Spanish and Portuguese ETDs

Publication Date



During the second half of the twentieth century, in many Latin American countries, military dictatorships that implemented a National Security Doctrine were developed, as a way to counteract the gradual attacks by socialist or communist groups. These political clashes were characterized by violence, fear instilled into society, the abolition of rights and freedoms as well as exile. The dissertation presented here is focused on the outcome that exile produced on those writers that lived this experience. Novels, biographies, autobiographies and testimonies about exile are characterized by presenting the memories emerging from the journey of exile. Through the observation of this journey on several expatriated authors, I have created five spaces in which the transit of the writer can be appreciated: the beginning of the dictatorship, the exile, the memories of the country of origin before the dictatorship, the return from exile and the rupture with the country of origin. At the end of the analysis of these five spaces, I have observed that the writing process about exile makes the author create, through his or her memory, a way to set up an understanding and apprenticeship of the past and the present. This apprenticeship has a relation with the concept of exemplary memory (Tzvetan Todorov), which points out the importance of the lesson learned from the review of the past. Starting from the concept of exemplary memory and melancholy, the later appreciated as the irrecoverable past, I have formulated the term reconciliatory melancholy, which refers to the balance that the exiled writer makes about his experiences and the results of the path on exile. In order to show the trajectory taken in these spaces by the exiled writer and how the reconciliatory melancholy is developed, I have selected the Chilean writer Luis Enrique Délano with his text Las veladas del exilio, the Argentinian author Tununa Mercado and her stories En estado de memoria and the Uruguayan poet and narrator Saúl Ibargoyen Islas with the novel Sangre en el Sur. These three authors experienced exile in México, a country that plays a central role in the memories about exile.

Degree Name

Spanish & Portuguese (PhD)

Level of Degree


Department Name

Spanish and Portuguese

First Committee Member (Chair)

Rebolledo, Tey Diana

Second Committee Member

Santiago-Diaz, Eleuterio

Third Committee Member

Hutchison, Elizabeth


Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología




Latin American Literature, Exile in Latin America, Argentinian dictatorship, Uruguayan dictatorship, Chilean dictatorship, Luis Enrique Delano, Tununa Mercado, Saul Ibargoyen Islas, Mexico

Document Type