Hispanic Studies Review, Vol. 1, No. 1, 2016.

Does Julio Swing?: Writing on Jazz and Jazz Writing in Cortázar’s “El Perseguidor”
By Mark Couture, Western Carolina University.
Hispanic Studies Review – Vol. 1, No. 1 (2016): 1-14

“El perseguidor” is a milestone in the trajectory of Julio Cortázar’s prose fiction. With this story, he abandons the concise, uncanny, Poe-inspired style of his earlier works in favor of a more discursive, expansive, jazz-inspired style. “Jazz” refers not to a type of musical composition, but rather to a way of playing any musical composition. There is a critical element to jazz improvisation, a constant counterpoint between expressive creativity and critical commentary. This dyad, I argue, is reflected in the story in the relationship between Bruno, the critic, and Johnny, the artist. There is slippage however, as Bruno’s text strives to be art, albeit an art moderated by Johnny’s explicit and implicit critiques. In “El perseguidor,” Cortázar tries to replicate the highly structured, yet at the same time free nature of jazz improvisation. The question is whether or not he succeeds, or, in jazz parlance, whether the resultant work “swings.”

Robo Sacer: “Bare Life and Cyborg Labor Beyond the Border in Alex Rivera’s Sleep Dealer
By David Dalton, The University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Hispanic Studies Review – Vol. 1, No. 1 (2016): 15-29

Alex Rivera’s Sleep Dealer (2008) uses the backdrop of a dystopian near future to shed light on the ways that transnational flows of labor, technology, and capital become an institutionalized state of exception that dehumanizes the inhabitants of the Global South. Within his world, Mexican laborers use technology to virtually transport their labor to the US, and North American companies use drone warfare to defend their financial interests. Despite the bleak conditions in the film, Rivera also imagines what I call robo sacer resistance. At its core, the robo sacer is a cyborg articulation of Giorgio Agamben’s homo sacer; as such, it is imbued with resistant qualities. As third-world subjects subversively use technology to undermine the prevailing structures of power, they denaturalize the suppositions that have constructed their dehumanized status. The following study tracks the potential, and shortcomings, for robo sacer resistance as represented in Rivera’s film.

Travel, Space, and the Landscape of the Nation in El Buscón
By Tania De Miguel Magro, West Virginia University.
Hispanic Studies Review – Vol. 1, No. 1 (2016): 30-45

Taking as a theoretical base Foucault’s concept of the heterotopia, this article explains how space and geographical mobility are used in El Buscón as extended metaphors for the social and economic changes that were taking place in Spain at the beginning of the 17th century. Pablos’ and Don Diego’s ability, or inability, to occupy certain spaces reveals the anxieties surrounding the success of the crypto-Jew in early modern Spain. The novel follows Pablos’ travels across symbolic Spanish towns and, ultimately, the New World in his attempt to erase his past and climb the social ladder. His movement mimics the disintegration of the medieval order and the emergence of a proto-capitalist nation.

Literary Obstinacy: Violence and the Literary in Cristina Rivera Garza’s La Muerte me Da (2008)
By Sergio Gutiérrez Negrón, Oberlin College.
Hispanic Studies Review – Vol. 1, No. 1 (2016): 46-56

Written to address the contemporary crises of violence and the exhaustion of the symbolic capacities of literature in Mexico, Cristina Rivera Garza’s La muerte me da (2008) puts together a self-effacing narrative that crumbles in its attempt to give words to the reality that it faces. This article offers a close reading of La muerte me da so as to argue that the novel’s reflection on violence and literature operates by recurring to an engagement with, and through, the literary tradition which allows for both a critique of the representational ethics of literature and for an ethics of literature. It goes on to show how this literary investigation recuperates a previous aesthetic and ethical operation from the literary tradition which, when articulated with the contexts of contemporary violence, yield novel ways of thinking this relation.

De las barricadas a las fábricas: Uso instrumental de la mujer y profundización de los roles de género en la iconografía de las izquierdas de la Guerra Civil Española
Por Alba Marcé García, University of California, Davis.
Hispanic Studies Review – Vol. 1, No. 1 (2016): 57-73

Heroínas en la producción, ¿ineficaces en el frente? La Guerra Civil Española permitió que la mujer adaptara una nueva consciencia y función social en la sociedad. El mensaje revolucionario transmitido por el bando republicano y las organizaciones de izquierdas contrasta con las representaciones visuales de izquierdas de la mujer, donde esta se muestra enmarcada en unos roles de género inamovibles. En este trabajo argumento que esta contradicción subyace la continuación y ampliación de unos roles de género consensuados por el gobierno y las organizaciones políticas de izquierdas del momento. El estudio de algunos elementos en carteles y fotografías, como la sexualización de las milicianas o la evolución peyorativa que estas sufrieron, problematizan una temática que no se ha explorado en términos de manipulación iconográfica.

Textual Confrontation in Cajamarca in Pablo Neruda’s Canto general and Jorge Enrique Adoum’s Los Cuadernos de la Tierra
By Jason Pettigrew, Middle Tennessee State University.
Hispanic Studies Review – Vol. 1, No. 1 (2016): 74-89

This study examines how the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, in his Canto general (1950), and the Ecuadorean Jorge Enrique Adoum, in Los cuadernos de la tierra (1963), recreate the famous cultural encounter in Cajamarca, Peru in 1532. Drawing on Gérard Genette’s theories on hypertextuality in Palimpsests and on Hayden White’s ideas about how historiography mirrors the writing of fiction, I explore how these two poets incorporate, adapt, and alter historical discourse in their poetic reimagining of the confrontation. I analyze the authors’ selection and interpretation of events and their characterization of historical figures, such as Francisco Pizarro and Atahualpa, demonstrating that both attempt to raise the historical consciousness of their readers by presenting a counter-hegemonic vision that emphasizes the disastrous consequences of the conquest for native groups.

Fe de Vida de Dulce María Loynaz: Huidizo retrato de un unívoco yo
Por María A. Salgado, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Hispanic Studies Review – Vol. 1, No. 1 (2016): 90-100

En las breves páginas de Fe de vida, Dulce María Loynaz comienza narrando la vida de su marido y termina contando la suya propia. El presente ensayo indaga algunas de las estrategias que la autora emplea para lograr esta inversión, así como el retrato de su conflictiva persona literaria que deja inscrito en el libro.


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