Batman en Chile

Batman en Chile

Enrique Lihn


Pages: 141

ISBN: 2:00216103

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

to my knowledge, unavailable in English--and sadly, it may never be....


Enrique Lihn, chileno, conocido como uno de los más
importantes poetas latinoamericanos de hoy, había in-
cursionado también en el cuento y el ensayo.
Con Batman en Chile se inaugura en la novela.
El tema es de actualidad: el legendario rey de las his­
torietas viaja a Chile para hacerle un trabajito a la-C.I.A.
Tiene entreveros eróticos con la refrigerada Juana Som- '
mers, el efebo Robin sufre pesadillas con los bombar- .
déos en Vietnam y el héroe se desorienta ante una re­-
volución donde hasta los 'malos' son legales y donde
el poderoso Willie Morgan le debe indicar sus pasos.
La resurrección de la novela de aventuras, con su mar­
co ahora político, y teñida de un humor intencionado y
sutil, perra deleitar a lectores alertas.

from a journal article--i've copied all text that's available before the paywall. in the first paragraph, #1 refers to this book and the rest refers to Lihn's career. the second paragraph below begins discussing the plot....

The list could read: 1) a Batman comic strip made into a political melodrama; 2) a last minute materialisation of monumental socialist utopian modernism; 3) a dinner party in the countryside honouring the Tarzan actor Johnny Weissmüller; 4) an experimental documentary turned into a Western; and, last but not least, 5) a piglet strolling in the city centre, dressed in military attire. I admit the connections may seem vague, but somehow these erratic, apparently harmless and mostly forgotten actions that took place in Chile in the 1970s and 80s compose a discontinuous lineage of corrosively ironic engagement with political aesthetics. This slightly bizarre collection of 'provisional failures' constitutes a showcase of Chile's peculiar history of fragmented art tales, full of neo-Dadaist humour and unorthodox leftist critique.1

The Pop We Almost Left Behind

In 1973, a few months before Pinochet's military coup, Enrique Lihn's Batman en Chile was published in Buenos Aires.2 The book, a comic strip in the form of a novel, tells of the superhero's attempt to work on a top-secret assignment in Salvador Allende's Chile. The mission, devised by the CIA and the local right-wing elite, aimed to stop the advance of the 'red army' in South America, by using Batman as a key weapon. The novel opens with the superhero's arrival in Pudahuel airport and his immediate transport, in a private helicopter, to an exclusive welcome party in a Batcave-like mansion in the heart of the Andes. All the local guests, big and small, greet their hero dressed in unflattering Batmen outfits for security reasons. The look-alike crowd is a disturbing scene for the genuine Batman, who politely tries[...]

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