August 1, 2010

Parody had been displaced.


One day, it seems, he decided to go away on a trip, to change his life, to begin again – who knows? – somewhere else. And what’s that, after all, I tell him, if not a modern illusion? It happens to all of us eventually. We all want, I say, to have adventures. Renzi told me that he was convinced that neither experiences nor adventures existed any longer. There are no more adventures, he told me, only parodies. He thought, he said, that today adventures were nothing but parodies. Because, he said, parody had stopped being what the followers of Tynianov thought, namely the signal of literary change, and had turned into the very centre of modern life. It’s not that I am inventing a theory or anything like that, Renzi told me. It’s simply that I believe that parody had been displaced and that it now invades all gestures and actions. Where there used to be events, experiences, passions, now there are nothing but parodies. This is what I tried to tell Marcelo so many times in my letters: that parody had completely replaced history. And isn’t parody the very negation of history?

- Ricardo Piglia, Artificial Respiration


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