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Novel, Realism, and Constitution in Two Latin-American Novels

Abstract

The article studies the co-presence of literary and constitutional realism in the Latin American narrative of violence, in this case, City of God (1997) by the Brazilian author Paulo Lins and Bicentenaire (2004) by the Haitian Lyonel Trouillot. Both realistic texts, in line with Aristotelian requisites, that treat marginalized characters in a space-time with local marks, and ‘realist’ texts, in line with Rousseauian requisites, that treat the governed subject to citizen norms to be accepted and practiced, allow an appreciation that goes beyond the convened socio-verbal genre to both literary and political meaning. Noting that the category of ‘political identity’ and the experience of social exclusion unite these realisms in literary-cultural studies and constitutional studies, it is intended to ‘read’ as a ‘democratic act’ the writings that fictionalize: the absence of the Brazilian state in the face of peripheral violence, and the repressive violence of the Haitian parapolice State during street protests. When comparing the realisms and situating the constitutional contexts, an ‘enlightenment’ and ‘modern’ master language is observed whose exercise (re)produces the ‘democratic’ imperative.

Keywords:
novel; constitutionalism; violence; resistance; democracy

Programa de Pos-Graduação em Letras Neolatinas, Faculdade de Letras -UFRJ Av. Horácio Macedo, 2151, Cidade Universitária, CEP 21941-97 - Rio de Janeiro RJ Brasil , - Rio de Janeiro - RJ - Brazil
E-mail: alea.ufrj@gmail.com