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Holy Terrors

Latin American Women Perform

Diana Taylor, Alexei Taylor, Authors

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This tag was created by Craig Dietrich.  The last update was by Francisco.

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Diamela Eltit (Chile)

Diamela Eltit

Born in 1949 in Santiago, Chile, Diamela Eltit examines the violent fracturing of post-coup Chile through novels, video and performance art. She exposes and problematizes discrete social, artistic and political boundaries by overlapping the issues of gender, class and discourse. In a variety of contexts Eltit explores themes of confused identity, the body, and subjectivity. Lumpérica (1983), Eltit's first novel, represents a bizarre spectacle in which a protagonist mutilates her own body (selections included here). Eltit herself performed an analogous expression in which she scarified her own arms and then read her manuscript in a brothel. This performance, in turn, engendered another "text," the video Maipu.
To date Diamela Eltit has published six novels: Lumpérica (1983), Por la patria (1986), El cuarto mundo (1988), Vaca sagrada (1991), Los vigilantes (1994), and Los trabajadores de la muerte (1998). Los vigilantes was awarded the Chilean prize Premio José Nuez for best novel in 1995. In addition she facilitated a "testimonial," El padre mío (1989), transcribing the words of a schizophrenic street person. Her other recent book, El infarto del alma (1994), is a collaboration with the photographer Paz Errázuriz. Eltit was awarded a Guggenheim grant in 1985 and a grant from the Social Science Research Council in 1988. In the political sphere she was appointed cultural attaché for the Chilean Embassy in Mexico during the administration of Chilean President Patricio Aylwin, 1990-94.
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