Branding the Native: The Indigenous Condition in Contemporary Peruvian Literature

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Virginia Tech


Latin American literature can be characterized by its narrative styles and literary techniques to expose political instability, subversive movements and human rights violations. In South America, specifically in Peru, contemporary narrative and film depicts the guerra interna between the subversive movement, Sendero Luminoso, and the Peruvian government and its impact on the developing country. This study focuses on three texts --Mario Vargas Llosa's Lituma en los Andes (1993), Iván Thays' Un lugar llamado Oreja de Perro (2008), and Santiago Roncagliolo's Abril rojo (2006)-- and two contemporary films --Claudia Llosa's Madeinusa (2006) and La teta asustada (2009). These works stay within the broader trajectory of Peruvian narrative and film's portrayal of the guerra interna. However, these works deviate from the norm by focusing on the indigenous populations' involvement and subsequent consequences. This study examines how language, spirituality and violence dehumanizes the Peruvian indigenous during Peru's efforts at modernization.



Sendero Luminoso, Lituma en los Andes, Abril rojo, Un lugar llamado Oreja de Perro, Peruvian Indigenous Identity