Performing Women and Modern Literary Culture in Latin America: Intervening Acts

Hardcover | October 12, 2011

byVicky Unruh

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Women have always been the muses who inspire the creativity of men, but how do women become the creators of art themselves? This was the challenge faced by Latin American women who aspired to write in the 1920s and 1930s. Though women's roles were opening up during this time, women writers were not automatically welcomed by the Latin American literary avant-gardes, whose male members viewed women's participation in tertulias (literary gatherings) and publications as uncommon and even forbidding. How did Latin American women writers, celebrated by male writers as the "New Eve" but distrusted as fellow creators, find their intellectual homes and fashion their artistic missions?

In this innovative book, Vicky Unruh explores how women writers of the vanguard period often gained access to literary life as public performers. Using a novel, interdisciplinary synthesis of performance theory, she shows how Latin American women's work in theatre, poetry declamation, song, dance, oration, witty display, and bold journalistic self-portraiture helped them craft their public personas as writers and shaped their singular forms of analytical thought, cultural critique, and literary style. Concentrating on eleven writers from Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Mexico, Peru, and Venezuela, Unruh demonstrates that, as these women identified themselves as instigators of change rather than as passive muses, they unleashed penetrating critiques of projects for social and artistic modernization in Latin America.

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Women have always been the muses who inspire the creativity of men, but how do women become the creators of art themselves? This was the challenge faced by Latin American women who aspired to write in the 1920s and 1930s. Though women's roles were opening up during this time, women writers were not automatically welcomed by the Latin A...

Vicky Unruh is Professor of Latin American Literary and Cultural Studies at the University of Kansas.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.98 inPublished:October 12, 2011Publisher:University Of Texas PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0292739354

ISBN - 13:9780292739352

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Table of Contents

AbbreviationsAcknowledgmentsIntroduction. The "Fatal Fact" of the New Woman Writer in Latin America, 1920s-1930s Chapter 1. Alfonsina Storni's Misfits: A Critical Refashioning of Poetisa AestheticsChapter 2. Walking Backwards: Victoria Ocampo's Scenes of IntrusionChapter 3. No Place Like Home: Norah Lange's Art of AnatomyChapter 4. Choreography with Words: Nellie Campobello's Search for a Writer's PoseChapter 5. "Dressing and Undressing the Mind": Antonieta Rivas Mercado's Unfinished PerformanceChapter 6. Acts of Literary Privilege in Havana: Mariblanca Sabas Alomá and Ofelia Rodríguez AcostaChapter 7. Ad-libs by the Women of Amauta: Magda Portal and María WiesseChapter 8. A Refusal to Perform: Patrícia Galvão's Spy on the WallNotesReferencesIndex