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Missing Pictures and Imagining Loss and Nostalgia
Photographic Ekphrasis in Cuban-American Fiction offers new readings of Cuban-American novels and autobiographies, demonstrating that a focus on photographs (alluded to, analyzed, and/or obsessively recurrent in the narrative discourse) provides fresh insights into these texts. The study introduces the concept of photographic ekphrasis as a reading tool for diasporic literature and argues that visual images are important components of narratives about dislocation, nostalgia, and transcultural experience. Authors treated in depth include Carlos Eire, Cristina García, Oscar Hijuelos, Roberto G. Fernández, Ana Menéndez, Achy Obejas, and Gustavo Pérez Firmat. Missing Pictures offers an original perspective on Cuban-American literature and contributes to the scholarship on ekphrasis and on the interactions between photography and narrative.
Books studying the presence of Spain in American literature, and the possible influence of Spain and its literature on American authors, are still rare. In 1955 appeared a pioneer work in this field – Stanley T. Williams’ The Spanish Background of American Literature. But that book went no further than W.D. Howells’ Familiar Spanish Travels, published in 1913. The Last Good Land covers most of the twentieth century, including such groups as the Lost Generation and African American writers and exiles. It also considers then recent revolution in Spanish cultural and historical thought introduced by Américo Castro, which several American writers discussed in this volume may be said to have anticipated. Recent studies have expanded on Williams’ volumes, but in the majority of cases these works limit their scope to a single period (the nineteenth century, the Spanish Civil War), a movement (predominantly Romanticism) or authors known for their interest in Spain (Irving, Hemingway). The result is often a lack of continuum, or the exclusion of such authors as Saul Bellow, William Gaddis or Richard Wright. Within American literature itself, The Last Good Land contains revisions of traditional interpretations of certain writers, including Hemingway. The variety of authors treated, both in respect to ethnicity and gender, guarantees a varied and global view of Spanish culture by American writers.
In Romanticism and the Anglo-Hispanic Imaginary, the authors assess British Romanticism’s creative and polemical engagements with the Peninsular War, the bid of Spanish American colonies to establish independence with British support, and the impact of travel narratives about Spain and the Americas. The essays analyze questions of language and translation in Anglo-Hispanic literary genealogies, the representation of war and nationalism in poetry, drama, and prose, and the confluence of empire, gender, and authorship in travel narratives. Scholars and students of Romanticism will find in-depth explorations of the relationship between Britain, Spain, and Latin America during the Napoleonic era and its afterlife in cultural memory.
Editor: Cecilia Donohue
This addition to Rodopi Press’s Dialogue Series presents a collection of essays solely dedicated to Woman Hollering Creek (1991), Sandra Cisneros’s groundbreaking collection of short fiction stories and sketches. The emerging and veteran scholars who have contributed to this text approach Cisneros’s work from varied perspectives, including negotiation of geographic and sociocultural borders, popular and material culture, and gender portrayals. Author dialogues, in which the scholars comment upon each other’s research, constitute a unique, innovative feature of this particular volume. This book will be of interest to those engaged in Chicano/a literature and feminist/gender studies, as well as instructors of literary critical analysis.
Passage of Crisis in Chicano Literature
Threshold Time provides an introductory survey of the cultural, social and political history of Mexican American and Chicano literature, as well as new in-depth analyses of a selection of works that between them span a hundred years of this particular branch of American literature. The book begins its explorations of the “passage of crisis” with Maria Amparo Ruiz de Burton’s The Squatter and the Don, continues with Americo Paredes’ George Washington Gómez, Tomás Rivera’s … And the Earth Did Not Devour Him, Richard Rodriguez’s Hunger of Memory, and ends with Helena María Viramontes’ Under the Feet of Jesus and Benjamin Alire Sáenz’ Carry Me Like Water. In order to do justice to the idiosyncrasies of the individual texts and the complexities they embrace, the analyses refer to a number of other texts belonging to the tradition, and draw on a wide range of theoretical approaches. The final chapter of Threshold Time brings the various readings together in a discussion circumscribed by the negotiations of a temporality that is strongly aligned with a sense of memory peculiar to the history of the Chicano presence in the United States of America.
Social and Imaginary Space in Writings by Chicanas
Of interest to informed readers responsive to combined textual and cultural approaches to Chicano/a literature and literature in general, Battleground and Crossroads weaves in various critical and theoretical threads to inquire into the relationship between intimate and public spaces in Chicana literature. Without claiming the borderlands as exclusive of the Chicana/o imagination, this book acknowledges the importance of this metaphor for bringing to view a more intercultural United States, allowing it to become inflected with the particularity of each text. The analyses of Chicana fiction, drama, and autobiography explore the construction of identity through the representation of social space and the transformation of literary space. For discussion of a diacritical territory this volume draws on a interdisciplinary practice that facilitates the journey from the most intimate spaces to the most public spaces of modernity, so that the aesthetic text yields its knowledge of the contingent historical circumstances of its production in material and existential terms. The apparent regionalism and localism of this literature is nothing but a reflection of the relationship between the local and the global, the private and the public, the personal and the political, the aesthetic and the ideological, the subversive and the mainstream. Each text stands by itself while it also reaches out to the sociopolitical imaginary for interpretation through an interdisciplinary methodology that is indispensable to do justice to a politicized aesthetics.
Transcultural Traffic and the U.S. National Imaginary
A welcome addition to the fields of Latino and (trans-)American cultural and literary studies, Latino Dreams focuses on a selection of Latino narratives, published between the mid-1980s and the mid-1990s, that may be said to traffic in the U.S.A.’s attendant myths and governing cultural logics. The selection includes novels by authors who have received little academic attention—Abraham Rodriguez, Achy Obejas, and Benjamin Alire Sáenz—along with underattended texts from more renowned writers—Rosario Ferré, Coco Fusco, and Guillermo Gómez-Peña. Latino Dreams takes a transcultural approach in order to raise questions of subaltern subordination and domination, and the resistant capacities of cultural production. The analysis explores how the selected narratives deploy specific narrative tactics, and a range of literary and other cultural capital, in order to question and reform the U.S.A.’s imaginary coordinates. In these texts, moreover, national imperatives are complicated by recourse to feminist, queer, panethnic, postcolonial, or transnational agendas. Yet the analysis also recognizes instances in which the counter-narrative will is frustrated: the narratives may provide signs of the U.S.A.’s hegemonic resilience in the face of imaginary disavowal.