Previous Issue Article Abstracts
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December 2015 Vol. 68.2
The Body of the Letter: Vital Force and the Practice of Spanish Medicine in Juan de Cabriada’s Carta Filosofica, Medico-Chymica (1687)
Juan de Cabriada’s Carta filosófica, médico-chymica (1687) is one of the most significant medical treatises of the seventeenth century in Spain. Indeed, Cabriada’s pioneering Carta established a crucial precedent for the production and assimilation of a modernized anatomical epistemology for the Spanish context. One of the key aspects of the Carta that has never been addressed when it comes to its modernity is its underlying vitalist inspiration. This article explores how Cabriada the physician and letter writer raised the question of vital force to open new vistas for the theory and practice of medicine in Spain.
Votre América: Blackness and Pan-Latinism in Les démocraties latines de l’Amérique
This article deconstructs the convergence of race and geopolitics in Francisco García Calderón’s Les démocraties latines de l’Amérique (1912). Focusing on the contours and implications of an ideology of Pan-Latinism, the article explores the Peruvian writer’s attempt to locate “Latinity” in culpable geographies (defined by the presence of indigenous peoples and members of the African diaspora), in order to bolster a cultural imaginary that privileges whiteness and blames blackness for Latin America’s subaltern position on the global stage. Moreover, García Calderón’s racializing strategy exploits imperial antagonisms and ambitions between France, Haiti, Germany, Japan, and the United States, with the objective of enticing the French state to recognize “Latin” America as the saving grace of the Latin race on the verge of the opening of the Panama Canal. This reading poses Latinity as a contradictory anti-imperialist maneuver—predicated on strengthening ties with imperial Europe— and calls into question the efficacy and agency of Latin Americanist thought and projects at the height of US imperialism in the region, as well as the supposed colorblindness of Arielism.
The Dialectics of Irreverence and Commemoration in Roque Dalton’s Un libro rojo para Lenin
I read Roque Dalton’s posthumous work Un libro rojo para Lenin as a model to help us recover the urgency of the revolutionary legacy of the 1960s in Latin American letters. Through Dalton we can learn how to inherit this tradition amidst the triumphant discourses of the end of history, the dawning of globalization, and the need to reinvent the Left after the collapse of real socialist projects. I analyze the concepts of memory, commemoration, legacy, and inheritance understood in the context of Dalton’s irreverent and revolutionary conception of history. In order to inherit Lenin’s thought, Dalton establishes a critical distance from it and consciously recovers the moment in Lenin’s writings about the revolutionary struggle, before Lenin has come to power. This moment of revolutionary potential embodies the utopian spirit that Dalton wishes to “translate” to the Latin American revolution. This legacy that Dalton intends to recover is found in a book that seems to erase the boundaries between the political pamphlet and poetry. This radical project is characteristic of his continued attempt to reconcile the political vanguard with his unflinching commitment to the aesthetic avant-garde. This tension between the aesthetic and political is evident in Dalton’s proposed solution to inheriting Lenin’s legacy in Latin America: along with the work of mourning, we must employ the work of irony. Irony will establish the necessary critical distance to inherit Lenin in a Latin American context.
Subversions of the Sensible: The Poetics of Antropofagia in Brazilian Concrete Poetry
Adam Joseph Shellhorse
In this article, I provide a new reading of Andrade's cannibal that charts its subversive avatars in Brazilian concrete poetry from the 1960s to the present. Shifting the terms of the discussion on the legacy of anthropophagia through a reading of Andrade's poetry, I argue that the critical force of his cannibalistic poetics lies not in identity but in its self-reflexive, multimedial defiance of representational logic. Second, I investigate how the Brazilian concrete poets resuscitate Andrade's poetics to take what they famously called "the participatory leap" into politics during the 1960s. Drawing from a diverse array of multimedial, "anti-literary" poems, I illustrate how the largely misunderstood participatory leap hinges on the ways in which the Brazilian concrete poets "devour the non-poetic" so as to renovate poetry in a public sphere in crisis. I conclude by elucidating the continuity of the anthropophagic preoccupation in concrete poetry as an untimely matter of counter-constructing the present with a reading of Augusto de Campos's iconic poem, "Mercado" (2002).
Extensiones de una política cultural decimonónica: asociaciones vanguardistas y articulaciones de lo popular en la Cataluña populista
This article analyses the configuration of an inclusive and non-polemical cultural field in the avant-garde bourgeois collectives of 1930s’ populist Cataluña. In a context marked by populist conflagration, the essay studies how bourgeois culture is deployed to imagine an appeasing social field. I pay particular attention to the depictions of popular and traditional practices in the artistic initiatives of Catalan civil society. In order to delve into the regional objects that give form to those depictions and initiatives, I put in conversion the cultural scene of 1930s with long-established patterns of cultural and political intervention in the Catalan bourgeoisie. Thus, by exploring the continuities of the region’s nineteenth-century cultural politics in a later context, this study addresses the bourgeois models of socialization and artistic pedagogy that informed the projects of the Catalan avant-garde groups, specially the design of an extended art archive that placed surrealist and experimental practices alongside canonical art tendencies and popular and traditional customs. I focus on two collectives: a group of cultural entrepreneurs that promoted surrealism among the Catalan elite, ADLAN (Amics de l'Art Nou), and a functionalist group of architects that proposed rationalist reforms to allocate the popular masses in the cities, GATCPAC (Grup d'Arquitectes i Tècnics Catalans per al Progrés de l'Arquitectura Contemporània). In both cases, I study how an inclusive artistic archive and a non-polemical cultural field operated as mechanisms of bourgeois cultural intervention that recanted and reconfigured the terms of the antagonistic populist field in the populist scene of 1930s’ Cataluña.
"The Latin American Fin de Siècle Revisited: Expanding the Literary Field and Archive”
Cathy Jrade. Delmira Agustini, Sexual Seduction, and Vampiric Conquest;
Andrew Reynolds. The Spanish American
Crónica Modernista, Temporality, and Material Culture: Modernismo’s Unstoppable Presses.
Maite Conde. Consuming Visions: Cinema, Writing, and Modernity in Rio de Janeiro
Jean Franco. Cruel Modernity (Bruno Bosteels)
Samuel Llano. Whose Spain? Negotiating “Spanish Music” in Paris, 1908-1929 (Rafael Lamas)
Karen Stolley. Domesticating Empire: Enlightenment in Spanish America (Jorge Canizares-Esguerra)
June 2014 Vol. 67.1
Luis H. Castañeda
This article argues that Peruvian writer Luis Loayza’s essay collection El sol de Lima (1974) rewrites the national literary canon of Perú from the ethical perspective of a writer’s devotion to the craft of writing. In his essays, which examine Peruvian authors from colonial times to the twentieth century, Loayza discusses José Carlos Mariátegui’s and Luis Alberto Sánchez’s ideas about Peruvian literature in order to suggest that it has been burdened by a long-lasting and widespread “colonial condition” that can be found at work in modern times and located even in its most prestigious names (Juan de Espinosa Medrano, Ricardo Palma, etc.). Disowning this colonial tradition, Loayza builds a new corpus of writers who, by assuming their literary vocation and an ethics of self-sacrifice, have defeated the sense of being peripheral in certain passages and moments of their work (Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, Abraham Valdelomar, Martín Adán, etc.). This tradition created by Loayza does not rest upon fixed notions such as work and author, but is fragmentary and fleeting in nature. According to El sol de Lima, the Peruvian literary canon is not so much a monumental system of great books as an anthology of brilliant textual instants.
Antonio Gómez L-Quiñones
This essay explains that López-Aranguren’s intellectual relationship with Marxism is quite symptomatic of a whole generation of young but influential fascist figures that eventually evolved towards liberal and reformist positions. Although he never was a Marxist thinker, Aranguren published El marxismo como moral in 1968 as a strategic intervention in some of the cultural and political debates that galvanized the Spanish intellectual life during the last years of Franco’s regime. On one hand, it is evident that this philosopher did not want to lose any relevance among a young generation of (more or less) radicalized university students, writers and activists. Marxism was, in the late 1960s, the theoretical idiom to establish this dialogue. On the other hand, Aranguren did not sympathize with those humanist and existentialist trends of Marxism that had an important moral, behaviorist, operational, revolutionary and individual dimension. According to this thinker, who gained his philosophical prestige in the field of moral philosophy, one had to purge Marxism of its ethical, utopian, and even emotional-psychological aspects in order to embrace a more sober, austere, realist, and limited version of this school of thought. Aranguren found this version in Althusser’s recently and successfully published texts in Paris. However, Aranguren’s approach to Althusser is revealingly idiosyncratic since its function in El marxismo como moral consists in emphasizing a centrist type of political possibilism that could counteract a left-wing, radical Marxism, eager to conceive the end of the dictatorship as a revolutionary opportunity for a voluntarist and collective political subjectivity.
María do Cebreiro Rábade Villar
The aim of this article is to recognise the relations of linguistic, semantic and pragmatic contiguity in a series of poems of the book Herba aquí ou acolá, by the Galician writer Álvaro Cunqueiro. The performance dimension of the poems is based on their link to the judicial declaration—generally built from the self-nomination of the characters. As a result of literary styling, the place of justice in these texts becomes a threshold largely determined by declarative peculiarities pertaining to dramatic monologue. Even though theoretic sources on dramatic monologue have highlighted its character based on a specific place, the places referred to in these texts revolve around a net of transcultural references, deeply affected by the update of the historical-literary and/or mythical past. The series dislocates and transmutes the spatial references, undoing the identity illusion of being rooted to an exclusive space, as well as the linguistic principle of decorum. The linguistic register is, in fact, one of the elements through which Cunqueiro creates a dislocated semantic reference. It is also an eloquent hint at the somewhat liminal position acquired by some bilingual texts/authors.
Isidro J. Rivera
In 1505, Jorge Coci reprinted in Zaragoza Andrés de Li’s Summa de paciencia. Its sole pictorial element is a single, full-page image of Christ as the Man of Sorrows, also known as the Imago pietatis. This essay explores how this image is actualized through the technologies of reading and visualization. Unlike previous studies of Summa de paciencia, this article will study how Andrés de Li incorporated Passion-centered devotional techniques into his treatise on the virtue of Christian Patience. This type of Christocentric spirituality did not play a major role in most medieval treatises on Patience, where the emphasis is traditionally on exemplary sufferance by individuals facing adversity. The distinctiveness of Li’s text resides in its incorporation of Passion-centered techniques within the framework of an exploration of the virtue of Patience. Further, through the medium of print Li and his printer offered laypeople “ways of seeing” their faith through devotional activities focused on the suffering Christ.
This article offers an interpretation of José María Arguedas’s engagement of the politics of the sensory body in his second novel, Los ríos profundos (1958). The article traces how, through unobtrusive moments of narrative description, Arguedas’s narrative voice reconfigures the reader’s sensory body so that she becomes receptive to the rich sensory experiences available through interaction with the purportedly abject: dirt, rot and excrement. I term the alternate sensibility developed through these passages “sensory complexity” and argue that sensory complexity functions as a daring narrative rejoinder to the image of the “dirty Indian,” a stereotype with a strong hold even on those fighting for indigenous rights in 1950s Peru. Arguedas’s positive reimagination of the abject goes beyond reappropriation; in Los ríos profundos, Arguedas connects sensory complexity to Quechua-speaking indigenous culture’s ecological sensibility, its valuing of the full cycle of life including not just the rose in full bloom but also the dirt that nurtures its growth and the insect and bacteria life that enable its decay. In a paradoxical yet important way that sets his work apart from other indigenista authors of the period, Arguedas uses abject representations to value indigenous culture and convey indigenous worldviews within the novel-form.
This article brings into dialogue Manuel Maples Arce’s manifesto “Actual N°-1” (1921) and Salvador Novo’s short narrative piece, El joven: ¡QUE MEXICO! Novela en que no pasa nada (1923), two of the first pieces of vanguard writing in Latin America. Although the two authors belonged to competing Mexican vanguard groups (Maples Arce was an Estridentista and Novo, a Contemporáneo) the article argues that these two early pieces inspired the Estridentistas and Contemporáneos alike; it also explores the similar devices of the two authors. In these early texts Maples Arce and Novo borrow slogans from advertising and politics, voice doubts about state-sponsored modernizing projects, the Mexican revolution and its legacy. Furthermore, both utilize protagonists that are veiled versions of the authors themselves, wandering the streets of Mexico City and pondering the role of the Mexican artist in the wake of the Revolution. Many critics have failed to credit the Estridentistas and the Contemporáneos for their original contributions to Mexican and Latin American literature, criticizing them for parroting tropes from European movements or for failing to relate to their own social and political context. This side-by-side approach to the Estridentistas and Contemporáneos, however, reveals a distinctly Mexican aesthetic that emerged in Mexico between 1921 and 1929, suggesting that a distinctly Mexican vanguard form—the experimental autobiography—emerged in Mexico during the 1920s. Finally, the article proposes that Maple Arce and Novo’s early texts influenced vanguard authors not only in Mexico, but throughout Latin America.
Pedro Meira Monteiro
José M. Del Pino