An abridged city: Santiago, Chile in micro-fiction
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In this article I touch on the relations between a micro-fiction literary contest and the production of meanings and urban representations. I concentrate my analysis on the description of how literary entries participating in this micro-fiction contest impart meaning to places within the city and how the contest is able to generate its own particular form of representation – an ‘abridged city.’ The contest is called ‘Santiago in 100 Words’ and has been taking place in Santiago, Chile since 2001. Literary works submitted must have a maximum of 100 words and must address ‘the city or urban contemporary life’. I analyzed a body of 595 micro-stories published between 2001 and 2012, paying special attention to the elements that literary critics have confirmed as fundamental to the genre of micro-fiction (characters, space/time and narrated activities). I complemented this approach with a thematic analysis of each micro-story. Via the analysis I identified two typical channels through which micro-stories generate meaning for the places to which they refer, as well as the way in which the contest creates (through an iterative and systematic manner) a representation of Santiago, Chile. These methods are relevant in understanding the way in which a functioning literary contest participates in the generation of collective references and the establishment of points of view and ways of perceiving the city.
Quote ItemLiterary Geographies 1(2), 2015, pp. 138-154
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