Too often literary criticism is academic exercise rather than creative act. For the multifaceted Julio Ortega—respected poet, dramatist, and novelist in his own right—the act of criticism becomes profoundly creative, his incisive readings of the text far transcending the pedantry that may falsely pass for imagination, intelligence, and rigor. Nearly every Spanish-American writer of consequence, from Paz to Fuentes, Cortázar to Lezama Lima, has extolled Ortega’s criticism as not merely a reflection but an essential part of the renaissance that took place in Spanish-American letters during the late twentieth century. Poetics of Change brings together Ortega’s most penetrating and insightful analyses of the fiction of Borges, Fuentes, García Márquez, Carpentier, Rulfo, Cabrera Infante, and others responsible for great writing from Spanish America. Ortega concerns himself most with the semantic innovations of these masters of the modern narrative and their play with form, language, and the traditional boundaries of genre. Mapping their creative territory, he finds that the poetics of Spanish-American writing is that of a dynamically changing genre that has set exploration at its very heart.