Catalogue


At face value : autobiographical writing in Spanish America /
Sylvia Molloy.
imprint
Cambridge [England] ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1991.
description
xii, 273 p. ; 24 cm. --
ISBN
0521331951 (hardback)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Cambridge [England] ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1991.
isbn
0521331951 (hardback)
catalogue key
2775503
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 256-266) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1992-04:
Molloy (New York University) shows the ways in which history and cultural forms (family roles, spaces, texts) are used to validate the re-creation of self in autobiographies by Spanish American writers (omitted are texts by politicians and recent "testimonios") of the 19th and 20th centuries. In the first of the book's three chapters, the author studies self-creation through reading: an early scene of reading projects meaning on an entire life, re-created through the cannibalization of literature (Domingo Sarmiento); a serf (Juan Francisco Manzano) achieves his identity through reading and writing, and portrays his self in a text authorized by a cohort of editors that manipulate it in various forms; writing her life through books, Victoria Ocampo differentiates herself through the male canon. In the second chapter, centered on childhood, Molloy portrays Miguel Can'e and Pic'on Salas as curators of a mythic past they want to maintain in the present; however, the Countess of Merlin's lack of authority as a writer (due to her gender) gives her the freedom to narrate the "petite histoire"; and Norah Lange inscribes her difference in a fragmented text marked by the conventions of "ultra'ismo" and surrealism. The third chapter, on memory, deals with autobiography as documented history (Sarmiento), with spaces of communal memory, beginnings (Lucio Mansilla), and first memories as the seed of the self's place in history and writing (Jose Vasconcelos). Brilliant and subtle, showing thoughtful command of autobiographical theory, written with great elegance, and a pleasure to read, this book is an absolute must for anyone interested in Spanish American studies or autobiography in general.-A. G. Loureiro, University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, April 1992
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Description for Bookstore
This is a study of Spanish American autobiography from its beginnings in the post-colonial nineteenth century to the present day. Spanish American autobiographies are shown to be fascinating hybrids, aspiring to documentary status while unabashedly exalting the self, and dwelling on personal experience while purporting to be exercises in historiography.
Main Description
This study of Spanish American autobiography from its beginnings in the post-colonial nineteenth century to the present day concentrates mainly on cultural and historical issues. Spanish American autobiographies are fascinating hybrids, often wielding several discourses at once. They aspire to documentary status while unabashedly exalting the self, and dwell on personal experience while purporting to be exercises in historiography, the founding texts of a national archive. Professor Molloy examines a wide range of texts, from Sarmiento's Recuerdos de provincia to Victoria Ocampo's Autobiografia. She analyses their textual strategies, the generic affiliations they claim, their relationship to the European canon and their dialogue with precursor texts, as well as their problematic use of memory and the ideological implications of their repressive tactics. This method enables her to identify perceptions of self and tensions between self and other, thus shedding light on the fluctuating place of the subject within a community.
Description for Library
This is the first book-length study of Spanish American autobiography to offer an overview of the genre from its beginnings in the post-colonial nineteenth century to the present. It provides readings of a wide range of texts, from Sarmiento's Recuerdos de provincia to Victoria Ocampo's Autobiografia, analysing the textual strategies, generic affiliations, and perceptions of self which inform the genre. In so doing, the book also sheds light on more general questions of the relationship between subject and culture in Spanish America.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments
Introduction
The Scene of Reading
The reader with the book in his hand
From serf to self: the autobiography of Juan Francisco Manzano
The theatrics of reading: body and book in Victoria Ocampo
Childhood and Family Tales
Childhood and exile: the Cuban paradise of the Countess of Merlin
A school for life: Miguel Cane's Juvenilia
The search for Utopia: Pic=n Salas looks forward to the past
A game of cutouts: Norah Lange's Cuadernos de infancia
Memory, Lineage and Representation
Autobiography as history: a statue for posterity
Shrines and labyrinths: a place to remember
First memories, first myths: Vasconcelos' Ulises criollo
Notes
Bibliography
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

This information is provided by a service that aggregates data from review sources and other sources that are often consulted by libraries, and readers. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. It does not warrant that reviews are accurate. As with any review users should approach reviews critically and where deemed necessary should consult multiple review sources. Any concerns or questions about particular reviews should be directed to the reviewer and/or publisher.

  link to old catalogue

Report a problem