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It is considered a modern version of an epic poem. Even though the merits of the text are frequently recognized by scholars specializing in Southern Cone literature or in Latin American Romanticism, there is a very limited bibliography on this canonical text. The poem narrates their struggle to escape and return back to the city.
Jean Franco- Historia de la literatura hispanoamericana —goes beyond the traditional reading of this text as a nationalist proposal on the future of Argentina and focuses instead on the particular characteristics of what she calls the Latin American Romanticism.
In Europe , Romanticism was a urban intellectual movement. Therefore, the desire to abandon civilization, or the constraints of a civilized and urban society to go back to nature, is a common topic. Latin American Romanticism goes against this utopian vision of nature and explores the hostile forces of an animal and natural world that becomes an obstacle for the civilizing projects of early Latin American states.
The Romantics were more interested in acknowledging the existence of an American Spanish, instead of preserving a standard Spanish. Can we explain this difference by examining the narrating or producing subjectivity of this narratives in a colonial or early Ibero-American context? Captivity not only suggests that the jurisdiction of a society can be thwarted and its borders penetrated; it also encodes the racial tensions at work in a frontier society.
Frederick compares Latin American captivity narratives with North American ones, and she points out that in the last ones there are more texts written by captive women themselves, and this authorship shift creates a difference on the way rape, miscegenation and physical violence are portrayed.
So one question that can come out of all these readings is if gender can be one of the categories that will allow a comparative study of Iberian and Anglo American narratives of captivity. Susana Rotker, Cautivas. On the other hand, it is historically known that Indians preferred to capture women rather than men, so the whole narrative proposed in this poem subverts most of the historical accounts. Finally, the poem avoids representing the body of the captive woman as that very real frontier in which the nation is defined.
Rotker proposes that it is precisely in those misreadings, and not in the formal poetic innovations, that this poem becomes the foundation of a national literature, as it defines the internal and external limits against which the homogeneous project of the nation is defined.
I would like to suggest three possible approaches to this text that could be productive from a comparative perspective. That ideal representation of race relations contrasts with the racial imaginary in the Anglo culture, that strongly rejects miscegenation, and tends to define race through hard binary oppositions.
How does gender reconfigure racial and political discourses? How does the intersection of gender and captivity rearticulate a colonial or postcolonial discourse? For example, in the case of Latin America , it was during the XIXth century, and specifically as a part of the nationalist discourses produced by some of the leading intellectual figures of Romanticism, that colonial literature was rescued and redefined as the origin of national literatures.
Therefore, the colonial period became the equivalent to the Middle Ages, and some of the texts produced in that period were seen as the local epics of the emerging Latin American nations. It would be interesting to explore this historical development of cultural discourses, and of literature as a practice and as a discipline of study, and to compare it to the Anglo and European case, using this poem as a Latin American example. Altamirano, Carlos and Breatriz Sarlo. Ensayos argentinos.
De Sarmiento a la vanguardia. Bennett, Herman L. Durham , N. Slavery and Its Legacies. Research Triangle Park , N.
Franco, Jean. Historia de la literatura hispanoamericana. Barcelona : Ariel, Frederick, Bonnie. Gruesz, Kirsten Silva. Louis ] Amerindian Images and the Legacy of Columbus. Minneapolis : University of Minnesota Press, Hispanic Issues 4. Minneapolis : The Prisma Institute, Kuznesof, Elizabeth Anne. Lagmanovich, David. Chasqui 8.
Masiello, Francine. Between Civilization and Barbarism. Nebraska : University of Nebraska Press, Mayo, Carlos A.
Fuentes para la historia de la frontera: declaraciones de cautivos. Mar del Plata : Universidad de Mar del Plata , Pratt, Mary Loiuse. Imperial Eyes. Travel Writing and Transculturation. New York and Londres: Routledge, Quintero Herencia, Juan Carlos. Rotker, Susana. Olvidos y memoria en la Argentina. Sommer, Doris. Foundational Fictions.
The National Romances of Latin America. Berkeley : University of California Press, Young, Robert J. Colonial Desire. Hybridity in Theory, Culture and Race. London and New York : Routledge, Recent studies: Jean Franco- Historia de la literatura hispanoamericana —goes beyond the traditional reading of this text as a nationalist proposal on the future of Argentina and focuses instead on the particular characteristics of what she calls the Latin American Romanticism.
Useful bibliography: Altamirano, Carlos and Breatriz Sarlo.
He was one of Latin America's most important Romantic authors. He became one of the movement's promoters once he returned to Argentina. This institution aspired to develop a national literature responsive to the country's social and physical reality. He remained in Uruguay until his death in His remains are said to be buried at Buceo Cemetery. It is mostly significant because it displays the perceived clash between "civilization and barbarism", that is, between the European and the "primitive and violent" American ways. Domingo Faustino Sarmiento , another great Argentine writer and thinker, saw this clash as the core of Latin American culture.