Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 11/2010

Representaciones de la violencia en la literatura centroamericana

Nadine Haas

October 2010

German Institute of Global and Area Studies


Representations of Violence in Central American Literature

This paper examines the representations of violence in Guatemalan and El Salvadoran lite- rature against the backdrop of persistently high levels of violence and crime following the civil wars in both countries. It adopts an interdisciplinary approach settled within cultural studies and uses two examples-De fronteras (2007) by Claudia Hernández and Días amarillos (2009) by Javier Payeras-to analyze the narrative strategies applied in the process of re- counting violence. The results of the literary analysis enable the author to draw conclusions concerning the way in which both societies deal with urban post-war violence. The texts refer to the ubiquity of violence and the hopelessness of the situation, as well as to the responsibility of the mass media for reproducing violence and a general turning away from the public domain towards the private life.