Cultural representations of contemporary Mexican drug culture: Dark humour and irony in relation to the abject

Brigitte Adriaensen


Ever since Felipe Calderón declared the war on drugs at the beginning of his presidency in 2006, violence has drastically permeated Mexican society. In this paper, I will focus on the different uses of dark humour and irony in the representation of the mutilated and abject body in contemporary Mexican culture, especially in literature. Therefore, I will take into consideration the Mexican tradition of humoristic approaches to death, which might seek a cathartic effect in dealing with violence and trauma. I will also link some grotesque representations of violence to the influence of “nouvelle violence” cinema, related to the films of Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodríguez in the 1990s. I will show how irony is introduced as a critical tool that questions our consumption of violence as distant readers or spectators of the scene of crime.



dark humour, irony, narconovela, violence, memory

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