Manual del perfecto idiota latinoamericano / Plinio Apuleyo Mendoza, Carlos Alberto Montaner, Alvaro Vargas Llosa

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A collection of articles that explore the manifestations of orientalism based on Edward Said's theories in the Latin American literary and cultural production with an article-length introduction by the editor. Contributors: Hernán Taboada, Jorge Barrueto, Isabel de Sena, Marilyn Miller, Jorge Chen Sham, Éva Bánki, Csilla Ladányi-Túróczy, Delma Wood, Gladys Ilarregui, Patricia Vilches, Georgina Wittingham.
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This article studies how the Peruvian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa and, more generally, neoliberalism rearticulate the opposition between civilization and barbarism, and the vision of the world that underlies it. During a time in which many intellectuals have embraced a relativistic notion of culture that makes judgment problematic, neoliberals embrace this clear-cut value hierarchy with complete abandonment. In fact, one cannot but be surprised by the ease with which Vargas Llosa makes pronouncements based on the identification of individuals, groups, and political movements with either civilization or barbarism. However, the fact is that his reference to this dichotomy differs substantially from its nineteenth-century version and its colonial precedents. The implicitly racial hierarchization proposed by Domingo Faustino Sarmiento and other nineteenth-century thinkers has been replaced in Vargas Llosa's writings by one based on cultural and social values.
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