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

Hardcover | July 1, 1998

byCarlos J. Alonso

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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 commitmentfueled 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 tracksthis textual dynamic in works from the nineteenth century to the present.

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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 commitmentfueled a rhetorical crisis that followed th...

Carlos J. Alonso is at Emory University.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:240 pages, 9.29 × 6.42 × 1.1 inPublished:July 1, 1998Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195118634

ISBN - 13:9780195118636

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Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgements1. Modernity as Ideal and Curse2. Reading Sarmiento: Once More, With Passion3. Strange Fruit: The Discourse of the Cuban Anti-Slavery Novel4. Oedipus in the Pampas: Lucio Mansilla's 'Una excursion a los indios Ranqueles'5. Death and Resurrections: Horacio Quiroga's Poetics of the Short Story6. The Elementary Structure of Kinship: Vargas Llosa's 'La tia Julia y el escribidor'7. The Closing of the Circle: The End of Modernity in Spanish AmericaEpilogue: They Have Never Been Modern (Either)Bibliography

Editorial Reviews

"Alonso treats the reader to a fruitful, nuanced discussion of what he terms narratives of futurity, national origin, and the indigenous past, arguing persuasively that creole hegemony sought a wide rhetorical space that only narratives which identified the essence of America with the futurecould provide." --World Literature Today