Ludmer thematically arranges the crime stories in the Corpus as a starting point for exploring the space between fiction and reality and discerning the histories those narratives describe. She investigates the stories of marriage and patrician autobiographies of education that were popular in the 1880s and 1890s, and ties them to processes of state formation at the same time. In a chapter on stories of transmutation she examines the shifting border between figures of authority and anti-authority. And when discussing the many real and fictional incarnations of the popular criminal hero Juan Moreira, Ludmer more deeply considers the nature of injustice, honor, and the politics of violence. In meditations on tales of Jews and of women who kill, she discusses how crime in fiction can differentiate and exclude, as well as serve to redefine notions of justice and truth.
The Corpus Delicti draws on a dazzling array of primary sources, social history, and cultural theory. Ludmer has artfully constructed not only her themes, but the text as well. Utilizing diverse stylistic devices, she creates layers of explication, extending to the book's extensive notes. Significant analyses, excerpts, and commentaries take on the substance of a companion text, which allows her primary arguments an unfettered progression rarely seen in scholarly works. Glen Close's translation captures the energy of Ludmer's prose -- simultaneously subtle and daring -- for English-language readers.
About the Author
Josefina Ludmer, professor of Latin American literature and culture at Yale University, is the editor of Las culturas de fin de siglo en América Latina and the author of several books, including Cien años de soledad: Una interpretación and The Gaucho Genre: A Treatise on the Motherland.
Table of Contents
|Crime as a Critical Instrument||3|
|The "Stories" of the Corpus Delicti||6|
|I.||From Transgression to Crime||9|
|The Subjects of the Liberal State: Stories of Education and Marriage||11|
|The Patricians and Their Autobiographical Stories of Education||13|
|The Dandies and Their Marriage Stories||27|
|Physics Exam Stories: Insanity, Simulation, and Crime at the Colegio Nacional de Buenos Aires||48|
|II.||The Frontier of Crime||59|
|Transmutation Operation Stories||61|
|The Crime of the Artist: Portrait Stories||74|
|IV.||The History of a Best-Seller: From Anarchism to Peronism||111|
|A Literary Genealogy "in Crime" by Way of the Story of the Submission of the First Manuscript to the Master||113|
|V.||Women Who Kill||123|
|VI.||Stories of Truth and Stories of Jews||141|
|Stories of Truth||143|
|Stories of Jews||154|
|The Crime Story of the Very Much Read||161|