Escritos 30 (64):60-76 (2022)

This article analyzes five stories from the volume Las cosas que perdimos en el fuego, by Mariana Enríquez: The Dirty Boy, Adela's House, Pablito nailed a little nail: an evocation of Big-Eared Petiso, My neighbor's yard and Under the black water, where the author rewrites the theme of childhood. This rewriting is far from an idyllic vision, since it deals with the problematization of modern childhood; the main characters of these stories are children who violate or are violated and who, symbolically, propose the absence of future and hope. For the analysis of these stories, I use categories typical of the aesthetics of the grotesque, from the concepts proposed by Wolfgang Kayser in The Grotesque. Its configuration in painting and literature allows me to transcend the conventions of terror, a genre with which Enríquez's work is generally associated. More than the supernatural components typical of terror or the fantastic, I emphasize in this article the social criticism and the notion of emptiness that make up the poetics of the Argentine author, which is why she proposes the category of “social horror”. The world that Mariana Enríquez presents is a gloomy and disjointed one, with no foreign forces to blame, that forces us to look at the reality of our modern society.
Keywords Espanto social  Grotesco  Infancia  Las cosas que perdimos en el fuego  Mariana Enríquez  Modernidad
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DOI 10.18566/escr.v30n64.a04
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