A History of Peruvian Literature
Peru, which in this century has produced world-renowned novelists of the stature of Mario Vargas Llosa and José María Arguedas, and poets such as the avant-garde CésarVallejo, possesses a distinctive and varied literary culture of great intrinsic value. Peru's Spanish colonial past connects it to the mainstream of Western literature; but native traditions have survived and continue to flourish, both in Quechua and in Spanish. Attempts to evade the colonial heritage gave rise to a literature which at first was limited to expressing the ethos of Lima's middle classes, but later broadened out to reflect regional values and give a voice to marginal sectors in Peruvian society. A History of Peruvian Literature sets in context and appraises, with ample quotation and analysis, all of the more significant Peruvian writings from the Renaissance onwards. The native tradition, the colonial period and the nineteenth century are the subjects of the first three chapters; then four chapters are devoted to the twentieth century, when Peruvian literary output is astonishing in its range, adventurousness and quality. All Spanish quoted is translated into English, the poetry in James Higgins' excellent verse; full bibliographies are provided for each author discussed.
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THE COLONIAL EXPERIENCE
Poetry in the Colonial Period
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