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The Singer's NeedleAn Undisciplined History of Panamá$
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Ezer Vierba

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780226342313

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226342597.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 29 June 2022

The Singer’s Report

The Singer’s Report

Text and Critique in Coiba, 1920–1935

(p.94) 3 The Singer’s Report
The Singer's Needle

Ezer Vierba

University of Chicago Press

The voices that reported on the penal colony of Coiba, criticized its functioning, and attempted to reform it are examined, and understood in the context of the critiques of the Liberal Party’s project in the 1920s and 30s. As the criticisms are analyzed, a larger theoretical debate is presented, which seeks to understand what a text would look like that does not reinforce the knowledge-power field it critiques. To answer this question, the chapter looks at how subjects engage with a text, and how it affects their inner beings. It suggests that texts which construct an alternative reality are effective in critiquing present-day reality; and that in part, they are convincing because they allow the reader an alternative social space in which to temporarily be a different subject. “Playful texts” can be useful for the task of critique precisely because they offer a temporary leap out of the constraints of the present.

Keywords:   Rodolfo Chiari, Arnulfo Arias Madrid, Harmodio Arias Madrid, playful texts, assertive texts, criticism, critique, Accion Comunal, implied author

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