Do the Americas Have a Common Literature?

Do the Americas Have a Common Literature?

Book Pages: 404 Illustrations: Published: October 1990

Literature and Literary Studies > Literary Criticism

This volume takes an important step toward the discovery of a common critical heritage that joins the diverse literatures of North America and Latin America. Traditionally, literary criticism has treated the literature of the Americas as “New World” literature, examining it in relation to its “Old World”—usually European—counterparts. This collection of essays redirects the Eurocentric focus of earlier scholarship and identifies a distinctive pan-American consciousness.
The essays here place the literature of the Americas in a hemispheric context by drawing on approaches derived from various schools of contemporary critical thought—Marxism, feminism, culture studies, semiotics, reception aesthetics, and poststructuralism. As part of their search for a distinctly New World literary idiom, the contributors engage not only the major North American and Spanish American writers, but also such “marginal” or “minor” literatures as Chicano, African American, Brazilian, and Québecois. In identifying areas of agreement and confluence, this work lays the groundwork for finding historical, ideological, and cultural homogeneity in the imaginative writing of the Americas.

Contributors. Lois Parkinson Zamora, David T. Haberly, José David Saldívar, Antonio Benítez-Rojo, José Piedra, Doris Sommer, Enrico Mario Santí, Eduardo González, John Irwin, Wendy B. Faris, René Prieto, Jonathan Monroe, Gustavo Pérez Firmat



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Table of Contents Back to Top
Introduction: Cheek to Cheek 1

The Usable Past: The Idea of History in Modern U.S. And Latin American Fiction / Lois Parkinson Zamora 7

Form and Function in the New World Legend / David T. Haberly 42

The Dialectics of Our America / José David Saldívar 62

The Repeating Island / Antonio Benítez-Rojo 85

Through Blues / José Peidra 107

Plagiarized Authenticity: Sarmiento's Cooper and Others / Doris Sommer 130

The Accidental Tourist: Walt Whitman in Latin America / Enrico Mario Santí 156

American Theriomorphia: The Presence of Mulatez in Cirilo Vallaverde and Beyond / Eduardo González 177

Mysteries We Reread, Mysteries of Reading: Poe, Borges, and the Analytic Detective Story; Also Lacan, Derrida, and Johnson / John T. Irwin 198

Marking Space, Charting Time: Text and Territory in Faulkner's "The Bear" and Carpentier's Los pasos perdidos / Wendy B. Faris 243

In-Fringe: The Role of French Criticism in the Fiction of Nicole Brossard and Severo Sarduy / René Prieto 266

Mischling and Métis: Common and Uncommon Languages in Adrienne Rich and Aimé Césaire / Jonathan Monroe 282

The Strut of the Centipede: José Lezama Lima and New World Exceptionalism / Gustavo Pérez Firmat 316

Notes 333

Index 387

Contributors 393
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Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-1072-3 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-1054-9
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