Abstract

One of the most persistent questions in today’s literary studies is what combination of cultural and geopolitical structures needs to exist in order to sustain the so-called national literatures. To help answer this question, this article analyzes two transnational novels: Santiago Roncagliolo’s Abril rojo (2006) and Daniel Alarcón’s Lost City Radio (2007). Both novels recreate stories about Sendero Luminoso’s terrorist war and the internal migrations resulting from it. The problems of mobility latent in the two books are relevant to understand complex conceptions of nationalism and emerging transnational identities that inevitably arise from migration and global displacements, whether the dislocation occurs by choice or force. Transnational authors can, indeed, inscribe their works into national narratives by complex strategies of cultural identification and cultural affiliation, such as the memory of the war or the reflection on other migrants that help to exorcise the ghosts of a lost time and space. This article contends that such strategies become expressions of long-distance nationalism allowing for the cultural relocation of the authors—and therefore long-distance nationalism becomes the other side of nostalgia. The former shows not only the idea of a disrupted past, but a painful and hollow present. The intervention of transnational publishing houses is crucial in the edification of long-distance nationalism, for it is in the circulation of the texts that this form of nationalism takes place.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1944-6446
Print ISSN
0034-9593
Pages
pp. 1-16
Launched on MUSE
2016-07-05
Open Access
No
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