiences “alienated” and provoke independent reﬂection on the subjectobject relationship. The Russian Formalists also equated “literary” with “deformed” or nonrealistic language: Roman Jakobson believed that language must be “made strange” in relation to its discursive context.
Nogueras was part of the so- called El Puente generation of revolutionary writers, who later were associated with the journal El Caimán Barbudo. The purpose of the Cuban detective novel was to advance party tenets using a traditionally popular medium, and writers, however conditioned they were to social commitment, struggled to justify the genre on aesthetic and literary grounds. ”33 Theodor Adorno argued that mass culture was a manufacturing project that he called the “culture industry,” conceived by the capitalist ruling class for proﬁt and ideological manipulation.
43 System, in this case, denoted both the aesthetic system, the socialist detective genre, and the ideological system, Cuban Marxism, to which the genre was mapped. Given the exigencies of didacticism in an already formulaic genre (not to mention that many of the authors weren’t novelists at all but policemen and government functionaries), the result was often lackluster and predictable. Despite its often dubious quality, the socialist detective novel enjoyed an unusually prominent position within Cuban literature as a whole.
Crimes against the State, Crimes against Persons: Detective Fiction in Cuba and Mexico by Persephone Braham