20th Century Latin American Literature

Powerful Essays
20th Century Latin American Literature

Global literatures in English have always played a key role in developing international understanding and appreciation for the social realities and cultural developments beyond Western lifestyles and familiarity. For anthropologists seeking to perceive the social realities of 20th century Latin America, the work of popular authors and novelists of this century is invaluable. Popular authors are the modern mouthpieces of the people and societies who read and love them, and thus, novelists can serve as reliable representatives of the social climate from which they draw material and compose their works.

Writers manipulate dominant languages of Latin America “inherited from rejected colonial powers” to express the content and soul of the people who still live and breathe in these 21 countries of rich heritage and music (Gallagher 1973:1). This collection of countries and peoples has “experienced parallel histories, cultural formations and literary developments”, and because of these “profound” ties, constitutes “a single unit in many senses” (Martinez 1982: 63). Throughout history, “common Iberian patterns were imposed upon men, cultures and nature that encouraged a blending or unifying process, that is, the creation of the community of nations we call Latin America” and today Latin Americans “extend their literature in the world…no longer concerned about whether or not they express America or their representative countries” (Martinez 1982: 64).However, translating literature from one language to another for the benefit of international audiences is a tricky political process, and the history of the evolving Latin American novel testifies to the wild dynamics of language and human identi...

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Martiniez, Jose Luis.

Unity and Diversity. In Latin America in Its Culture, vol. 1: Latin America in its Literature. Cesar Fernández Moreno and Julio Ortega, eds. New York: Holmes & Meier Publishers.

Minta, Stephen

1987 Gabriel García Marquez: Writer of Colombia. London: Jonathan Cape.

Simpkins, Scott.

1995 Sources of Magical Realism/Supplements to Realism in Contemporary Latin American

Literature. In Magical Realism: Theory, History Community. Lois Parkinson Zamora and Wendy B. Faris, eds. Durham: Duke University Press.

Slemon, Stephen.

Magical Realism as Postcolonial Discourse. In Magical Realism: Theory, History

Community. Lois Parkinson Zamora and Wendy B. Faris, eds. Durham: Duke University Press.

Swanson, Phillip, ed.

Introduction: Background to the Boom. In Landmarks in Modern Latin American Fiction. London: Routledge.
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