Current Issue Article Abstracts

Volume 76.1  June 2023 



Materiales para acercar mundos: América en las cartas y fundaciones de Teresa de Jesús
Ana Garriga

Teresa of Avila established her first Discalced Carmelite convent in the city of Avila in 1561, financed by the golden pesos her brother Lorenzo de Cepeda sent her from the Viceroyalty of Peru. Taking this economic dependence as a starting point, this article hopes to unravel the multitasking relationship Teresa established with America. The distant territory did not only become a source of economic relief, but it also became one of the rhetorical and spiritual pillars that would hold the unstable beginnings of Teresa's religious project. Drawing on the study of the letters, relics, and religious imagery exchanged with her brother in Quito, and focusing on the metallurgical lexicon displayed in her visionary rhetoric, as well as on her crucial understanding of the Franciscan missionary tactics, I argue that Teresa of Avila learned to strategically define her relationship with America to authorize her multifaceted spiritual and literary endeavor.

"El oficio de mirar": Regarding the Human-Animal Gaze in Three Texts by Julio Cortázar
Melanie Nicholson

Several of Cortázar's stories feature animals represented in a range from the fully realistic, to the fantastic, to the symbolic or purely imaginary. One of his most widely read stories, "Axolotl," turns on the transmigration of a human consciousness into that of a salamander. This limit situation is predicated on the act of looking, a mutual gaze that ultimately leads to the inexplicable absorption of the human subject into the animal object. Two other lesser-known texts by Cortázar—the early short story "Bestiario" and a later sui generis text called "Paseo entre las jaulas"—likewise develop the trope of the human-animal gaze as a mode of knowledge or understanding, but they do so using a variety of techniques that obviate the kind of fantastical twist we see at the end of "Axolotl." These two texts, whose animal logic is developed discursively and associatively, offer the reader a more psychologically plausible and even intimate glimpse into the potential of the interspecies gaze. Taken together, these three very different works serve to further elucidate Cortázar's insistent grappling with the problematic of self and (animal) other.

A Form for the Masses!: The Brazilian Process of Politicization in Patrícia Galvão's Parque Industrial
María Pape

Patrícia Galvão's Parque Industrial: romance proletário (1933) is a study of the politicization of the masses at the very beginning of Getúlio Vargas's populism. In this piece, I analyze the ways in which the novel intervenes in the incipient getulismo, destabilizing its political logic by negating two of its key elements: nationalism and strong personal leadership. Then, I parse the novel's political counterproposal by examining how it aesthetically works through the ambiguous relationship between the proletariat and the masses. In doing so, I propose that the novel presents us with an aesthetic of the masses that exposes the masses' political nature. Finally, I argue that Parque Industrial's political and aesthetic project displays an essential problem that both the Left and Vargas were facing: how to give political form to the masses.

In the Name of the Basque Mother: The Repackaging of the 1939 Basque Exile in Javier de Isusi's Asylum (2015)
Nagore Sedano

In this article, I examine the rhetoric of gender equity and sexual diversity that guides the repackaging of the 1939 Basque exile in Javier de Isusi's graphic novel Asylum (2015). Seeking to promote solidarity with asylum seekers, the graphic novel weaves together stories of past and present displacement via a teleological approach to the history of the Basque feminism. I draw on Jasbir Puar's theorization of homonationalism to elucidate how Asylum relies on the mutability of nationalistic tropes to refashion the 1939 Basque exile as part of a celebratory women's and gay rights tale of the nation. I argue that Isusi's book bridges past and present by recasting in terms of gender equity and sexual identity what I call the trope of liberatory Basque blood: a lineage of Basque warriors for universal freedom. Through this nationalistic trope, Asylum refashions, and simultaneously conceals, the neocolonial imaginary that shaped the relationship between the Basque Country and Latin America. In doing so, the graphic novel also overlooks heterodox voices within the Basque nationalist exile of 1939 that provided alternatives to the trope of liberatory Basque blood.

Writing for New Literacies: Pío Baroja's Novela Film (1929)
Anna Torres-Cacoullos

This article spotlights an experimental form of early moving-image storytelling by examining the formal novelty and generic creativity of Pío Baroja's novela film. Thus subtitled, his short novel El poeta y la princesa o el Cabaret de la Cotorra Verde (1929) incorporates cinema's narrative strategies and engages cinema's associated print cultural form of the novelized film plot. As a different kind of 'cinematographic novel,' Baroja's novela film launches an inquiry into notions of genre, narration, audience, and medium, revealing a unique insight into the ways in which the modernist novel was being redefined in response to cinema's methodological challenge to traditional modes of writing. Through its exploration of what it means to fuse literature and film—and, hence, its interrogation of what it means to write for a different kind of reading—Baroja's novela film adapts and speaks to an expanding body of cinema-literate readers. As it elicits an enhanced awareness and sophisticated critical attention on the part of a reader-viewer through metafictional disclosing, intertextuality, and parodic content, it may be considered that its formal innovation advances a new manner of intellectualized consumer reading. Ultimately, as a response to entertainment industries such as film and cinema print culture, the novela film rethinks the very notion of what is literature.


Argentine Fin-de-Siècle: Melancholic Decadence and the Rise of the Popular
Alejandra Uslenghi


Polemics, Literature, and Knowledge in Eighteenth-Century Mexico: A New World for the Republic of Letters by José Francisco Robles (review)
Miruna Achim

Ink under the Fingernails: Printing Politics in Nineteenth-Century Mexico by Corinna Zeltsman (review)
Christopher Conway

Iberian Moorings: Al-Andalus, Sefarad, and the Tropes of Exceptionalism by Ross Brann (review)
Maribel Fierro

Mapping the Amazon: Literary Geography After the Rubber Boom by Amanda M. Smith (review)
Charlotte Rogers

Knowing Fictions: Picaresque Reading in the Early Modern Hispanic World by Barbara Fuchs (review)
Jorge Téllez