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      Unreasonable doubt: Politics and aesthetics in the crime novels of Horacio Vázquez Rial

      Radical Americas


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      Vázquez Rial, crime, violence, Argentina, literature

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          Horacio Vázquez Rial (Buenos Aires, 1947–Madrid, 2012) was an Argentine writer, historian and ex-militant in the Trotskyite Ejército Revolucionario del Pueblo (People’s Revolutionary Army, or ERP). He left Argentina for Spain in the mid-1970s and became an outspoken critic of the Latin American left and in particular of the Kirchner and Fernández de Kirchner governments in the 2000s. He also penned a series of pioneering, neo-noir thrillers that return time and again to the violence of the mid- to late-1970s in Argentina. This paper draws on the work of Andrew Popper on crime fiction, Fredric Jameson on Raymond Chandler and Joel Black on the aesthetics of murder. It also responds to the work of Neil Larsen on another writer with a similar political trajectory, Mario Vargas Llosa, and answers a recent call from Jens Andermann for cultural studies practitioners to examine the ideology and the technique of right-wing works, in this case those dealing explicitly with the author’s own former armed militancy.

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