Heaven and Hell: The representation of Paraguay as a Utopian space

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This article concerns the way in which Paraguay and by extension Latin America have been represented in European literature and film, ranging from Robert Southey's 1825 poem A Tale of Paraguay, through Joseph Conrad's Nostromo and Graham Greene's Travels with my Aunt and The Honorary Consul to Roland Joffe's 1986 film The Mission. From the time of Columbus's arrival in 1492 the America's have been a fertile terrain for locating utopias, and as one of the most politically and geographically isolated of American states Paraguay has come to act as a privileged topos for locating both utopias and dystopias. In this article, the progression of this utopian / dystopian train of thought is traced as it changes with different world historical situations.

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