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Sofía Forchieri | Unsettling Spaces: Responsibility and Complicity in Roberto Bolaño’s By Night in Chile

 Abstract

This essay explores artworks’ potential to foster a critical engagement with forms of involvement in political violence that often fall beyond the scope of the law. It does so by means of a reading of Roberto Bolaño’s short novel By Night in Chile (2004) and drawing on interdisciplinary theoretical perspectives on the relation between complicity, responsibility, the law, and the arts. The essay argues that By Night in Chile compels readers to acknowledge a form of responsibility that is not attached to legal culpability, but also, crucially, to reckon with their own reluctance to assume such an expanded form of responsibility.

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