Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Modern Literature Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Articles 1 - 15 of 15

Full-Text Articles in Modern Literature

The Disembodied Subject: Resistance To Norms Of Hegemonic Identity Construction In Carmen Naranjo’S Diario De Una Multitud, Regan Boxwell Jun 2013

The Disembodied Subject: Resistance To Norms Of Hegemonic Identity Construction In Carmen Naranjo’S Diario De Una Multitud, Regan Boxwell

Studies in 20th & 21st Century Literature

Costa Rica, whose civil war ended in 1948, represents a distinct literary space in which problematics of subjectivity were debated long before such dialectics appeared overtly in the rest of the isthmus. Carmen Naranjo’s novel Diario de una multitud (1974) is situated in this context, and her novel demonstrates a preoccupation with the heterogeneity of tico identity.

Naranjo favors a collective representation of the urban citizenry. Through the perceptual liminality of the individual subject, the friction generated by its absence, the constant blurring that resets the boundaries of specific identities, and the disappearance of the private realm, Naranjo avoids ...


From Epicentros To Fault Lines: Rewriting Central America From The Diaspora, Maritza Cárdenas Jun 2013

From Epicentros To Fault Lines: Rewriting Central America From The Diaspora, Maritza Cárdenas

Studies in 20th & 21st Century Literature

This essay examines how representations from the Central American diaspora rewrite the Central American imaginary. It focuses on the ways EpiCentroAmerica—a poetry collective who view themselves as Central American, but reject a single unifying vision of home by seeing themselves as part of a transregional and transnational community—challenge traditional configurations of Central America(n). This reinscription of the signifier Central America is best exemplified in the work of Salvadoran-American poet Marlon Morales, whose poem “Centroamérica is,” avoids suturing Central America with traditional nationalist geological images of volcanoes and the isthmus, in favor of constructing Central America as an ...


Cultural Transgressions In Omar S. Castañeda’S Remembering To Say ‘Mouth’ Or ‘Face’, Alicia Ivonne Estrada Jun 2013

Cultural Transgressions In Omar S. Castañeda’S Remembering To Say ‘Mouth’ Or ‘Face’, Alicia Ivonne Estrada

Studies in 20th & 21st Century Literature

This study examines the ways Omar S. Castañeda’s Remembering to Say ‘Mouth’ or ‘Face’ (1993) deconstructs national and hyphenated identities. It argues that rooting these short stories within the Popol Wuj’s narrative structure allows for the construction of different historical references and cultural genealogies, which are not solely based on national identities or histories. This is evident in the second section entitled “Crossing the Border,” which blends myths from the Popol Wuj with the characters, contemporary historical contexts in the United States and Guatemala. At the same time, the stories illustrate the protagonists’ multiple displacements, but also their ...


Maurice Echeverría’S Labios: A Disenchanted Story About Lesbians In Guatemala’S Postwar Reality, Yajaira M. Padilla Jun 2013

Maurice Echeverría’S Labios: A Disenchanted Story About Lesbians In Guatemala’S Postwar Reality, Yajaira M. Padilla

Studies in 20th & 21st Century Literature

In the last two decades, lesbian, gay, and queer literary studies have gained significant ground in the broader field of Latin American cultural studies. Within this growing body of critical work, however, the Central American region and its literature have been largely ignored. This article, which focuses on the representation of lesbians and queer desire in the Guatemalan novel Labios (2004) ‘Lips’ by Maurice Echeverría, seeks to contribute to such a lack in Central American perspective. This essay contends, Echeverría’s text, one of a growing number of recent Central American narratives to call attention to and portray gay, lesbian ...


Centroamericanidades: Imaginative Reformulation And New Configurations Of Central Americanness, Arturo Arias Jun 2013

Centroamericanidades: Imaginative Reformulation And New Configurations Of Central Americanness, Arturo Arias

Studies in 20th & 21st Century Literature

The principal question posed in this special issue is: Where is Central America? At a primary level this would appear to be a simple geographical question, even if it were to offer a topology of a qualitatively distinct world…


Centering Panama In Global Modernity: The Search For National Identity And The Imagining Of The Orient In Rogelio Sinán’S “Sin Novedad En Shanghai”, Junyoung Verónica Kim Jun 2013

Centering Panama In Global Modernity: The Search For National Identity And The Imagining Of The Orient In Rogelio Sinán’S “Sin Novedad En Shanghai”, Junyoung Verónica Kim

Studies in 20th & 21st Century Literature

Since its independence from Colombia in 1903 backed by the United States government, which resulted in a treaty that granted the US free rein to build, administer and control what would be known as the Panama Canal, Panama’s quest for modern nationhood has been severely called into question. More often than not it is posited as an artificial state with little organic unity and limited sovereignty: a state that is literally made in the USA. Panamanian intellectuals, such as Rogelio Sinán, responded to these discourses on the Panamanian nation-state by actively constructing a Panamanian national identity, and by calling ...


The Boo Of Viramontes’S Cafe: Retelling Ghost Stories, Central American Representing Social Death, Karina Oliva Alvarado Jun 2013

The Boo Of Viramontes’S Cafe: Retelling Ghost Stories, Central American Representing Social Death, Karina Oliva Alvarado

Studies in 20th & 21st Century Literature

Chicana author Helena María Viramontes’s culturally complex “The Cariboo Cafe,” renders a contemporaneous example of social death in the lives of undocumented migrants. Sociologist Orlando Patterson bases “social death” on the “profound natal alienation of the slave” (38) that once cut off from a past and future, promulgates the slave’s desocialization and depersonalization: systems also at play with undocumented Central American immigrants. While Patterson refers to an overt and systemized economic exploitation of a people, the concept remains relevant to this analysis, though symbolic. It examines a three-fold negation through the representational experiences of undocumented immigration, gender, and ...


Diasporic Reparations: Repairing The Social Imaginaries Of Central America In The Twenty-First Century, Ana Patricia Rodríguez Jun 2013

Diasporic Reparations: Repairing The Social Imaginaries Of Central America In The Twenty-First Century, Ana Patricia Rodríguez

Studies in 20th & 21st Century Literature

Contemporary Central American diasporic writers like Horacio Castellanos Moya, Francisco Goldman, Héctor Tobar, and Marcos McPeek Villatoro, in Senselessness (2008), The Art of Political Murder: Who Killed the Bishop? (2007), The Tattooed Soldier (1998), and the Romilia Chacón detective series, write in response to various forms of violence. They grapple with the image of Central America as a site of unsustainable violence, inhospitable material conditions, and unresolved historical issues that extend into the lives of Central Americans in the United States. The past is not easily dismissed, but lies at the core of transnational Central American subject formation. This essay ...


Central American Enunciations From Us Zones Of Indifference, Or The Sentences Of Coloniality, Oriel María Siu Jun 2013

Central American Enunciations From Us Zones Of Indifference, Or The Sentences Of Coloniality, Oriel María Siu

Studies in 20th & 21st Century Literature

This essay explores Central American diasporic experiences in the US as sites for the continued exertion and reproduction of coloniality. A longstanding matrix of power transgressing all forms of borders and permeating all aspects of life—an irreversible and transgressive disease—coloniality operates so forcefully that it upholds its own survival. In the process, we live its plural incongruity and even extend its most contemptuous signs. Surveying a series of narrative texts produced from within the Central American diaspora in cities like Los Angeles and New York—Roberto Quesada’s Big Banana, Oscar René Benitez’s Inmortales, Hector Tobar’s ...


Claire Legendre’S Portrait Of Hypermodern Society, Michèle A. Schaal Jan 2013

Claire Legendre’S Portrait Of Hypermodern Society, Michèle A. Schaal

Studies in 20th & 21st Century Literature

Theorists from various academic disciplines believe Western society has entered an age of excess and exacerbated modernity: all areas of life are affected by a will to be or do more at an always faster pace. This article focuses on French writer Claire Legendre’s literary translation of hypermodernity, especially in her narratives published over the past decade. First, it examines her portrayal of contemporary individuality, marked by all sorts of excesses and especially by the imperative to make the most of oneself and one’s life. This ideal being in itself excessive, her characters resort to extreme behaviors. However ...


The White Male As Narrative Axis In Mayra Santos-Febres’S Nuestra Señora De La Noche, Helene C. Weldt-Basson Jan 2013

The White Male As Narrative Axis In Mayra Santos-Febres’S Nuestra Señora De La Noche, Helene C. Weldt-Basson

Studies in 20th & 21st Century Literature

Mayra Santos-Febres’s 2006 novel, Nuestra señora de la noche, is based on the life of the Puerto Rican madam, Isabel la Negra, a legendary figure in Puerto Rican culture. Using both Mervin Alleyne’s theory of racial discrimination and Aída Hurtado’s theory of racially-based gender discrimination, which shows how the reactions of white and black females are governed by their relation of dependency on or rejection by the white male, this study illustrates how the character Isabel la Negra evolves as a postmodern, feminist character who opposes racism and gender subordination in Puerto Rico through her role as ...


Reviews Of Recent Publications Jan 2013

Reviews Of Recent Publications

Studies in 20th & 21st Century Literature

Kathyrn Everly. History, Violence, and the Hyperreal: Representing Culture in the Contemporary Spanish Novel by Nina L. Molinaro

Jill Robbins. Crossing Through the Chueca: Lesbian Literary Culture in Queer Madrid by Salvador A. Oropesa

Juan Pablo Dabove. Nightmares of the Lettered City: Banditry and Literature in Latin America 1816-1929 by María Zalduondo

Federico Bonaddio. Federico García Lorca. The Poetics of Self-Consciousness by Carlos Jerez-Farrán

Aníbal González. Love and Politics in the Contemporary Spanish American Novel by Mónica Adriana Agrest


Practices Of The Plantation In La Loma Del Ángel, Lanie Millar Jan 2013

Practices Of The Plantation In La Loma Del Ángel, Lanie Millar

Studies in 20th & 21st Century Literature

Most analyses of Cuban author Reinaldo Arenas’s 1987 La loma del ángel, a parodical rewriting of Cirilo Villaverde’s 1882 classic Cecilia Valdés, focus on the author’s criticism of racial discrimination inherited from Cuba’s slaving society, on an allegorical condemnation of Castro’s post-revolutionary Cuba, or on the author’s creative, carnivalesque use of language. This article argues that an alternative understanding of La loma del ángel demonstrates Arenas’s circular and fatalistic historical vision, in which the exploitive plantation system reappears in different forms through Cuban history. It places La loma del ángel into the context ...


Borgesian Libraries And Librarians In Television Popular Culture, Iana Konstantinova Jan 2013

Borgesian Libraries And Librarians In Television Popular Culture, Iana Konstantinova

Studies in 20th & 21st Century Literature

In the works of Jorge Luis Borges, the library appears frequently as a metaphor representative of life and its secrets. It becomes a metaphysical location, posing questions about the nature of time, life, and the universe itself. The librarian becomes a metaphysical figure, leading the search for answers to life’s questions. This article examines the way in which the Borgesian library metaphor has crossed over from the realm of literature into the realm of popular television. By examining two episodes of the BBC series Doctor Who, the TNT franchise The Librarian, and several episodes of Joss Whedon’s cult ...


“La Cara De Luna De Mi Madre”: Nuria Amat’S Revolution In Poetic Language In “Casa De Verano” (1999), David Richter Jan 2013

“La Cara De Luna De Mi Madre”: Nuria Amat’S Revolution In Poetic Language In “Casa De Verano” (1999), David Richter

Studies in 20th & 21st Century Literature

Nuria Amat’s 1999 short story “Casa de verano” ‘Summer House’ presents the reader with a sensorial collage of unsettling language and violent images that effectively portray domestic abuse and the difficulty of escaping oppressive environments. The Barcelona writer’s text crosses the generic boundaries of narrative and poetry as her discourse flows freely and irrationally by employing a wide variety of charged poetic devices such as metaphor, metonymy, and antithesis. The story focuses on three orphan children who are prohibited from speaking about their subversive bisexual mother, from reading the few remaining books in the summer house, or from ...