Authored by: John Alba Cutler

The Routledge Companion to Latino/a Literature

Print publication date:  August  2012
Online publication date:  October  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415666060
eBook ISBN: 9780203097199
Adobe ISBN: 9781136221613


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Latino/a literatures are constituted from the formation and collision of nations. Latino/a literary works have historically critiqued US nationalism while expressing other nationalist ideals, and Latino/a literary history can be narrated through the ebb and flow of various nationalist movements in the US and abroad. As just one example, consider the history of Cuban-American literature, which begins with nineteenth-century agitation for the formation of an independent Cuban nation (much of which took place in the US); extends through the years of the early republic, when Cuban political life was overshadowed by US influence via the Platt Amendment; and is dominated after 1959 by the conflicts among US national interests, and the differing nationalisms of Cuban American immigrant communities and the revolutionary Cuban state, conflicts that significantly influence writing by Cuban Americans such as Cristina García and Achy Obejas. It is therefore crucial to any interpretive project relative to Latino/a literatures to understand what a nation is, what nationalism is, and what forms each has taken in Latino/a history, as well as how artists and critics have evaluated nationalism’s limits and potential.

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