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ARQ (Santiago)

versión On-line ISSN 0717-6996

ARQ (Santiago)  no.86 Santiago abr. 2014

http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0717-69962014000100003 

READINGS

Bobi and the Greenbelt Utopia

  

Gloria Favi *(1)

* Professor, Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile.


Abstract

The delirious journey of Bobi, the freak, blurs the boundaries of a segregated city. His search for a utopian space to contain its monstrosity leads to the imagined city, spatial production of the Chilean State for the new man and a transformed society.

Keywords: Literature - Chile, Patas de perro, Droguett, urban segregation, psycho geography, dérive.


 

Patas de perro in the city of Santiago de Chile in 1960

 

Fig. 1. Page 1 of the second edition of Patas de perro by Carlos Droguett. Editorial Zig-Zag S. A., Santiago, 1966.
Source: Memoria Chilena, Biblioteca Nacional de Chile. Available at: www.memoriachilena.cl

Through the transparent presence of an adolescent portrayed in the novel, Patas de perro by Carlos Droguett(1), we will attempt to decode the daily signs of social marginality staged in a sleepy, residential Santiago, a virtual space that has unified its violent negative to house Bobi, the cripple, whose experience of the urban landscape in 1960 has conditioned our perception of the slow and sustained urban degradation of the 21st century.

But what is the history of the city that memory and the faltering steps of Bobi conserve while we move through the puddles, mud and blood of the Matadero(2) neighborhood in this vicarious design of deformity and pain?

(…) I looked at the watery blood spilling over the sinks, I paused to look at the flayed horse head and later, later pieces of meat rained at my feet, they let me gather them, they demanded nothing more than a piece of meat and to eat it there, they asked nothing more, that was my contribution (Droguett, 1998, p. 94).(3)

The articulation of that language builds the body-language of the imaginary world that envelops Bobi's monstrosity, while in that rupture constantly guarded by logic and legible history, our voice tries to dig through the ruined city walls to overcome the obscurity of the barbaric city. But what are the appropriate codes for (de) construct the symbolic places and the collective dreams in the historic memory of Santiago de Chile, in the tormented wandering of Bobi and over a city without arms, whose exclusion of the grotesque and deformed was organized and marked with specific territorial limits?(4)

Bobi was from the Matadero-Franklin neighborhood, urban periphery of violence and death that bordered the pestilent waters of the Zanjón de la Aguada(5), where tenement houses and ranches proclaimed the inconsistency of a state program for building working-class dwellings. "A purely working class neighborhood should be maintained and limited as such,"(6) the real world affirms in the 1939 Brunner-Humeres plan for Santiago.

Thus, with the steps of Bobi and Carlos we intend to rebuild the space of the lower class inhabitants of Santiago de Chile halfway through the 20th century, a literary exercise that will allow us to redefine through diverse times, a past and a present to which we will give new meaning through a discursive turn. The text I have selected for semiotic study(7) plays an active role in the ideological cultural mechanism of the mid-20th century as it is the generator of a world model through its attempts to recover the active awareness of the social and historical man expressed within.

The novel, Patas de perro, partially recovers the memory and represents the remains of the city of Santiago updated at the beginning of the 21st century, whose memory and public spaces are being plundered and expropriated by (un) regulated architectural and landscape design introduced by the modern state and by the symbolic production of the Internet and television, paradoxes of integration that propose individualism and solitude surfing through diverse migratory fragments of virtual highways.

So we observe the inconsistency and delirium of a narrator who in his story attempts to deny the alleged unreality of Bobi's existence, an adolescent born in the iniquity of the Matadero neighborhood with beautiful dog feet. His words reveal a network of inconclusive clues, social phenomena associated with the history of Santiago de Chile between 1950 and 1964. This contextual situation allows us to speculate on the crowding of two million inhabitants in the capital, resulting from the peasant migration from the mines and fields, along with the malnutrition of 60% of the population of Santiago, considered the country's richest city between 1968 and 1969 (Collier y Sater, 1998).

In the story, Bobi's steps and gaze over the city and facades of the streets uncovers ghostly anachronistic subjects seeking a place to live and hide the tension of their fears in these disintegrated neighborhoods devoid of all compassion and emotional commitment.

(…) But I understand that others, spiritually deformed, dining room and kitchen people, plate and cup people must suffer, because you are not a deformed being, quite the contrary, because your form is new and whole and they are not. They are half-men, quarter-men... they are vermin, infected, domesticated beasts, voracious and calculating (Droguett, 1998, p. 65).

These words from Carlos, Bobi's protector and narrator of these tragic events, has been transformed in an autonomous act the reconstructs, in the different spaces of fiction, the acts of violence and segregation interiorized in the city since time immemorial. Then we learn from which exclusions and contradictions the discursive identities build in the same act of participation such as expressions of spatial memory and dialectic conglomerates of memories that constantly mobilize the reading of secret codes in out city.

Walter Benjamin tells us in his "Berlin Chronicle" (1950):

Anyone who seeks to approach his own past must become a man who digs (...) For the state of things is only storage, layers, that only after the most careful exploration will deliver the authentic values hidden within the earth (p. 212).

And Bobi's steps, generators of memories, evoke the map of his life in the old neighborhood of vice and misery, while the dig into a past where disturbing objects lay prisoners:

"I knew he would hit me. I was terrified of the brass buckle of his belt. I will never forget the smell of bronze between my lips when it split them" (Droguett, 1998, p. 170).

His father hated him, but he begged for alms to show him and had even bought a lantern, for the darkest places (...) (Droguett, 1998, p. 108).

Professor Bonilla picked up the knife from the table... with paternal care, he lifted his hand and slapped him and with other hand sliced him... Bobi felt the blood run down his cheek" (Droguett, 1998, p. 163).

Walter Benjamin affirms: "The encounter with the object liberates that past trapped within;" fragments of the past are then the bronze buckle, the knife and the lantern, everyday objects in the real world that transformed, in the interior of this violent world, into products of the excavation of disturbing possessions that have taken on their own form, weight and consistency to organize the temporal syntax that will materialize the real and concrete signs of the exile and tragic destiny of Bobi. The music is the whistle of the whip that forces him to beg for meat in the bloody stalls of the slaughterhouse; the ray of light is the lantern that illuminates his deformity as he devours repulsive pieces of meat; and the knife is the luminous skill of Professor Bonilla as he wounds him at prom night. These real objects, in the internal world of the story, make up virtual and temporary geometric coordinates to limit the territories from which Bobi is expelled to generate, with his steps, the framework of the social events that will give form to his history.

From alcoholic parents, monstrous, idiot children are born… others beget them and abandon them to the neighborhood, the city... it is an insult to have the boy in a school that has been open to receive human beings and not monsters spewed out by the infrastructure of the country (Droguett, 1998, p. 81).

The words of Bonilla expel Bobi, the perfect monster, from the lettered city to the cruel attacks of the pack. But from what institutions does he speak? We believe that in the discursive construction of the limited city of spawn, the violence and illegality of the territorial and social exclusion that has condemned the barbaric city at all times in our history are contained as symbols.

Then we need to recover the history of words in the subtle subversion of a multiple time to understand, in the 21st century, how the use of metaphors for perceiving the world of the excluded in a determined social caste has crystallized.

Thus we reiterate the autonomy of Carlos, the narrator whose delirium contradicts the hierarchies and exclusions he refers to, because the discursive identities that have generated his words are not pre-established in the symbolic dimension of an ideology. These dissident identities are built in the same discursive acts that allow them to freely participate in their own worlds of beliefs, and we propose to reflect on the identities in the text while we consider them as linguistic metaphors generating the spatial memory of the real city in the middle of the 20th century. These dialectic conglomerates of memory represented in the language of literature allow us to invade and partially decode the dissident foci of the barbaric city in the spatial iniquity of an urban agglomeration that speaks to us of the social and economic structure of Chile in the fifties.

"When Bobi was born, his father was fired from the factory, his mother was at the point of death and he had to move, overwhelmed by the insults and embarrassment. At the grocer's they closed her account..." (Droguett, 1998, p. 93).

The institution has denied any link to the originality of Bobi's body, his equals fear losing their connection in the collective and mental space of the segregated city. However, Bobi's rebellion in his attempts to integrate into the originality of "a space of eyes full of age and submerged in wisdom, that no long look with hate, nor fury, nor solitude" (Droguett, 1998, p. 113) creates a scenario of an urban experience that brings us closer to an ideological discussion over the social production of spaces and places during the first half of the 20th century.

Carlos and Bobi, generators of the spatial memory of santiago in 1960

Am I a human being?... I had the right to ask this question... because until now life has been presented to me as a quality that does not correspond to me and the world as destination to which I have unlawfully arrived (Droguett, 1998, p. 111).

This question confirms our attempts to decipher the discursive identities of Carlos and Bobi while we consider their wanderings and dissident talk as generating dialects of the spatial memory of Santiago in the fifties. We know that the architectonic spaces are subjective territories that create real meanings for expressing the city's history and his materiality is conditioned by the cultural frameworks of those that design; thus the receptive and perceptive judgments and prejudices that affect their spaces and sociability, especially during the political scene in 1960, a utopian place where we begin to record the first urban and architectural concepts for integrating new social models and mobilizations whose central axis of social transformation is propelled by the Chilean state.(8)

Bobi's story is the urban experience of a deformed body that traverses the city in search of possible relationships that always fail, and the writing of Carlos is the map of a poetic mission illustrating the excluding sins of the collective body of our city.

How can we give form to the imbalance and discord of the social and urban body in Santiago de Chile? That is what the planners asked in the spatial reality of the '60s while the geometric coordinates of the spatial uprooting in the interior of the text speak to us:

Profesor Bonilla added that it was insolent to have the boy in a school that had been opened to receive human beings and not monsters vomited up from the country infrastructure (…) he inquired where were the legs of the boy named Bobi (…) that they had sent a dog and that this was not a school for dogs, nor a circus nor zoo, nor zoo, nor museum, nor exposition" (Droguett, 1998, p. 84).

The changes in the production of the space predicted transformations in the conceptual landscape to begin a new social order. This way, the conceptualization of "open spaces, green space, suburban area" that preserved the natural and cultural patrimony of Santiago de Chile, would correspond to the creation of a spatial utopia initiated from the State sphere with the proclamation in 1960 of the Intercity Plan for Urban Development (PRIS)(9). Some planners qualified the projects and urban renovations in 1960 as political strategies anticipating the appearance of the new man.(10)

When Bobi finally leaves his home in the Matadero district, abandoned by the well-aimed relief of his parents, and Carlos was abandoned by the woman he was to marry, their steps and the timetable of their voices make up the image and form of a city inseparable from time and the memory contained in the sustainable development of the '60s and its systems made up of green spaces destined for the amusement of population and the environmental healing strengthened by ecological corridors that try to united urban and rural areas (Pavez, 2009).

"Small house for couple in a quiet neighborhood, one block from Gran Avenida. Dogs not permitted" (Droguett, 1998, p. 72). The promise of paradise lost contained in the newspaper ad is the frenetic transition of Bobi and Carlos from is nightmarish streets toward the balance and beauty of the imagined city and to the vast deposit of a promising story contained in the health of its areas and avenues destined to achieve, in the past, the utopia of an institutionalism that regulated the protection of the natural landscape threatened by the urban expansion of the metropolis.

Looking for a place to live was the residue of the collective dreams of the citizens piled up over the territorial iniquity of the city in 1960(11), a city whose totally new form could be the utopia of the design and protection of green spaces, rivers and ravines that can contain the perfect monstrosity of Bobi and the desire to forget of Carlos. Places designed for the perfection and happiness denied to them. A terrace and a patio full of flowers would be the architectonic construction of a place to live, the greenbelt utopia that announces and anticipates a new city in a quiet village, away from the hostility of the grand city that excludes Bobi's perfect monstrosity and would integrate him into this new production of urban space to apply for a different sociability, new men integrated into the plasticity of open forms, to feel, to breathe the air...

"We would go. We would look for a place in the foothills. We found a small house with a terrace and a patio full of flowers, a tiny kitchen, a clean, simple bathroom..." (Droguett, 1998, p. 88).

But houses, streets and cities are not only things and people. They are also thoughts, wills and participations that build up a context from which Bobi and Carlos are expelled with the imperative violence of a language: "The house is mine and I have the right to ask how you use it and why you use it like this!" (Droguett, 1998, p. 70); "My clients notify you that you must vacate the house on the 30th of this month. Best regards, Gándara" (Droguett, 1998, p. 73). The end of the dreams in the infinite wickedness of Miss Estefanía, in her sluggish mouth remains the violent insertion of common sense to exclude from its spaces, the new and total forms that represent the beautiful dog feet of Bobi: "We'll move. Right? Yes, Bobi, we will move, we will find a nice little house" (Droguett, 1998, p. 81).

We will enter the house, that looked brighter and somehow bigger now... Puente Alto... we felt the dry air full of echoes coming down the sunny mountain, when I asked if he would like to move to this town, provincial, quiet, grounded to the earth (…) between the tall mountains along gentle rivers, he stared at me full of joy and told me that he had always been surprised by my desire to stay in Santiago, when I had nothing to do in that huge, hostile city (…) (Droguett, 1998, p. 111).

Will Puente Alto be the city project imagined by Bobi and its new forms in the fictitious framework of a new spatial legality? Would it be the salvific utopia that would rescue him from the crowding, stench and pestilence of the Matadero neighborhood and from the tragic institutional persecution embodied by his father, school and the police?

Bobi, I told him, the truth is the people of this village have no eyes, or their eyes are like those of fish, polished by the sea, eyes without edges that feel no pain, eyes full of age submerged in wisdom that no longer shoot glances of hate, nor fury, nor loneliness (Droguett, 1998, p. 113).

And it will only be the looks "full of age submerged in wisdom" in these transparent spaces that will fix on an interchange of subjectivities, the unformulated acceptance of Bobi. And so, Puente Alto will be the last bastion of daydreams to be offered to a dying Bobi, stalked by the institutionalism that exercises violent prevention against abnormality.

Bobi, fawns, satyrs and sacred space

We unearth the extraordinary luminosity of the Dionysian myth(12), from the school dance Bobi attends, in the sweet sensuality that exercises the perfect shapes of his dog feet in the comparison that joins it to its mal-formed kin, the satyrs, fawns and centaurs. In the negative of this gallantry to accept the order and horror imposed by the titans, the acceptance of the divine ecstasy remains latent in the lethargic dance that updates and performs Bobi to attempt the redemption that would reunite him with the human world. From this perspective, our reading is converted to an exercise of the imagination that will manage effective maps for containing, from language and memory, impossible spaces whose transformation in pockets of reverie makes possible this utopia of the new sociability and the idyllic spaces that could contain it.(13)

I danced, Bobi told me, I really danced with Silvia, Enriqueta, Matilda, we danced a lot, we were hot in the face, the sun on our lips, the music moved our feet. I took their waists. They turned pale and thoughtful. Silvia told me I danced very well, asked why I never went out at night, told me that at night the dances shine at the end of the street. He whispered, pale, happy and forgotten, he began to whistle softly (Droguett, 1998, p. 159).

But what is the meaning of the Dionysian world in the steps that Bobi dances moving him to demarcate his sacred space in the fragmented city? We must then speak of his wisdom and insight in the search for lost unity and the affirmation of live above the pain of rejection and abandonment beyond that of superficial optimism.

Friedrich Nietzsche said:

Life is indestructibly powerful and pleasurable, that comfort appears with corporeal evidence, like a chorus of satyrs, like a chorus of natural beings, that live, so to speak, inextinguishable behind all civilization and, despite the passing of generations and history, remains eternally the same (Nietzsche, 1973, p. 77).

However, we understand that there is no place for orgiastic dancing in the forest and the fantasy of a magic path to establishing this lost unity has been broken by the strident actions of professor Bonilla and the terrifying efficiency of the political and family titans; Bobi, hurt and humiliated, is obliged to leave the school dance after his triumph and the fervent applause from his audience.

This knife... the teacher said and smiled now with fear, with real fear, will commence the Kermesse, do not be afraid, be brave, look how brave Bobi is and he turned towards him, putting the knife between his teeth and as he began to yell, he threw himself down on the steps and screamed furiously, but the people did not jump up nor flee, the people were not afraid. They were applauding (…) (Droguett, 1998, p. 163).

The audience applauded earnestly and its nymphs, blinded by the dance ritual, joined Bobi, the lost son, on the magical path of unity. The forgetting and drunkenness confer Bobi the triumph and the exultation of his dog ways, while the maenads of gallantry participate in the frenzy of his divine transfiguration in this magic space, the abyss that marks his separation from "the others." "When he felt that they called him and heard their applause, he stood up, put on his mask and walked away (…) (Droguett, 1998, p. 161).

We wonder over the meaning of the violence of professor Bonilla toward Bobi's dance with his classmates? Then we return to the Bacchic myth, to Euripides, V century B.C., to these stanzas of The Bacchae(14):

I have heard of new evils in the city that our women have left our houses with feigned dances in the dense forests, surrendering themselves to the vertigo and to the newly arrived god, this Dionysus that I do not know, they celebrate with dances, come to enjoy the bed of a man with the pretext of being ritual Maenads. I will enclose them in iron nets and will make them leave their criminal ritual behind (verses 215-220).

It is the song of Pentheus, son of Echion, correct official, king and guardian of the laws in the city of Thebes, representative of the standard, measure and reason for the oppression of the state against the excesses of nature (Euripides, 2005).

Bobi looked at the patio full of lights and people and felt intimidated, admired that five minutes before it had been him dancing gently around a nice, perfumed, vaporous creature, raising his hands with energy to the rhythm of the dance, moving his masked and fevered face towards the mouth of the inquirer (Droguett, 1998, p. 169).

Bonilla, dark pedagogue with worn clothes, frightened of the seduction exercised by the breathless dances of passion for the triumph of existence and the exuberant feeling of transfiguration –just like Pentheus, king of Thebes– feels bound to destroy this excess and oppose the reason:

The teacher snatched the mask and rose to the applause (…) raised his hand and slapped him and with the other he thrust a knife and the mask jumped like a spring cap and Bobi felt blood run down his cheeks (…) If the music stops, he thought, they will kill me, and he looked at the professor's face watching him like a beast, a murderer, a depraved monster (…) (Droguett, 1998, p. 165).

The mask and the music mark the transformation and the hero's sacrifice, his body tortured and chained lying in a dirty police station; the excess placated by reason represents the end of a unifying path to integrating with nature, in these minor gaps in the urban landscape one can see the icy breeze, the rivers, the hollows, the ravines(15). Bobi would represent the last hope for redemption in a universe fenced in by titans "you are the mysterious carrier of a revolutionary form of human being, much more noble, more loyal (…) if Nature has changed in your body, it has brought you as its emissary, like a very special spy" (Droguett, 1998, p. 248).

After fleeing the police station, Bobi walks along the San Cristobal Hill, the banks of the Mapocho River and the Quinta Normal Park in Santiago. On these trajectories it is impossible to hide nor escape because the image and the form of our city is also our body, inseparable from time and memory "a boat with an enamored couple in the middle of the water, the sleepy or resigned ice cream vendor, the wandering photographer, downright angry and barbaric".

These are our diluted visions, faded postcards converted into our poetic mission to recover in Bobi's pain, time, memory and the images of our destroyed city.

Then Bobi's adventure has not only been a matter of bodies, a lone body that leaves itself and exposes itself to others in the exultation of a particular beauty: his flight becomes a prescient prediction of a new city marked by banality and meaninglessness:

You look at a thin and transparent world, huge tree of paper, filthy, false water, an excellent imitation, water of crumpled paper, paper men and women, paper smiles, paper words that fly away with the coal smoke from the train line, I was never so removed from life as in that afternoon in the Quinta, but it was nice because the dogs walked alongside me (…)(Droguett, 1998, p. 201).

We wonder along with Bobi how removed we will be from real life in the current simulation of a new electrified sociability? Why was Puente Alto the end of our journey where "they don't look at you as if you were the monster that they are? (Droguett, 1998, p. 82). But we understand that this nostalgia was a trap and that in these sacred spaces, salvation is no longer possible, the present has been a conviction, eternal hopeless lucidity. Puente Alto was transformed at the beginning of the 21st century in places of social conflict, alien and hostile to the interpretative codes of urban policies that proposed the green space utopia of 1960. A utopia that ended in 1979 with the pressure of the real estate development sector that pushed for the release of the land markets(16) and eliminated the regulations on urban limits. That situation produced a serious residential segregation, especially in Puente Alto (a recipient selected for the policies of eradication and location of slums and low-income housing together with the highest rates of criminal activity and crowding) together with controversy generated by the 2012 CASEN census findings of 629,861 inhabitants of which 100,000 people live in poverty.

So Bobi joining this pack is our consolation; Friedrich Nietzsche said:

That consolation appears with bodily evidence, like a chorus of satyrs, like a chorus of natural beings, that live, so to speak, inextinguishable behind all civilization and which, despite the coming and going of generations and history, they remain eternally the same " (Nietzsche, 1973, p. 77).

We take away the apparent simulation from Bobi and his eternity of an object that emerges almost hidden among so many words. The flute and the melancholy notes of the Mozart's clarinet concerto, the flute distractedly close to the radio receiver, the flute apparently forgotten and with wrinkled clothes, the flute now wielded triumphantly by Bobi, when his footsteps mark the moist earth that leads him to the pack.

The flute, no. The flute was not there, I went to the patio, I went into the dark street, I looked at the earth and there where his tracks, I bent down to look at them... My God! I yelled with fury as the tears burst from my eyes (Droguett, 1998, p. 31).

Fig. 2. Introduction to Patas de perro by Carlos Droguett. Editorial Zig-Zag S. A., Santiago, 1966.
Source: Memoria Chilena, Biblioteca Nacional de Chile. Available at: www.memoriachilena.cl

 

Notes

1. "Patas de perro" could be translated as "dog feet". Editorial Zig-Zag published the first edition of this novel in Santiago de Chile in 1965.

2. "Matadero" is the Spanish word for slaughterhouse (Trans. note).

3. All quotes from the novel Patas de perro correspond to the first issue published by Pehuén Editores in September 1998 within its "Premios Nacionales de Literatura" Series.

4. The "house for the poor" issue stopped being only a charity matter related to the Catholic Church and the religious people at the Conservative Party since the enactment of the 1906 Workers' Housing Act and the creation of a Superior Council of Workers' Housing. In the mid 20th century, the Chilean State became an active agent in a process that led in 1953 to the Decree in Force of Law Nº 224, that generated later the Chilean General Law for Buildings and Urbanization in order to regulate a scientific development of urban growth. This idea was inspired by new and attractive international urban experiences, such as the Greater London Plan by Patrick Abercrombie (1944) and the utopian city of Brasilia, created by Oscar Niemeyer (1957). This explains the 1960 "Plan Intercomunal para Santiago", which replaced the previous urban plan by Brunner and Humeres.

5. The "Zanjón de la Aguada" is a natural watercourse that runs from East to West through the Southern districts of Santiago. Historically its streambed has been used as wasteland and open sewage; during the second half of the 20th century its banks hosted the first industrial shantytowns in Santiago. The area is currently undergoing major renewal operations (Ed. note).

6. Armando de Ramón (2000) stated that the Brunner-Humeres urban plan supported a spatial segregation based on social classes. According to the document, "the streets and boulevards where luxury residences or chalets surrounded by gardens stand" shouldn't be close to lower-class housing because they could affect negatively the value of the properties. Brunner's skepticism was rooted in the alleged "ignorance of ordinary people": facing the failure of the so called "Law on cheap housing" and due to the lack of resources, these men would end up building "a shack made out of boxes, timber scraps and discarded cans".

7.Iuri Lotman demonstrated in his article On semiosphere (1984) that semiotics is a discipline capable of dealing with the study of complex social life and the relationships between the world and the human being. Regarding textual semiotics, its most distinctive element is the global thesis on the functions of the literary text as cultural sign. Our research focuses on textual cultural signs that –in literature– represent a particular enunciative production and reception orientated to grasp and integrate the understanding of the real world (Favi, 2012).

8. In the article Bicentenario: remodelación urbana. Utopías y anticipaciones para el hombre nuevo, the author Alfonso Raposo Moyano reflects on the notion of "remodeling" and the cormu (Corporación del Mejoramiento Urbano or Urban Improvement Corporation, created in 1965) playing the role of one of the executive offices that, during the '60s, would anticipate the spaces to mark the territories that the new man would build. In this context, production of public space is considered as a social laboratory coming from the public realm created by the political and administrative bureau of the Chilean Christian Democratic government.

9. The "Plan Intercomunal de Desarrollo Urbano pris" (1960) proposed, among other points: I) To reforest low-quality agricultural land where consumption ravaged the woods; II) To implement a "constellated cities" plan, this is, a group of interconnected urban settlements of different size and luminosity; III) Raise the number of leisure areas in valleys, lakes, lagoons and high mountains. Chile, Public Works Office.

10. Both the 1960 pris –that contained certain regional and urban programs for Santiago de Chile– and the 1964 Micro-Regional plan for the Santiago basin –that included the idea of natural landscape regulation in the periphery threatened by urban sprawl– tried to strengthen ecological corridors within central Santiago. Quoting one of the pris sections: "The use of suburban land is regulated in order to promote and boost agricultural production, creating at the same time a greenbelt between urban and suburban areas". These projects are evidence of the relevant experience that the Chilean State, as a planner, implemented to rationalize urbanization, energy and public transportation services. It aimed to human settlements designed to integrate urban form and nature.

11. Due to population growth and the arrival of a large number of rural immigrants, during the '60s there were impressive social movements related to housing. The State reacted, enacting the Law Nº 16.391 that in 1965 created the Housing and Urbanism Office (MINVU), whose mission was to intensify the urban planning efforts. The Housing Corporation (CORVI), originally conceived as a provider of temporary residencies for the people affected by rainstorms, offered intermediate solutions to address the housing crisis.

12. "Under the magic of the Dionysian, not only does the bond between man and man lock itself in place once more, but also nature itself, now matter how alienated, hostile, or subjugated, rejoices again in her festival of reconciliation with her prodigal son, man. The earth freely offers up her gifts, and the beasts of prey from the rocks and the desert approach in peace (…) Now is the slave a free man, now all the stiff, hostile barriers break apart, those things which necessity and arbitrary power or "saucy fashion" have established between men: the slave becomes a free man, the noble and the humble peasant get together and join the same Bacchic chorus". The Birth of Tragedy (Nietzsche, 1973, p. 232).

13. Nymphs, satyrs and centaurs were part of the Bacchic procession; their lethargic dances in the woods traced a magic path that separated them from the rest of humankind but because of the roar of the dancers they, –natural beings– subjugate and reconcile humans and nature. Mother and prodigal son reconcile, the earth offers up her gifts and the beasts of prey approach in peace.

14. Dionysian nymphs are Bacchu's servants and playmates. Euripides dedicated one of his tragedies, The Bachaee, to these crazy, reckless beauties; it was staged in 405 b.C. (Daudi, 1965).

15. Cf: Metamorphoses, Book III. Publius Ovidius Naso (43 b.C.) "Pentheus shouts: What madness has stupefied your minds, children of the serpent, people of Mars? Can the clash of brazen cymbals, pipes of curved horn, and magical tricks be so powerful that men, who were not terrified by drawn swords or blaring trumpets or ranks of sharp spears, are overcome by the shrieks of women, men mad with wine, crowds of obscenities, and empty drumming?" (p. 43).

16. According to the MINVU: "The use of land must be regulated through flexible rules; the demands of market should define those rules". On the other hand, "procedures will be defined and restrictions will be removed in order to allow natural growth of urban areas according to the market trends".

 

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1. Gloria Favi. Spanish Professor, 1971; Master in Literature, 1990 y (c) Doctorate in Literature, Universidad de Chile. Reasearcher in the Deparment of Research and Development of the Universidad de Chile since 2007 and beginning in 2011 formed par t of the editorial committee of the indexed journal Cifra Nueva, edited by the Universidad de Los Andes en Trujillo, Venezuela. She wrote the book Chronicles of Poverty, edited by Bravo & Allende with the sponsorship of the Corporación de Desarrollo de las Ciencias Sociales. She is currently the director of the Asociación Chilena de Semiótica, Professor of Chilean and Latin American Literature in the Universidad del Pacífico and external consultant of the diumce (Departamento de Investigación y Desarrollo de la Universidad Metropolitana de Ciencias de la Educación).

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