Unveiling the Perpetrator’s Gaze in Pedro Lemebel’s Novel Tengo miedo torero

Keywords: perpetrator, Chile, Pedro Lemebel, Pinochet, fiction, memory


In the last decades, there has been a gradual shift in memory studies to approach traumatic events from the perpetrator’s view, rather than the victim’s. While this has been possible in some contexts – such as that of World War II – due to the availability of incriminatory material, it has been unfeasible in others because of its inexistence. In Chile, for example, the testimony of the dictatorship’s top authority Augusto Pinochet is unavailable because of his denial to accept responsibility in the country’s genocide, an aspect that has hindered victims from understanding his criminal motivations. When such is the case, we argue that fictional narratives may become a suitable way to recreate unknown events and thus facilitate a more coherent narrative of the past. We aim to demonstrate this by analysing the articulation of fictional dialogues uttered by Pinochet in the novel Tengo miedo torero (2001) by Chilean writer Pedro Lemebel.


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