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Textual Confrontations

Comparative Readings in Latin American Literature

In this masterful experiment in truly comparative literary criticism, Alfred J. Mac Adam establishes Latin America’s place in the Western literary tradition. By juxtaposing Latin American and Anglo-American texts, he shows how Latin American literature has gone beyond the context of Hispanic letters to borrow from, exploit, and finally extend the Western tradition.

Mac Adam describes the changes that have taken place in Latin American literature since the time of Modernismo (roughly 1880-1920), when Spanish American writers tried to update their literary language by imitating foreign, mostly French, literature. Since then, as he demonstrates, Latin American writing has achieved a pioneering status by means of a different kind of imitation—parody—whereby it gives back to the former centers of Western culture their own writing, now distorted and reshaped into something new.

211 pages | 5.25 x 8.00 | © 1987

Latin American Studies

Table of Contents

Introduction: Comparative Literature and Latin American Literature
1. Auden, Neruda, and Spain in 1937: Genre and Historical Moment
2. Countries of the Mind: Literary Space in Joseph Conrad and José Donoso
3. The Novel of Persecution: From William Godwin to Reinaldo Arenas
4. Lewis Carroll and Jorge Luis Borges: Mock Epic as Autobiography
5. Epic Adumbrations: Carlyle, Hardy, da Cunha, and Vargas Llosa

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