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2 1 6 WAL 3 5 .1 S u m m e r 2 0 0 0 grandmothers. In the absence of teachers, Red Shirt must teach herself. By pass­ ing this skill on to her daughter, who in turn will pass it on to her daughter, Red Shirt will “reconnect the circle” that binds her female relatives (6). Reconstructing a Chicano/a Literary Heritage: Hispanic Colonial Literature of the Southwest. Edited by Maria Herrera-Sobek. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1998. 248 pages, $17.95. Reviewed by Sandra L. Dahlberg University of Houston-Downtown With its basis in the Hispanic colonial era, the Chicano/a literary tradi­ tion spans five hundred years and is one of the most enduring in the United States. Often, however, too little emphasis is afforded the foundational Hispanic colonial texts due to the ideological dissonance they pose to con­ temporary audiences and because of underlying assumptions that political and linguistic conquests disrupted literary evolution. The nine essays in Maria Herrera-Sobek’s Reconstructing a Chicano/a Literary Heritage: Hispanic Colonial Literature ofthe Southwest demonstrate “the significance, interrelationship, and fundamental ties of colonial writings with contemporary Chicano literature and culture” (xxii). Essays in this book argue that the Southwest is defined by its mestizaje (racial and cultural mixture) bom of the Hispanic colonial expe­ rience, and the essayists provide frameworks by which to understand this Hispanic colonial past, this mestizaje, and the ways that this past interacts with contemporary southwestern cultures. Divided into two sections, Reconstructinga Chicano/a Literary Heritage delin­ eates methodologies for textual reconstruction and offers critical approaches to Hispanic colonial works. Juan Bruce-Novoa examines alterity in Chicano cul­ tural identity against analyses of Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca’s cultural bifurca­ tion presented in La Relación. Genaro Padilla tackles “Discontinuous Continuities” by analyzing colonial autobiographical modes that asserted “topo­ graphic identity” and post-1836 and -1848 narratives that legitimized a rhetoric privileging a “remembered, or imagined, colonial presence” which together informed the development of Chicano autobiography (29). Tey Diana Rebolledo reassesses the “symbolic literary role” of colonial women by positing the centrality of women’s oral traditions to the formation of Chicano/a literary tropes and themes. Ramón Gutiérrez and Enrique R. Lamadrid explore the influ­ ence ofcolonial-era popular theater on enduring southwestern cultural practices. Lamadrid focuses particularly on the development of the noble/ignoble savage dichotomy through such plays as Los Comanches and Moros y Cristianos (Moors and Christians), as well as indita (little Indian) ballads. Applying Lacanian theory to the Comedia de Adán y Eva (Drama ofAdam and Eve), Herrera-Sobek reinterprets the Edenic myth drama by identifying lan­ guage acquisition as the desire for a self-conscious, God-like existence that pre­ B o o k R e v ie w s 2 1 7 cipitated the Fall. Francisco A. Lomeli and Tino Villanueva examine the ways that nanatives by Franciscan missionaries complicated imperial edicts to pro­ múlgate religious and colonialist ideologies intended to acculturate Native peo­ ples. The mestizaje is particularly evident in Luis Leal’s compelling analysis of Gaspar Pérez de Villagrá’s epic poem Historiade laNueva México (History ofNew Mexico). Leal demonstrates the ways that Villagrá recounted Aztec oral tradi­ tions and detailed the conquest ofNew Mexico while utilizing the “arms and let­ ters” theme and poetic conventions typical of European Renaissance literature. Herrera-Sobek’s collection masterfully repositions Fiispanic colonial texts both in the Chicano/a literary tradition as well as positing that these Hispanic colonial works produced the prototypes for many western American literary genres and archetypes, including the vaquero, rodeo, and the theatrical produc­ tion of western experience. This book is necessary reading for all those inter­ ested in the western colonial era and the development of western American literature and culture. The Man from the Creeks. By Robert Kroetsch. Toronto: Random House of Canada, 1998. 307 pages, Can. $32.00. Reviewed by Rand Marshall U tah State University, Logan In The Man from the Creeks, award-winning Canadian poet and novelist Robert Kroetsch has crafted a time-machine; the year is 1897 on the pitching decks of the Delta Queen, a rusting...


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