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Research article

Writing under the Influence: The Fiction of the Artist under Contract in Novels of Organized Crime from Italy and Mexico

Author:

Antoine Ducoux

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Abstract

Fiction writers have sought to provide original descriptions of the mafia's obscure and changing worlds and reflect on their own representational strategies by using metaliterary devices. In Yuri Herrera’s Trabajos del reino (2004), Walter Siti’s Resistere non serve a niente (2012) and Víctor Hugo Rascón Banda’s Contrabando (2008), the representation of the artist under contract with organized crime provides a narrative content and a metaliterary figure which can help us make sense of the complex relationship between literary fiction and organized crime. The artist under contract is shown to put their own credibility at risk and reflect from a position of fragility and dependence. From the intra-diegetic representation of an author under contract with organized crime—a key aspect of Herrera’s Trabajos del reino—, to the blurring of the autobiographical pact with the reader in Resistere non serve a niente and Contrabando, this article asks how authors creatively question the credibility and the authority of their own literary discourse on organized crime? Through the study of the contractual aspects of the literary text (as an intra-diegetic component and a constitutive element of the autofiction genre), the article discusses the hermeneutic value of fiction: is there a productive use of ambiguity that can facilitate the interpretation of the secretive and ambiguous worlds of organized crime?
How to Cite: Ducoux, A. “Writing Under the Influence: The Fiction of the Artist Under Contract in Novels of Organized Crime from Italy and Mexico”. New Readings, vol. 17, no. 2, 2020, pp. 48–69. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18573/newreadings.114
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Published on 31 Dec 2020.
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