Latin American intellectuals have traditionally debated their region’s history, never with so much agreement as in the fiction, commentary, and scholarship of the late twentieth century. Collisions with History shows how “fictional histories” of discovery and conquest, independence and early nationhood, and the recent authoritarian past were purposeful revisionist collisions with received national versions. These collisions occurred only because of El Boom, thus making Latin America’s greatest literary movement a historical phenomenon as well. Frederick M. Nunn discusses the cataclysmic view of history conveyed in Boom novels and examines the thought and self-perception of selected authors whose political activism enhanced the appeal of their works—historical and otherwise: Alejo Carpentier, Carlos Fuentes, Gabriel García Márquez, and Augusto Roa Bastos; Julio Cortázar, Isabel Allende, Mario Vargas Llosa, and Darcy Ribeiro.
Collisions with History demonstrates how their commentary on history, literature, politics, and international affairs reveals a conscious sense of purpose. From between the lines of their nonfiction emerges a consensus that outside forces have defined as well as controlled Latin America’s history.
Professor Nunn also suggests that, with novelists now no longer very interested in colliding with history, it may fall to social scientists to speak for what remains of the region’s past in the New World Order.
Frederick M. Nunn is a visiting professor of history and Latin American studies at the University of Arizona in Tucson. The author and editor of many works on Latin America, he is former vice provost for international affairs at Portland State University. More info →
Save 20% ($21.56)
US and Canada only
Permission to reprint
Permission to photocopy or include in a course pack via Copyright Clearance Center
This book examines the richly textured histories of prophets and prophecies within East Africa. It gives an analytical account of the significantly different forms prophecy has taken over the past century across the country. Each of the chapters takes a new look at the active dialogue between prophets and the communities whom they addressed.
The conquest, colonization, independence, the liberal reforms, the regimes, revolution, and dictatorships, the insurrections and ongoing peace dialogues all are combined in a narrative projecting the most important forces in Guatemalan history from the Mayan period to our own times.
What is the relationship between history and fiction in a place with a contentious past? And of what concern is gender in the telling of stories about that past? Writing Women in Central America explores these questions as it considers key Central American texts. This study analyzes how authors appropriate history to confront the rhetoric of the state, global economic powers, and even dissident groups within their own cultures.
Is Latin America experiencing a resurgence of leftwing governments, or are we seeing a rebirth of national-radical populism? Are the governments of Hugo Chávez, Evo Morales, and Rafael Correa becoming institutionalized as these leaders claim novel models of participatory and direct democracy? Or are they reenacting older traditions that have favored plebiscitary acclamation and clientelist distribution of resources to loyal followers?