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Abstract

In her paper "National Conflict and Narrative Possibility in Faulkner and Garro" Kristin E. Pitt explores two twentieth-century narratives of the Americas set during and after civil war. Both William Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom! and Elena Garro's Los recuerdos del porvenir suggest that the historical narratives of the national community which have been celebrated by the U.S. South and Mexico have resulted in untenable contemporary social systems. Seizing the opportunity presented by national crisis, the central female characters of both novels attempt to rewrite the narratives of their imagined communities and reinscribe themselves within these revisions, doing so primarily by renegotiating the relationship between the nation and their corporeal selves. While the women's attempts ultimately fail on multiple levels, demonstrating the ease with which hegemonic articulations of the nation are able to close down the space their stories might have opened, Pitt argues that Absalom, Absalom! and Los recuerdos del porvenir nevertheless acknowledge the radical potential of the characters' revisions and offer suggestive models of how operative narratives of the American nations might be strategically engaged in order to disrupt or to subvert the limitations they impose.

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