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A Recipe for Discourse

Perspectives on Like Water for Chocolate

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Edited by Eric Skipper

Slender and yet panoramic in scope, historical and yet relevant to current-day concerns, Laura Esquivel’s Like Water for Chocolate has provoked from the outset a divergent range of critical opinions. The essays in A Recipe for Discourse: Perspectives on Like Water for Chocolate represent the novel’s problematic nature in their many diverse approaches, perspectives that are certain to awaken in the reader new ways of approaching the text while challenging old ones. This volume’s ‘dialogue’ format, in which essays are grouped thematically, is particularly effective in presenting such a diverse range of viewpoints. The reader will find herein lively discussion on LWFC as it relates to such themes as gastronomy, superstition, mythology, folklore, the Mexican Revolution, magical realism, female identity, alteration, and matriarchy/ patriarchy. It is the editor’s hope that a diverse readership, from undergraduate students to seasoned scholars, will find this volume engaging and enlightening.

Disremembering the Dictatorship

The Politics of Memory in the Spanish Transition to Democracy

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Edited by Joan Ramon Resina

Most accounts of the Spanish transition to democracy have been celebratory exercises at the service of a stabilizing rather than a critical project of far-reaching reform. As one of the essays in this volume puts it, the “pact of oblivion,” which characterized the Spanish transition to democracy, curtailed any serious attempt to address the legacies of authoritarianism that the new democracy inherited from the Franco era. As a result, those legacies pervaded public discourse even in newly created organs of opinion. As another contributor argues, the Transition was based on the erasure of memory and the invention of a new political tradition. On the other hand, memory and its etiolation have been an object of reflection for a number of film directors and fiction writers, who have probed the return of the repressed under spectral conditions.
Above all, this book strives to present memory as a performative exercise of democratic agents and an open field for encounters with different, possibly divergent, and necessarily fragmented recollections. The pact of the Transition could not entirely disguise the naturalization of a society made of winners and losers, nor could it ensure the consolidation of amnesia by political agents and by the tools that create hegemony by shaping opinion. Spanish society is haunted by the specters of a past it has tried to surmount by denying it. It seems unlikely that it can rid itself of its ghosts without in the process undermining the democracy it sought to legitimate through the erasure of memories and the drowning of witnesses' voices in the cacaphony of triumphant modernization.

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Edited by Reindert Dhondt and Dagmar Vandebosch

Transnacionalidad e hibridez en el ensayo hispánico. Un género sin orillas examines how the essay, a privileged genre for the articulation of national identities in Latin America and Spain for decades, is being reconfigured in the present age of globalisation and transnationalisation. The articles included in this volume pay particular attention to the discursive forms and the practices of publishing that question old national categories, without disregarding their relevance.
Starting from some theoretical considerations about the contemporary Latin American essay, the book concentrates especially on three dimensions of transnationalising the essay: the experience of exile, the tensions between the national and the transnational in the redefinition of Hispanic identities, and its relation with the genre’s formal hybridisation, in the work of authors such as Bolaño, Piglia and Vila-Matas.


Transnacionalidad e hibridez en el ensayo hispánico. Un género sin orillas estudia cómo el ensayo, que durante décadas ofreció un foro privilegiado a la articulación de identidades nacionales en Latinoamérica y España, se está reconfigurando en una era de globalización y transnacionalización. Este volumen dedica atención especial a las formas discursivas y los modos de publicación que ponen en entredicho las antiguas categorías nacionales, sin descartar la relevancia de éstas.
Partiendo de unas reflexiones más teóricas sobre el ensayo latinoamericano contemporáneo, el libro se centra en tres dimensiones de transnacionalización, a saber, la experiencia del exilio, las tensiones entre lo nacional y lo transnacional en la redefinición de identidades hispánicas, y la relación con la hibridación formal del género. Se estudian obras de autores como Bolaño, Piglia y Vila-Matas.