Modern Latin American Literature: A Very Short Introduction

Oxford University Press
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This Very Short Introduction chronicles the trends and traditions of modern Latin American literature, arguing that Latin American literature developed as a continent-wide phenomenon, not just an assemblage of national literatures, in moments of political crisis. With the Spanish American War came Modernismo, the end of World War I and the Mexican Revolution produced the avant-garde, and the Cuban Revolution sparked a movement in the novel that came to be known as the Boom. Within this narrative, the author covers all of the major writers of Latin American literature, from Andrés Bello and José María de Heredia, through Borges and García Márquez, to Fernando Vallejo and Roberto Bolaño.
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About the author

Roberto Gonzalez Echevarria is the Sterling Professor of Hispanic and Comparative Literature at Yale University and the author of many books on Spanish, Latin American, and comparative literature. He was awarded the 2010 National Humanities Medal by the President of the United States.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Oxford University Press
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Published on
Jan 13, 2012
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Pages
152
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ISBN
9780199921058
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Literary Collections / Caribbean & Latin American
Literary Criticism / General
Literary Criticism / Reference
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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When Latin American writers burst onto the world literary scene in the now famous "Boom" of the sixties, it seemed as if an entire literature had invented itself over night out of thin air. Not only was the writing extraordinary but its sudden and spectacular appearance itself seemed magical. In fact, Latin American literature has a long and rich tradition that reaches back to the Colonial period and is filled with remarkable writers too little known in the English-speaking world. The short story has been a central part of this tradition, from Fray Bartolome de las Casas' narrative protests against the Spanish Conquistadors' abuses of Indians, to the world renowned Ficciones of Jorge Luis Borges, to the contemporary works of such masters as Carlos Fuentes, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Rosario Ferre, and others. Now, in The Oxford Book of Latin American Short Stories, editor Roberto Gonzalez Echevarria brings together fifty-three stories that span the history of Latin American literature and represent the most dazzling achievements in the form. In his fascinating introduction, Gonzalez Echevarria traces the evolution of the short story in Latin American literature, explaining why the genre has flourished there with such brilliance, and illuminating the various cultural and literary tensions that resolve themselves in "magical realism." The stories themselves exhibit all the inventiveness, the luxuriousness of language, the wild metaphoric leaps and uncanny conjunctions of the ordinary with the fantastic that have given the Latin American short story its distinctive and unforgettable flavor: From the Joycean subtlety of Machado de Assis's "Midnight Mass," to the brutal parable of Julio Ramon Ribeyro's "Featherless Buzzards," to the startling disorientation of Alejo Carpentier's "Journey Back to the Source," (which is told backwards, because a sorcerer has waved his wand and made time flow in reverse), to the haunting reveries of Maria Luisa Bombal's "The Tree." Readers familiar with only the most popular Latin American writers will be delighted to discover many exciting new voices here, including Catalina de Erauso, Ricardo Palma, Rubin Dario, Augusto Roa Bastos, Christina Peri Rossi, along with Borges, Garcia Marquez, Fuentes, Cortazar, Vargas Llosa, and many others. Gonzalez Echevarria also provides brief and extremely helpful headnotes for the each selection, discussing the author's influences, major works, and central themes. Short story lovers will find a wealth of satisfactions here, in terrains both familiar and uncharted. But the unique strength of The Oxford Book of Latin American Short Stories is that it allows us to see the connections between writers from Peru to Puerto Rico and from the sixteenth century to the present--and thus to view in a single, unprecedented volume one of the most diverse and fertile literary landscapes in the world.
From the first amateur leagues of the 1860s to the exploits of Livan and Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez, here is the definitive history of baseball in Cuba. Roberto Gonzalez Echevarria expertly traces the arc of the game, intertwining its heroes and their stories with the politics, music, dance, and literature of the Cuban people. What emerges is more than a story of balls and strikes, but a richly detailed history of Cuba told from the unique cultural perch of the baseball diamond. Filling a void created by Cuba's rejection of bullfighting and Spanish hegemony, baseball quickly became a crucial stitch in the complex social fabric of the island. By the early 1940s Cuba had become major conduit in spreading the game throughout Latin America, and a proving ground for some of the greatest talent in all of baseball, where white major leaguers and Negro League players from the U.S. all competed on the same fields with the cream of Latin talent. Indeed, readers will be introduced to several black ballplayers of Afro-Cuban descent who played in the Major Leagues before Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier once and for all. Often dramatic, and always culturally resonant, Gonzalez Echevarria's narrative expertly lays open the paradox of fierce Cuban independence from the U.S. with Cuba's love for our national pastime. It shows how Fidel Castro cannily associated himself with the sport for patriotic p.r.--and reveals that his supposed baseball talent is purely mythical. Based on extensive primary research and a wealth of interviews, the colorful, often dramatic anecdotes and stories in this distinguished book comprise the most comprehensive history of Cuban baseball yet published and ultimately adds a vital lost chapter to the history of baseball in the U.S.
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