Catalogue


Mestizo nations : culture, race, and conformity in Latin American literature /
Juan E. De Castro.
imprint
Tucson : University of Arizona Press, c2002.
description
xvi, 161 p. ; 25 cm.
ISBN
0816521921 (cloth : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Tucson : University of Arizona Press, c2002.
isbn
0816521921 (cloth : alk. paper)
catalogue key
4848429
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [149]-156) and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Juan E. De Castro is Assistant Professor in Comparative Literature at the Colorado School of Mines.
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Reference & Research Book News, May 2003
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
Main Description
Nationality in Latin America has long been entwined with questions of racial identity. Just as American-born colonial elites grounded their struggle for independence from Spain and Portugal in the history of Amerindian resistance, constructions of nationality were based on the notion of the fusion of populations heterogeneous in culture, race, and language. But this rhetorical celebration of difference was framed by a real-life pressure to assimilate into cultures always defined by Iberian American elites. In Mestizo Nations, Juan De Castro explores the construction of nationality in Latin American and Chicano literature and thought during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Focusing on the discourse of mestizaje --which proposes the creation of a homogenous culture out of American Indian, black, and Iberian elements--he examines a selection of texts that represent the entire history and regional landscape of Latin American culture in its Western, indigenous, and neo-African traditions from Independence to the present. Through them, he delineates some of the ambiguities and contradictions that have beset this discourse. Among texts considered are the Indianist novel Iracema by the nineteenth-century Brazilian author Jose de Alencar; the Tradiciones peruanas, Peruvian Ricardo Palma's fictionalizations of national difference; and historical and sociological essays by the Peruvian Marxist Jose Carlos Mariategui and the Brazilian intellectual Gilberto Freyre. And because questions raised by this discourse are equally relevant to postmodern concerns with national and transnational heterogeneity, De Castro also analyzes such recent examples as the Cuban dance band Los Van Van's use of Afrocentric lyrics; Richard Rodriguez's interpretations of North American reality; and points of contact and divergence between Jose Maria Arguedas's novel The Fox from Up Above and the Fox from Down Below and writings of Gloria Anzaldua and Julia Kristeva. By updating the concept of mestizaje as a critical tool for analyzing literary text and cultural trends--incorporating not only race, culture, and nationality but also gender, language, and politics--De Castro shows the implications of this Latin American discursive tradition for current critical debates in cultural and area studies. Mestizo Nations contains important insights for all Latin Americanists as a tool for understanding racial relations and cultural hybridization, creating not only an important commentary on Latin America but also a critique of American life in the age of multiculturalism.
Unpaid Annotation
Focuses on the discourse of mestizaje to explore the construction of nationality in Latin American and Chicano literature and thought.
Main Description
Nationality in Latin America has long been entwined with questions of racial identity. Just as American-born colonial elites grounded their struggle for independence from Spain and Portugal in the history of Amerindian resistance, constructions of nationality were based on the notion of the fusion of populations heterogeneous in culture, race, and language. But this rhetorical celebration of difference was framed by a real-life pressure to assimilate into cultures always defined by Iberian American elites. In Mestizo Nations, Juan De Castro explores the construction of nationality in Latin American and Chicano literature and thought during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Focusing on the discourse of mestizaje-which proposes the creation of a homogenous culture out of American Indian, black, and Iberian elements-he examines a selection of texts that represent the entire history and regional landscape of Latin American culture in its Western, indigenous, and neo-African traditions from Independence to the present. Through them, he delineates some of the ambiguities and contradictions that have beset this discourse. Among texts considered are the Indianist novel Iracema by the nineteenth-century Brazilian author José de Alencar; the Tradiciones peruanas, Peruvian Ricardo Palma's fictionalizations of national difference; and historical and sociological essays by the Peruvian Marxist José Carlos Mariátegui and the Brazilian intellectual Gilberto Freyre. And because questions raised by this discourse are equally relevant to postmodern concerns with national and transnational heterogeneity, De Castro also analyzes such recent examples as the Cuban dance band Los Van Van's use of Afrocentric lyrics; Richard Rodriguez's interpretations of North American reality; and points of contact and divergence between José María Arguedas's novel The Fox from Up Above and the Fox from Down Below and writings of Gloria Anzaldúa and Julia Kristeva. By updating the concept of mestizaje as a critical tool for analyzing literary text and cultural trends-incorporating not only race, culture, and nationality but also gender, language, and politics-De Castro shows the implications of this Latin American discursive tradition for current critical debates in cultural and area studies. Mestizo Nations contains important insights for all Latin Americanists as a tool for understanding racial relations and cultural hybridization, creating not only an important commentary on Latin America but also a critique of American life in the age of multiculturalism.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. xi
The Semantic Space of the Nation: Mestizaje, Hybridity, Transculturation, Borderlandsp. 3
Latin America and the Discourse of Mestizaje: Culture, Race, and Conformityp. 11
Ricardo Palma's Tradiciones peruanas: The Limits of the Discourse of Mestizajep. 27
Jose de Alencar's Iracema: Mestizaje and the Fictional Foundation of Brazilp. 43
Gilberto Freyre's Casa-Grande e Senzala: Mestizaje as a Family Affairp. 55
Jose Carlos Mariategui: Marxist Mestizajep. 73
The Black Song of Los Van Van: Afrocentrism, the Discourse of Mestizaje, and Postrevolutionary Cuban Identityp. 93
Richard Rodriguez in "Borderland": The Relocation of the Discourse of Mestizajep. 101
From Mestizaje to Multiculturalism: On Jose Maria Arguedas, New Mestizas, Demons, and the Uncannyp. 119
Notesp. 129
Works Citedp. 149
Indexp. 157
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