Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down: On the Neobarroco, Masochist Suspension and Class Tension in the Work of Néstor Perlongher
Author: Bollig, Ben
Source: Romance Studies, Volume 22, Number 2, July 2004 , pp. 165-182(18)
Publisher: Maney Publishing
Abstract:This paper examines the use of the barroco in the work of the modern Argentine poet and anthropologist Néstor Perlongher. It considers the use Perlongher makes of the barroco as an operating strategy and as a source for poetic tropes and validation.
I assess Perlongher's theoretical work on the neobarroco, the nebulous movement without manifesto that he identified in Latin America in the early 1980s, and explore certain aporia and difficulties this presents through an examination of his œuvre. I aim to uncover a significant schism in his work between an observational, popular barroco stemming from his anthropological work on male prostitution in São Paulo, and the abstract creation of complex forms drawing on the Golden Age barroco in the collection Hule, written as the effects of AIDS were starting to be felt in Brazil and Argentina. I also consider the links between Perlongher's high-low aesthetic connecting academic and literary practices to street slang and sexuality, and Deleuze's theories on masochism.
I suggest that there is reason to regard Perlongher's barroco poetry as a form of vanguard kitsch. Whereas socially committed poetry in Argentina tended to identify kitsch as a deformation of the popular classes' taste by the mass media and commercial forces, Perlongher identifies kitsch elements as an authentic expression of these classes.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2004-07-01
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