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'un día más de trabajo': Liberalisation Processes and the Precarity of Women in Roberto Bolaño's 2666

Baker, E; (2020) 'un día más de trabajo': Liberalisation Processes and the Precarity of Women in Roberto Bolaño's 2666. Modern Languages Open (1) p. 5. 10.3828/mlo.v0i0.141. Green open access

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Abstract

This article explores the nexus between liberalisation processes, violence, gender, and ethics in Roberto Bolaño’s final novel 2666 (2004). It does so first, with reference to a postcolonial framework, through the examination of a passage that juxtaposes different instances of gendered violence and precarity over time, associated with economic liberalisation; second, with reference to Slavoj Žižek’s classifications of violence (also bound up with his critique of contemporary economic and political systems), it explores Bolaño’s denunciation of the symbolic violence associated with the discursive construction of gender in Mexican society, which, in turn, reinforces systemic violence. Finally, I deploy Emmanuel Levinas’ notion of the ‘face’ (in conjunction with Judith Butler’s reading of it in Precarious Life) to draw attention to the ethical imperative contained in the haunting of wealthy women by their murdered subaltern counterparts. I suggest that the presentation of the women in their tortured and murdered state strengthens the testimonial power of Bolaño’s denunciation by disrupting the hegemonic landscape of representation which had previously succeeded in hiding them from view and silencing debates about the causes of their deaths.

Type: Article
Title: 'un día más de trabajo': Liberalisation Processes and the Precarity of Women in Roberto Bolaño's 2666
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3828/mlo.v0i0.141
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3828/mlo.v0i0.141
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > SELCS
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10091406
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