Vol. 5 No. 2 Dec. 2021

Against the Authoritarian Orator and His Pater familias: Deviant Literarity and Orphaned Speech in El padre mío by Diamela Eltit and Lotty Rosenfeld
Author:Nan Zheng    Time:2022-01-10    Click:

Against the Authoritarian Orator and His Pater familias: Deviant Literarity and Orphaned Speech in El padre mío by Diamela Eltit and Lotty Rosenfeld

Nan Zheng

Page 012-021


Abstract: Published in the last year of Augusto Pinochet Ugarte’s military dictatorship saw its end, My Father (El padre mío) constitutes an interprofessional, collaborative work between Chile National Literature Prize winner Diamela Eltit and visual artist Lotty Rosenfeld, composed of unaltered transcriptions of three monologues (dis)articulated by a schizophrenic vagrant who referred to himself as My Father. By re-enacting the vagrant’s irrational utterances in a truthful but parodic manner, Eltit and Rosenfeld “orphaned” these spoken words into a work of written literature that mocked the authoritarian voice of the dictator who had imposed himself as the Grand Orator of the Nation and the Father of Chile. The main objective of the present work, which is principally based on the conceptualization of Mute Speech by Jacques Rancière, is to examine the political dimension of Eltit and Rosenfeld’s aesthetic endeavor: through an exploration of the possibilities of political emancipation that the vagrant’s fatherless monologues fostered in My Father, our study demonstrates that what neoliberal civil society presupposes as objectionable animalistic noises may be capable of intervening in what Rancière refers to as the “distribution of sensible” and its consolidated aesthetics of hierarchy, thus subverting the fable of pater familias and pater patriae concocted by Pinochet’s right-wing military regime.

Keywords: El padre mío, Diamela Eltit, Lotty Rosenfeld, Chile, dictatorship, Jacques Rancière

Doi: 10.53397/hunnu.jflc.202102002





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