Current Issue Article Abstracts

Volume 73.1  June 2020


“Esas palabras eléctricas”: Arlt on the Telephone
Sam Carter

The presence of the telephone throughout the work of Roberto Arlt calls for closer examination, for although this sound reproduction technology functions differently in the newspaper writings and novels that made him famous, it always allows this sophisticated media theorist to explore the expanding role of networks in everyday life in early twentieth-century Buenos Aires. Unlike the publics created and catered to by radio or newspapers, the telephone exhibits a unique combination of intimacy and immediacy that depends on a widely available network of wires extending across the city. After tracing some of the history of Argentine telephony and Arlt’s intersections with it, I review a series of aguafuertes in order to reveal how he understands the specificity of the medium as well as how he occasionally attempts to render this textual space a telephonic one. Turning to his novels, I then address his depictions of the telephone network as a key one among the many that, taken together, constituted a constantly changing city. As I argue, attending to the telephone—and its contrasts to the phonograph and radio—complements other scholarly work on Arlt’s engagements with visual media like cinema and photography. Often appearing alongside each other in his works, telephony sharpens print as an instrument of media theory as the latter, whether as novel or newspaper, retains the crucial ability and responsibility to situate the former.

La crónica travesti y la conformación del mercado global en los escritos de la moda de Amado Nervo
Ignacio Corona

Just like other Spanish-American modernista poets, Amado Nervo was a regular practitioner of the chronicle. Evidencing the influence of Manuel Gutiérrez Nájera, Ángel de Campo y Valle “Micrós”, and even Luis G. Urbina, his chronicles alternated with those penned by Rubén Darío in newspapers and magazines across the Spanish-speaking world. And yet, they are the least studied aspect of his oeuvre. Seen through a sociological lens, particularly his chronicles about women’s fashion constitute valuable material to examine cultural processes at work at the turn-of-the century conformation of a peripheral market and the very neocolonial order in the region. Moreover, in their interpellation of a feminine reader, in which these chronicles purportedly perform a transvestite form of journalistic writing, they actually participate in the configuration of both emergent subjectivities held on to the new economic order and to the strictness of gender roles in the nascent local consumer society.

In São Paulo Visible
Adriana M. C. Johnson

This essay reads the collection of documentary short films entitled Bem Vindo a São Paulo (2004) as exemplifying the challenges of producing a latter day city-symphony. If early twentieth century films set out to capture and make sense of modern cities through images and visual practices, many of the different shorts in Bem Vindo a São Paulo suggest instead that global cities like São Paulo can no longer be made intelligible through visual means. In this context, sound – words, music and sound – is brought in to bear the weight that the visual can no longer sustain and serve as the register in which proximity and sense are promised.

Necrofeminismo y redes de indignación en Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda y Emilia Pardo Bazán
Ana Peluffo

In this essay, I explore how Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda and Emilia Pardo Bazán process their traumatic encounters with sexual and gender discrimination within the intimate space of correspondence. Though the two never met in person, they shared the experience of being rejected by the Real Academia Española—Gómez de Avellaneda in 1853, and Pardo Bazán in 1889, 1891 and 1912. Writing to an already dead Gómez de Avellaneda, Pardo Bazán creates what I refer to as a necro-feminist bond: a political alliance between embodied and disembodied subjects fighting against patriarchal biopolitics. By focusing on the affective contours of each woman’s correspondences, I trace the ways in which they respond to the cultural imperative to repress their anger at social injustice while devising oblique forms of communicating their rage through sarcasm and irony. Finally, I argue that these epistolary corpuses act as a counterpoint to the Academia’s misogyny and serve as a productive site for considering non-normative modes of expressing and forming collectivities around traumatic experiences.

Tentativa Artaud and Its Double: Performing Surveillance, Dividing Time
Anna White-Nockleby

The legacy of dictatorial violence in Latin America has called into question the possibility of linear histories, instead demanding a focus on the way the past continues to surface in the present. Yet, as one Chilean performance and its archives reveal, thinking about history spatially as opposed to temporally reveals the way that the future can also inflect meaning in the present. This article traces the history of a building in Santiago that first served as the stage for an anti-dictatorship performance by students at the University of Chile, and was then subsequently taken over as a center for surveillance by Augusto Pinochet’s secret police. Led by philosopher Ronald Kay, this art action, called Tentativa Artaud, emerged from a seminar including artists such as Raúl Zurita, Catalina Parra and Diamela Eltit, who would explore similar performance tactics in their later work. What began as a secretive performance about sound and language in Antonin Artaud’s writing gained subsequent meaning when the same building became the site of violent espionage. This performance, as I will argue, confuses the temporality of past and future by demonstrating that in the context of surveillance, spaces can be charged with meaning that resonates across time.

Review Essay
The Transition Revisited: From Compression to Cuidado
Sebastiaan Faber

“The Transition Revisited: From Compression to Cuidado” REVIEW ESSAY OF: Manuel Artime. España: en busca de un relato;Patricia M. Keller. Ghostly Landscapes: Film, Photography, and the Aesthetics of Haunting in Contemporary Spanish Culture; Germán Labrador Méndez. Culpables por la literatura: imaginación política y contracultura en la transición española (1968-1986); Santiago Morales Rivera. Anatomía del desencanto: humor, ficción y melancolía en España 1976-1998; Luis Moreno-Caballud. Cultures of Anyone: Studies on Cultural Democratization in the Spanish Neoliberal Crisis; Culturas de cualquiera: estudios sobre democratización cultural en la crisis del neoliberalismo español; H. Rosi Song. Lost in Transition: Constructing Memory in Contemporary Spain


Moors Dressed as Moors: Clothing, Social Distinction, and Ethnicity in Early Modern Iberia by Javier Irigoyen-García (review)
Luis F. Bernabé pons

Imagining the Americas in Medici Florence by Lia Markey (review)
Fernando Loffredo

Front Lines: Soldiers Writing in the Early Modern Hispanic World by Miguel Martínez (review)
Mar Martínez Góngora

Entre el humo y la niebla: guerra y cultura en América Latina ed. by Felipe Martínez-Pinzón y Javier Uriarte (review)
Carlos Abreu Mendoza

The Task of the Cleric: Cartography, Translation, and Economics in Thirteenth-Century Iberia by Simone Pinet (review)
Mary Jane Kelley

Incomparable Empires: Modernism and the Translation of Spanish and American Literature by Gayle Rogers (review)
Heather Cleary

Anti-Literature: The Politics and Limits of Representation in Modern Brazil and Argentina by Adam Joseph Shellhorse (review)
Kate Jenckes

The Epic of Juan Latino: Dilemmas of Race and Religion in Renaissance Spain by Elizabeth R. Wright (review)
Susan Byrne