Working Papers in Romance Languages


The protagonist of Sergio Chejfec's 1999 novel Los Planetas (known only by the initial S.), claims to have made the decision to become a writer only because of the disappearance of his friend from adolescence (known by the initial M.) who he declares was much more apt than he at telling stories. The stories, says S., "took on ample and diffuse subjects … that came to him from who knows where, acquiring a new dimension through his voice" (104). S. the writer, by contrast, is uncomfortable with his own voice, and with "[his] inclination towards the replacement, the substitute." In other words, S. is torn between the desire for conserving and the fear of converting, and of symbolizing...