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The Literary Construction Of Jewish Identity In Chile: A Cartography Of Recent Memories

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Chapter Summary

The construction of Jewish identity-as a nucleus of significance and belonging-went through profound transformations in Latin America during the 20th century, beginning with the first waves of immigrants, whose identity was anchored on a substantial commitment to Judaism as the historical and cultural core of their existence, up to current generations, which stand amidst the complex and paradoxical horizon of global culture, a Latin American context of continuous identity crises, and a contemporary Judaism that also faces serious controversies. A cartography of the most recent literary production in Chile reveals a variety of routes in the quest to construct Jewish identity. Jewish migration and exile find their counterpart in the territorial dispersion of the poorest Chileans, ceaselessly compelled to migrate by their precarious living conditions. In both cases, migration entails deprivation of an original identity and the loss of all known references, thereby imposing a return to the outset.

Keywords: Chile; Chilean Judaism; Jewish identity; Latin America



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