In this Book

Disaster Writing
summary

In the aftermath of disaster, literary and other cultural representations of the event can play a role in the renegotiation of political power. In Disaster Writing, Mark D. Anderson analyzes four natural disasters in Latin America that acquired national significance and symbolism through literary mediation: the 1930 cyclone in the Dominican Republic, volcanic eruptions in Central America, the 1985 earthquake in Mexico City, and recurring drought in northeastern Brazil.

Taking a comparative and interdisciplinary approach to the disaster narratives, Anderson explores concepts such as the social construction of risk, landscape as political and cultural geography, vulnerability as the convergence of natural hazard and social marginalization, and the cultural mediation of trauma and loss. He shows how the political and historical contexts suggest a systematic link between natural disaster and cultural politics.

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page, Copyright Page
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Introduction: Approaching Disaster
  2. pp. 1-28
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  1. 1. Disaster and the “New Patria”: Cyclone San Zenón and Trujillo’s Rewriting of the Dominican Republic
  2. pp. 29-55
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  1. 2. Drought and the Literary Construction of Risk in Northeastern Brazil
  2. pp. 56-106
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  1. 3. Volcanic Identities: Explosive Nationalism and the Disastered Subject in Central American Literature
  2. pp. 107-144
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  1. 4. Fault Lines: Mexico’s 1985 Earthquake and the Politics of Narration
  2. pp. 145-190
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  1. Conclusion: On Writing and the Nationalization of Catastrophe
  2. pp. 191-196
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 197-218
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  1. Works Cited
  2. pp. 219-236
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 237-242
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  1. New World Studies
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