By Persephone Braham
The transplanted, inherently smooth detective style serves as a particularly powerful lens for exposing the fissures and divergences of modernity in post-1968 Mexico and progressive Cuba. Combining in-depth serious analyses with the theoretical insights of present literary and cultural thought and Latin American postmodern stories, Crimes opposed to the country, Crimes opposed to folks indicates how the Cuban novela negra examines the Revolution via an incisive chronicle of existence below a decaying regime, and the way the Mexican neopoliciaco unearths the oppressive politics of modernization and globalization in Latin the United States. overseas in scope, comparative in technique, Braham’s learn offers a different inquiry into the moral and aesthetic complexities that Latin American authors face in adapting style detective fiction—a smooth, metropolitan model—to appreciably diversified artistic and ideological courses. contemplating the paintings of writers akin to Leonardo Padura Fuentes and Paco Ignacio Taibo II, in addition to such English-language affects as G. ok. Chesterton and Chester Himes, Braham additionally addresses Marxist opinions of the tradition and emergent Latin American suggestions of postmodernity.
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Additional info for Crimes against the State, Crimes against Persons: Detective Fiction in Cuba and Mexico
27 By choosing Pater and Wilde as the emblems of modernism, Retamar drew a clear connection between that movement, prerevolutionary values, ﬁ n de siècle decadence, and homosexuality. 28 In his rationale of the detective novel, Luis Rogelio Nogueras also alluded to the union of formalist criticism, prerevolutionary homosexuality, and decadence. He described the traditional enigma novel as “dandyish”: “Crime is a matter for the upper classes—this type of crime: exquisite, difﬁcult, ingenious— and it is for them to commit it and resolve it.
The golden age of the mystery story in the 1920s and 1930s coincided with the maturation of criticism as a specialized discipline. The hermeticism of modernist and other avant- garde literatures supported the need 14 | O R I G I N S A N D I D EO LO G I E S O F T H E N EO P O LI C IAC O for a body of qualiﬁed professionals—literary “detectives”—to decode obscure texts. The self- explicating detective genre not only resists the professional critics’ decoding project but competes with it, since it functions both as the hermeneutic object and its own explication.
Nogueras’s Y si muero mañana)—were essentially quite similar. 36 | A REVOLUTIONARY AESTHETIC The assumption that there was an inherent, metonymic afﬁliation between the individual and the nation under socialism united the spy and detective novels, since all crime, whether individual or corporate, was considered an assault on the integrity of the state. Even petty offenses such as absenteeism or pilfering from the workplace were potentially seditious, because they were indices of disaffection.