El juramento y la historia. Sobre Oblivion de Edda Fabbri

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The genre of testimony troubles any attempt at classification and categorization. From a linguistic perspective, testimonial language seems to be suspended within an aporistic oscillation between the two opposite directions of historiographical objectivity and the first person pre-eminence, which shapes the whole discursive structure and function of this genre. Furthermore, this oscillation between the historiographical form and the writing of the self leads to the dialectical movement between two different kinds of truth: a historical truth – which is one of the explicit goals of these texts – as opposed to an aesthetical one, which is another unquestionable concern for this kind of writing. Nevertheless, the oscillation between these two forms of testimony recalls an even more relevant and radical tension, which opposes, on the one hand, the necessity to stick to a traumatic past occupying the entire memory of someone's subjectivity, and, on the other hand, the imperative to bend the memorial discourse through the possibility to achieve an active intervention in the historical present. Reading Oblivion – the testimony written by Edda Fabbri, an Uruguayan tupamaro activist, and published for the first time in 2007 – this paper aims to analyze the dialectical intersection that forms the living substrate of any testimonial writing, in order to point out the real power of testimonial literature, that is, the ethical – and political – possibility to actively participate into history.
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