Chapter

Chronotopes of a Dystopic Nation

Claudio Lomnitz

in Globalizing American Studies

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780226185064
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226185088 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226185088.003.0008
Chronotopes of a Dystopic Nation

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This chapter examines the early formation of the culture of dependent nationalism, a form of historical consciousness that fosters a pragmatic and immoral realism and which justifies private benefits gained from the regretful present with a language of evolutionary transition. It conceives of dependency as a specific condition that emerged in Latin America, when the national economies of those countries were reoriented to the United States and the United States became the guardian of their national credit, a process that began to take shape in the 1870s but which only became a palpable reality by the late 1890s. The chapter also explores the culture of dependency by way of its “chronotopes,” that is, through the ways in which the nation was figured in space and time. Two competing figures are described that emerged in this period. One of these took shape in a new field of international relations, whereas the other was a product of emerging grassroots transnational organization. These two competing spatiotemporal frameworks are a defining characteristic of dependency as a form of historical consciousness.

Keywords: chronotypes; dependency; immoral realism; transnational organization; evolutionary transition

Chapter.  12073 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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