Of Manses and Convents: Violence, Memory, and Identity in Casablanca la bella by Fernando Vallejo and En el lejero by Evelio Rosero Diago
This thesis examines the ways in which the diegetic spaces of the manses and convents as portrayed in two Colombian novels, Casablanca la bella (2013) by Fernando Vallejo and En el lejero (2007) by Evelio Rosero Diago serve as scenarios for the representation of the violences that pervade contemporary Colombian society. It shines a light on the ways in which these violences assault the senses and leave their mark on individuals and collectivities. It follows the novels in their wanderings through the topohistoric and phenomenological milestones of the interminable Colombian civil war—The 'Violencia' and its sequels. It explores how these violences and the corollary traumas and affects generated by them interact with these spaces and their toposociohistoric context to generate and reconstitute collective memories. Finally, it focuses on how the narrative spaces and the memories they foster and generate may feed the process of re-construction or re-formulation of a stable national identity for contemporary Colombians.