The Hemispheric Origins of Mexican American Literature
Publication Year: 2011
Published by: NYU Press
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In a 1976 interview, the poet Alurista, in a moment of uncharacteristic modesty, told Joe Torres that even though “we pose as authors, as writers, none of us is really the absolute, total creator of any of these pieces. I can’t say that I wrote all this . . . these words and these images come from people...
Introduction: Nuevas Fronteras / New Frontiers
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Guillermo Verdecchia’s 1993 play Fronteras Americanas alternates between two characters, Verdecchia and his alter ego, Facundo Morales Segundo, who prefers the “more Saxonical” name Wideload McKennah (24). In the first act, Wideload interrupts Verdecchia’s learned disquisitions on...
PART 1. Imagining the Americas
1. Latinidad Abroad: The Narrative Maps of Sarmiento, Zavala, and Pérez Rosales
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Fearing for his own life after the assassination of many of his political allies, the Mexican politician Lorenzo de Zavala fled Mexico City for the United States late in 1829. Arriving in New Orleans, he traveled northeast through Mississippi, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and eventually...
2. Mexicanidad at Home: Mariano Vallejo’s Chicano Historiography
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Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo, former Mexican military commander of Alta California and, at one time, the region’s wealthiest resident, was, like the travelers in the previous chapter, duly impressed with technologies of U.S. travel, as indicated by the above epigraph from 1869. He also shared...
PART 2. Inhabiting America
3. Racialized Bodies and the Limits of the Abstract: María Mena and Daniel Venegas
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The hemispheric utopia of globally integrated trade imagined by Mariano Vallejo moves, at the turn of the last century, slowly from imagination to reality, with questionable motives and decidedly mixed results. What Mexico gained economically it lost in social cohesion as the Mexican Revolution...
4. More Life in the Skeleton: Caballero and the Teleology of Race
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In 1996 Texas A&M University Press published Jovita González and Eve Raleigh’s Caballero: A Historical Novel, which the two had written sometime around 1937.1 The novel tells the story of the fictional Mexican Mendoza y Soría family and how they deal with the transition to U.S. rule in...
PART 3. American Diasporas
5. Ana Castillo’s “distinct place in the Americas”
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In Chapter 4 I discussed how desire opens a thirdspace in Caballero: a place outside time, history, and nation where Captain Devlin and Luis Gonzaga can be together as artists, and where Susanita and Warrener’s love can hum along with the rhythms of nature. The full potential of that space is...
6. Border Patrol as Global Surveillance: Post-9/11 Chicana/o Detective Fiction
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The peregrinations of Ana Castillo’s characters in the previous chapter illustrate just how much notions of national space and subjects have shifted since the mid-nineteenth century. Writers like Domingo Sarmiento, Lorenzo de Zavala, and Vicente Pérez Rosales traced the emergence of race as...
Conclusion: “. . . Walking in the Dark Forest of the Twenty-First Century”
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That is how, in March 2002, Mexican-born, San Francisco–based performance artist Guillermo Gómez-Peña, in conversation with Lisa Wolford, described what it felt like for him to make art after September 11, 2001 (ethno-techno 282). Parsing the events of the early 2000s one can easily understand...
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About the Author
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Page Count: 256
Publication Year: 2011