Reconstructing a Chicano/a Literary Heritage: Hispanic Colonial Literature of the Southwest

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9780816518838: Reconstructing a Chicano/a Literary Heritage: Hispanic Colonial Literature of the Southwest
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Early literary works written in Spanish in what is today the American Southwest have been largely excluded from the corpus of American literature, yet these documents are the literary antecedents of contemporary Chicano and Chicana writing.This collection of essays establishes the importance of this literary heritage through a critical examination of key texts produced in the Southwest from 1542 to 1848. Drawing on research in the archives of Southwestern libraries and applying contemporary literary theoretical constructs to these centuries-old manuscripts, the authors—all noted scholars in Chicano literature—demonstrate that these works should be recognized as an integral part of American literature.

CONTENTS

Introduction: Reconstructing a Chicano/a Literary Heritage, by María Herrera-Sobek
Part I: Critical Reconstruction
Shipwrecked in the Seas of Signification: Cabeza de Vaca's La Relación and Chicano Literature, by Juan Bruce-Novoa
Discontinuous Continuities: Remapping the Terrain of Spanish Colonial Narrative, by Genaro Padilla
A Franciscan Mission Manual: The Discourse of Power and Social Organization, by Tino Villanueva
The Politics of Theater in Colonial New Mexico: Drama and the Rhetoric of Conquest, by Ramón Gutiérrez
The Comedia de Adán y Eva and Language Acquisition: A Lacanian Hermeneutics of a New Mexican Shepherds' Play, by María Herrera-Sobek
Part II: Sources of Reconstruction
Poetic Discourse in Pérez de Villagrá's Historia de la Nueva México, by Luis Leal
Fray Gerónimo Boscana's Chinigchinich: An Early California Text in Search of a Context, by Francisco A. Lomelí
"¿Y Dónde Estaban las Mujeres?": In Pursuit of an Hispana Literary and Historical Heritage in Colonial New Mexico, 1580-1840, by Tey Diana Rebolledo
Entre Cíbolos Criado: Images of Native Americans in the Popular Culture of Colonial New Mexico, by Enrique Lamadrid

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Language Notes:

Text: English, Spanish

Review:

"Using contemporary literary theory, these Chicano scholars challenge commonly held perceptions of both American literature and contemporary Chicano literature in order to demonstrate a certain continuity with each tradition, both despite and because of cultural ruptures surrounding the production of these texts." —Western American Literature

"It represents a significant deviation from the typical negative views of Chicano literary writers on traditional literary theory. . . . An objective search for these roots [of modern Chicano literature] leads to the discovery of several outstanding contributions by Spanish writers of the colonial period."—Choice

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