Chapter 7 The Archives of an Exception to Come: Literature, Cinema and the World in Irmgard Emmelhainz’s El cielo está incompleto (2017)

In: Latin American Literatures in Global Markets
Ignacio M. Sánchez Prado
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The distinction between the process of spatial and socioeconomic totalization of the planet and the multiplicity of forms of being-in-the-world remains one of the core conceptual discussions regarding our global times, and, more concretely, the cultural forms and institutions within the infrastructure of world literature. This essay reads Irmgard Emmelhainz’s El cielo está incompleto. Cuaderno de viaje en Palestina (2017) to engage on the question of the geopolitical world in world literature criticism. El cielo está incompleto is a hybrid work in which Emmelhainz constructs a parallel between her personal engagements with peoples and places in Ramallah and the ways in which violence and securitization in the occupied territories of the West Bank conform a geopolitical paradigm of territoriality, with effects in the U.S.-Mexico border and other latitudes. The article studies Emmelhainz’s book, her dialogue with the cinema of Jean-Luc Godard and the way her concept of the world intersects with the one put forward by theorists like Eric Hayot and Pheng Cheah. In doing so, the article discusses Emmelhainz’s account the transition between the idea of the world tied to anticolonial solidarity in the 1960s with contemporary forms of the world under neoliberalism, as well as the paradoxes between the idea of the world in literature and politics, and the cultural infrastructures that sustain it.

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