Civilian complicity remains one of the least studied aspects of Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship and, to this point, has not been a matter of widespread public debate in Chile. This article examines the case of Mariana Callejas, a literary writer who married the American-born DINA henchman Michael Townley, infamous for his complicity in the deaths of ex-president Eduardo Frei Montalva, Salvador Allende Gossens's former minister Orlando Letelier, and General Carlos Prats, a general loyal to Allende. After many years living in impunity, Callejas, who continued to write literary fiction up until just a few years ago, was sent briefly to prison for her complicity in the Letelier assassination. She is now free. In many ways, her case emblematizes the complicities of the Chilean intelligentsia with the dictatorship, while also revealing how common citizens committed themselves ideologically to state-sponsored violence. This article reads Callejas's present-bound, first-person 1995 account Siembra vientos in counterpoint to her fiction written in the 1980s during the Pinochet regime. It examines the performativity of Callejas's narrative “I” in relation to questions of responsibility, ethics, shame, and justice.
1 January 2016
Michael J. Lazzara; Writing Complicity: The Ideological Adventures of Mariana Callejas. Radical History Review 1 January 2016; 2016 (124): 141–152. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/01636545-3160024
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