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Beyond the Caribbean, the Afro Hispanic difference in continental Spanish American literature: Memory, transatlantic journey, slavery, and rebellion in three contemporary Afro Hispanic novels

Rosario Montelongo de Swanson, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Abstract

The main purpose of this dissertation is to understand the emergence of Afro Hispanic American Literature and the causes that delayed its emergence at the end of the twentieth century. I study this process through three novels written in the last decades of the twentieth century as works representative of three national literatures that develop concurrently. These novels are Changó, el gran putas (1983) by Afro-Colombian writer Manuel Zapata Olivella, Jonatás y Manuela (1994) by Afro-Ecuadorian writer Luz Argentina Chiriboga and Malambo (2001) by Afro Peruvian writer Lucía Charún Illescas. The study of these three novels from within their own literary contexts allows for the tracing of national and international developments that made possible the emergence of these minority voices. On the other hand, by placing these texts in a broader historical context allows us to chart a cartography of African roots that although begins in the Caribbean; its horizon expands beyond the Caribbean proper and into the continent. Thus, each novel represents a moment in the African saga in the Americas, a new vision of its history and complex social landscape; and finally a new proposal for the future. Zapata Olivella proposes mestizaje as the ontological base in which Latin American reality was founded and points towards the existence of an African consciousness that is transcontinental. Luz Argentina Chiriboga presents us with the intimate side of history through the tale of two women: Manuela Sáenz and Jonatás, her slave, that represent two sides of the story. Lucía Charún Illescas reconstructs life in Malambo an old slave barracks in colonial Lima and through it unveils hidden worlds in our history. Each novel reconstucts hidden recesses of our history and thus force us to engage in a meaningful dialogue with it and with ourselves.^

Subject Area

Modern literature|Latin American literature|Black studies|Hispanic American studies

Recommended Citation

Swanson, Rosario Montelongo de, "Beyond the Caribbean, the Afro Hispanic difference in continental Spanish American literature: Memory, transatlantic journey, slavery, and rebellion in three contemporary Afro Hispanic novels" (2008). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI3315488.
http://scholarworks.umass.edu/dissertations/AAI3315488

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