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“El cine de mis recuerdos es mudo”.

El cine como un precursor en la obra de


Felisberto Hernández.

En numerosas ocasiones durante su juventud, el escritor uruguayo Felisberto


Hernández ejerció como pianista en salas de cine. Por demás, Hernández era un
confeso aficionado a este arte y asistía a películas con regularidad. Algunos
estudiosos de la obra del uruguayo han apuntado un influjo del cine en su obra,
particularmente de filmes de Charles Chaplin o Buster Keaton, con sus movimientos
exagerados y gesticulaciones teatrales. Si bien es imposible acusar una influencia
inequívoca, los relatos de Hernández sí muestran una marcada tendencia a la
visualidad; a llevar al plano físico incluso las ideas más abstractas. De la misma
forma, en su obra es recurrente la noción de “espectáculo”, de un narrador que
contempla una escena no sin motivaciones voyeristas, como ocurre con el
espectador de cine. Mi ponencia pretende resaltar cómo estas dos características de
la obra de Hernández son manifestaciones de la naciente cultura fílmica de las
primeras décadas del siglo XX en el Uruguay. El cine, como espectáculo del mundo
material, fue una de las herramientas que aproximaron a los relatos del Hernández a
una escritura de vanguardia, a la vez moderna y original.

Georgetown University Ph. D. candidate in Spanish Literature and Cultural Studies.


My ongoing dissertation reflects upon the figure of the outsider in within Latin
American Literature, particularly about the Uruguayan writer Felisberto Hernández.

Incessant deconstruction in Felisberto Hernández’s autobiographical writings

The Uruguayan writer Felisberto Hernández dedicates three of his main stories,
“Por los tiempos de Clemente Colling”, “El caballo perdido”, and “Las tierras de la
memoria”, to the remembrance of different episodes of his childhood and youth.
While they are clearly based in his own life, these stories lack of a traditional
autobiographical style. They completely disregard any chronological structure, but
instead go back and forth in time. Also, Hernández deliberately omits facts
traditionally considered crucial, such as names of places and people, or even the
explicit description of his social context. Instead, he focuses on impressions and
reflections, as he attempts to recapture them through the act of remembering. In the
end, the reader is left not with a picture of his life, but with an impression of how he
viewed the world. Furthermore, since the Uruguayan writer is always overly
conscious of the act of remembering while he writes, the reader also witnesses the
struggle of a man trying to get a hold of his past. Hernández’s approach to
autobiographical writing is truly original in the sense that he records a process, not
a still image. The memories that he brings are not treated as fixed, but they change
as the writing process moves along. My presentation develops this approach framed
within the modern autobiographies, which slowly move away from the ambition of
merely representing series of events.