Argentina: Dictatorship, Exile, Memory and Return
Argentina’s “last dictatorship” (1976-1983) has been viewed as a critical break in the cycle of military coups and civilian rule that defined the country’s earlier decades. Violence and repression, “civilization and barbarism”, though, have been constant motifs under different signs since the early nineteenth century. Diagnostic studies and anticipatory developments, as it were, can be read in Sarmiento’s Facundo (1845) and decades later, in the 1920s, in Roberto Arlt’s novels. Bearing in mind key historical events, several questions arise. Among them: how did the last dictatorship impact Argentine letters? What can be gauged from literary production within the country since the early 1970s and in texts generated under exile conditions? What have been, and continue to be, the politics of memory and oblivion? Has a fracture been voided or healed with the return of democracy in 1983?