A Mixe linguist takes as her point of departure the publication of the first novel published by a Maya woman to interrogate the designation of an Indigenous literature. Differentiating between literature as a Western institution and what the Russian linguist, Roman Jakobson, termed a “poetic function,” one that exists in all languages, she argues that the category of Indigenous literature is a thoughtless reduction of diverse linguistic texts that are opposed to Spanish. Pointing out that, in fact, Indigenous literatures in their linguistic diversity and distinctiveness share no common traits or structures to be grouped under such a category, she calls for a rethinking of that designation. Proposing a national literature that is multilingual, she invites institutions that support national literature and award recognitions to do so for all literatures so that a text written in an Indigenous language could compete with one written in Spanish.


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pp. 157-159
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