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Arqueologías de la ciencia ficción latinoamericana: la ciudad del futuro en Perú, Chile y Colombia (1843-1905)
Stagnaro, Giancarlo P.
School of Liberal ArtsSpanish and Portuguese
19th-century Latin American science fiction has begun to draw the attention of many scholars who focus on the tradition written in Argentina, Uruguay, Brasil, and Mexico. However, newspapers, magazines, poetry collections, and books from Peru, Chile, and Colombia during the same period also included science fiction as well. My dissertation proposes to rescue these works and make them valuable for literary purposes. My first chapter focuses on two Peruvian serial novels, Lima de aquí a cien años [Lima in a Hundred Years] and Cusco de aquí a cien años [Cusco in a Hundred Years], both published in newspaper El Comercio in 1843, and were written by two authors: Julian M. del Portillo and “Carlos de A”. The novels are based on the epistolary exchange between a limeño and a cusqueño in a fictional 1943. The historical events after emancipating with Spain (1821), especially the Peru-Bolivian Confederation (1836-1839), form the background of these serial novels. Both narrate the future history of these two cities and imagine what would happen if an Inca Empire had been reinstated and survived the unsettled period after Independence. The second chapter focus on Chilean novels ¡Una vision del porvenir! El espejo del mundo en el año 1975 [A Vision of the Future! The Mirror of the World in the Year 1975], by Benjamin Tallman (1875); and Desde Júpiter: Curioso viaje de un santiaguino magnetizado [From Jupiter: The Curious Voyage of a Magnetized Man from Santiago], by Francisco Miralles (1877, 1886). The first one deals with the modernization of Valparaíso and Santiago. The second one is an account of a Chilean man who is being transported to Jupiter. Both fictions attempt to display Chile as a paradigm of progress during the period known as “liberal republic” (1861-1891). In my third chapter, I analyze two important writers of 19th-century Colombia: Soledad Acosta de Samper, who wrote a short story called “Bogotá en el año 2000. Una pesadilla” [Bogotá in the Year 2000. A Nightmare]; and José Asunción Silva, who was the author of two poems (“Futura” and “Zoospermos”) appeared in his poetry collection Gotas amargas [Bitter Tears]. Acosta de Samper published her short story several times in women magazines until 1905. Gotas amargas was published posthumously in 1918. Both texts deal with the idea of a bleak future in Colombia in the form of critical reflection (Acosta de Samper) or parody (Silva).