The past is present: Mexican historiographic metaliterature Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Chandler, Brian Thomas
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Romance Studies
  • This project explores the influence of the past in four works of contemporary Mexican literature: the novels Madero, el otro (1989) by Ignacio Solares and Noticias del Imperio (1987) by Fernando del Paso; and the plays Entre Villa y una mujer desnuda (1993) by Sabina Berman and La Malinche (2000) by Víctor Hugo Rascón Banda. Drawing on the works of poststructuralists like Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, and Linda Hutcheon, essays by Mexican thinkers such as Carlos Fuentes, and theories of temporality posited by Paul Ricoeur and Jacques Le Goff, I demonstrate that, through the distortion and demythification of historical figures and events, these texts highlight the present-day influence of historical events and individuals beyond the causal characteristics assigned them by traditional historiography. This effect is used to communicate the active manner in which the isolated "past" is engaged with the present. The result is that cause and effect are reversed so that the reader is encouraged to engage in a dialectical process with the consequences of history in the present.
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  • Day, Stuart A.
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  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Open access

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