The monstrous in the short stories of Guillermo Martínez

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Abstract / Description of output

This article sets out to examine ideas of the monstrous in the tales which bookend the two collections of short stories published to date by contemporary Argentine writer Guillermo Martínez, Infierno grande (1989; 2009) and Una felicidad repulsiva (2013). The article draws on definitions of monstrosity as linked to moral values, rather than physical difference, to explore the political and literary monstrous in Infierno grande. It then goes on to examine how ideas of monstrous perfection, as revealed in Una felicidad repulsiva, reincorporate the dimension of physical difference as a factor in defining monstrosity. Physical difference, moral values and abnormal or obsessive behaviour are then combined into a more socially nuanced concept of the monstrous. Finally, it is argued that Martínez makes use of narrator/witness figures whose ethical dilemmas in engaging with the monstrous encourage a parallel activity on the part of the reader of these texts, making them thought-provokingly relevant to contemporary social anxieties surrounding the monstrous.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages17
JournalModern Languages Open
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jun 2017

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Guillermo Martínez
  • the monstrous
  • infierno grande
  • una felicidad repulsiva
  • social anxieties


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