The Burden of Modernity: The Rhetoric of Cultural Discourse in Spanish America

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Oxford University Press, 1998 - Literary Criticism - 227 pages
This book offers a provocative interpretation of cultural discourse in Spanish America. Alonso argues that Spanish American cultural production constituted itself through commitment to what he calls the "narrative of futurity," that is, the uncompromising adoption of modernity. This commitment fueled a rhetorical crisis that followed the embracing of discourses regarded as "modern" in historical and economic circumstance that are themselves the negation of modernity. Through fresh readings of texts by Sarmiento, Mansilla, Quiroga, Vargos Llosa, Garcia Marquez, and others, Alonso tracks this textual dynamic in works from the nineteenth century to the present.
 

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Contents

Chapter 1 Modernity as Ideal and Curse
3
Once More with Passion
50
The Discourse of the Cuban Antislavery Novel
66
Lucio Mansillas Una excursión a los indios Ranqueles
84
Horacio Quirogas Poetics of the Short Story
108
Vargas Llosas La tía Julia y el escribidor
128
The End of Modernity in Spanish America
152
They Have Never Been Modern Either
172
Notes
179
Bibliography
211
Index
225
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About the author (1998)

Carlos J. Alonso is at Emory University.

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