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VILLACEQUE AFLALLO, Sol. "El juguete rabioso of Roberto Arlt, A Manifesto of Modern Urban Expression. A Fleur du mal of the Argentinian Melting-pot"

Sunday 21 March 2004

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Thèse de doctorat (nouveau régime) :Études latino-américaines. Dir. Edmond Cros. MONTPELLIER 3: 1996. [s.l.] : [s.n.]


In our sociocritical approch, el juguete rabioso has been examined in its language substance and in its intertwining relationship with the historical context of Argentina in the 1920s where it was produced.

This fundamental writing of a new Argentinian consciousness has introduced an attitude and practices of dissent into the literature of the country. In this first novel, new narrative structures and fictional constructions already start to appear, which will be again present in what Cortazar called Arlt’s "continuous long work of fiction". Among them, "the rascal city" theme will contribute, as much as those conveyed by the tango, in the building of the myth of the Buenos Aires Babylon. Here also appears a drastically subversive style of writing. recurring to old, often depreciated material, it bears testimony to the agonizing parturition of the new tongue of the Argentinian melting-pot. In so doing, Roberto Arlt shares with Borges - who worked from an opposite ideological standpoint the function of creator of modern Argentinian prose. We have also examined how a double process of mingling and dislocation of heterogeneous forms of discourse operates in Arlt’s text.

Our analysis has thus brought to light numerous traces of an anarchist counter-culture. The spirit of the tango equally pervades this novel, in a period when this mass-culture product was perceived as the most genuine expression of the middle-class frustrations and disenchantement.

We have attempted to bring a light on demystifying role of a text wich unravels the strategy of concealment of social fractures, the lower middle-class alienation and betrayal, that same class of Silvio Astier, the main character whose torn conscience houses ideological conflicts of considerable import.