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In this original study, Gabriel Horowitz examines the work of select nineteenth- and twentieth-century Latin American writers through the lens of contemporary theoretical debates about nature, postcoloniality, and national identity. In the work of José Martí, Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda, Jorge Luis Borges, Augusto Roa Bastos, Cesar Aira, and others, he traces historical constructions of nature in regional intellectual traditions and texts as they inform political culture on the broader global stage. By investigating national literary discourses from Cuba, Argentina, and Paraguay, he identifies a common narrative thread that imagines the utopian wilderness of the New World as a symbolic site of independence from Spain. In these texts, Horowitz argues, an expressed desire to return to the nation’s foundational nature contributed to a movement away from political and social engagement and toward a “biopolitical state,” in which nature, traditionally seen as pre-political, conversely becomes its center.


Biopolitical state, Biopolitics, Latin America, Nature ideology, Nature fantasy, Romanticism, Decolonization, Creole, José María Heredia, “En el teocalli de Cholula”, Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda, José Martí, Juan A. Pérez Bonalde, Niagara Falls, Cesar Aira, La Liebre, José Hernández, Martín Fierro, Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, Jorge Luis Borges, “El Sur”, Augusto Roa Bastos, Hijo de hombre, Yo el Supremo, El fiscal, Contravida


Copyright © 2024 by Gabriel Horowitz



Nature Fantasies: Decolonization and Biopolitics in Latin America