Hispanic Studies Publications

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 10-12-2012



Blood, organs and other tissues for sale: Diamela Eltit's Impuesto a la carne and the afterwards of the neoliberal development in Latin America.

As Marx elaborated in Capital: Volume I at the moment human labour is sold, the subject participates in an ominous plot where she/he becomes a commodity. In a capitalist mode of production, the subject’s alienation from his/her humanity occurs because the individuals can only express labor through a privately-owned system of production in which he/she is an instrument, an object. This dehumanization process submits the subject under the exchange transactions of the market, where labor value is detached from the production process and it becomes abstract. Once in the market as a commodity, the subject's relationship with others changes since the material, political and personal paradigms are transformed. The sale represents in this dilemma, the main exchange activity in which the market circulates commodities and reproduces itself, its market's vascular system. In the Chilenean writer Diamela Eltit's narratives, the body have been represented several times as part of sale transactions, in which it is consumed, manipulated and eventually thrown away as garbage. In Impuesto a la carne (2010) Diamela Eltit uses the image of a hyperbolic sale of human bodies, blood and organs to represent how the neoliberal development in Latin America has radicalized the objectification of the subject and surpasses his/her psychological and physical limits.