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Becoming Menard? Geopolitical Readings and the Authorial Subject in Ricardo Piglia

Geraghty, Niall HD; (2021) Becoming Menard? Geopolitical Readings and the Authorial Subject in Ricardo Piglia. Romance Studies , 39 (2-3) pp. 156-174. 10.1080/02639904.2021.1956213. Green open access

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Abstract

This article discusses Ricardo Piglia’s extensive engagement with ‘Pierre Menard, autor del Quijote’ in his critical and fictional work, examining the ways in which Piglia politicizes Borges’s celebrated story. Building upon Piglia’s well-documented attempt to reconcile Borges with left-wing criticism, the article engages in close dialogue with Robin Fiddian’s Postcolonial Borges: Argument and Artistry (2017) to elaborate the geopolitical significance of Piglia’s novel Respiración artificial (1980) and his wider oeuvre. In order to do so, the article pays particular attention to the narratorial strategies that Piglia deploys in the novel, and the literary alter-ego he creates to carry the authorial subject into the work, analysing the unique position Piglia assigns to Borges’s story within the Argentine canon. Thus it will be proposed that Piglia effectively re-orders Argentine literary history from the perspective of ‘Pierre Menard’ to augment the political significance of the story. In developing these arguments, it will ultimately be shown that Piglia seeks to become the titular character, reproducing his literary experiments further to develop the postcolonial critique contained in Borges’s original story.

Type: Article
Title: Becoming Menard? Geopolitical Readings and the Authorial Subject in Ricardo Piglia
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/02639904.2021.1956213
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/02639904.2021.1956213
Language: English
Additional information: © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Keywords: Jorge Luis Borges, Ricardo Piglia, ‘Pierre Menard, autor del Quijote’, Respiración artificial, postcolonialism, narration
UCL classification: UCL
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/10128415
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