Política y locura: narrar la historia argentina en tres cuentos de Rodolfo Walsh

Ana María Amar Sánchez
University of California - Irvine

The article focuses on madness in three short stories by Rodolfo Walsh—“Cartas” [“Letters”], “Fotos” [“Photos”], and “Nota al pie” [“Footnote”]—from two collections of fiction that were published in the 1960s. The short stories explore the “Infamous Decade” and Peronism, events that comprise a complex chapter of twentieth-century Argentinian history, from Yrigoyen to Perón and the coups d’Etat that restored conservatives to power. What is the function of insanity, and what does it mean to “go crazy,” in these stories? The representation of madness is linked to a reading of Argentinian history and politics. The insanity of these characters has its origins in social, economic, and political conditions. In this context, these characters—and the possibility of a world or a life different from that imposed by power—are not merely an anomaly, but a threat. Those who “go insane” are victims of the system; they are those who could not survive within, adapt to, and/or control themselves as required by the system. These lunatics are thus the memory of a historical experience that is marked, ironically, by senselessness in power and politics.

Full text available in Spanish.