Between the Intimate and the Common. Landscape and Memory in Narratives of Return




Autobiographical space, memory, return, literary landscape, Latin American contemporary novel


This article reads the work of Maximiliano Barrientos in dialogue with a corpus of novels published since 2000, which are structured around the thematic of return and the memorial dimension of landscape. Drawing on the concept of “autobiographical space” proposed by Leonor Arfuch, this paper observes the narrative composition of landscapes as affective interfaces that mediate between the public and the intimate. 

On the one hand, it analyses the strategies of “demarcation”, which seek to dissociate the narrative from its duty to represent a collective “we”; and on the other hand, it focuses on a shift towards intimate perspectives that re-appropriate the landscape as a surface of self-projection and introspection. The central argument of the essay is that: the narratives of return, among which Barrientos’ work is included with great prominence, invite us to think about the ways in which literature expands, transforms and interrogates the spatial imaginaries through affects, enabling with this gesture new imagined communities and new articulations of the common.