Current Issue Article Abstracts

Volume 91, Number 1 and 2, WINTER and SPRING 2023 

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Toxicity, Transgenics, and the Flesh of Fiction in Samanta Schweblin
Shannon Dowd

Toxins lurk in the soy fields around a small Argentine town in Samanta Schweblin’s 2014 novel Distancia de rescate. On the surface, Schweblin’s novel appears to use supernatural phenomena to criticize industrial soy production and its use of toxic herbicides. Current criticism, in turn, sees the novel as an extension of the Latin American fantastic, filtered through an ecocritical or Anthropocene lens. However, I argue that Schweblin’s novel, read alongside her short story “Conservas,” portrays a more complex relationship between flesh and the environment. Drawing on the ideas of Maurice Merleau-Ponty, I argue that the chiasm, or crossing over, of flesh mimics the structure of transgenic organisms so that the characters resemble genetically modified soy. I show how Schweblin portrays flesh as reversible, interconnected, and increasingly intoxicated. Following Julia Kristeva and Jacques Derrida, she uses an abject counteraesthetic to blend nature and artifice and to question traditional distinctions between human and environment, subject and object that emerge from Kantian philosophy and continue into the aesthetic tradition of the sublime. In their place, Schweblin suggests an already intoxicated flesh that forms the basis of the categories of subject and object and an abject, toxic sublime, present in flesh and fiction.


Un incunable en el mundo andino: el volumen 3169 de la Biblioteca Nacional de España
Paula Alejandra Martínez-Sagredo

En el presente artículo se realiza el análisis filológico del volumen 3169 de la Biblioteca Nacional de España en el cual se encuentran foliados importantes manuscritos incunables de la cultura andina. En primer lugar, se revisan algunos de los fenómenos textuales que se repiten en los márgenes a lo largo de todo el volumen, proponiendo hipótesis inter-pretativas sobre su aparición y uso. Luego, se reflexiona acerca de las fechas y autoría de los manuscritos, distinguiendo aquellas reales de las que se ha propuesto a partir de datos contextuales con distinto grado de fiabilidad. Finalmente, se discute una hipótesis sobre el proyecto textual del volumen en cuestión.


Illusory Space in Exemplo 11 of Conde Lucanor
Luis F. López González

Magic and necromancy play an essential dramatic role in exemplo 11 of Don Juan Manuel’s celebrated Conde Lucanor. Within magic, scholars have mostly focused on the role that tiempo mágico or magical time plays in the dramatic economy of the story, overlooking the equally important aspect of space within the magical illusion. The representation of space is vague, imprecise, and often contradictory. This study looks at the spaces that divide the real world from the illusory world, arguing that the underground spaces, which Manueline scholarship has accepted as factual, exist only in the Dean of Santiago’s imagination. The magical subterranean loci, this paper concludes, are employed to evoke the local myths of Hercules’s cave and the traditional stories about a family of Ylláns who allegedly practiced necromancy in Toledo, not to represent them as real.


El impacto de la Imjin Waeran en la literatura historiográfica áurea: la cristianización del discurso narrativo
Giuseppe Marino

Las invasiones japonesas de Corea (1592–1598), conocidas como Imjin Waeran, constituyen uno de los conflictos asiáticos que mayor impacto ha tenido en la historia mundial, y, sin embargo, es escaso el interés que estos hechos han despertado entre los investigadores contemporáneos. Por el contrario, los cronistas hispánicos de los siglos XVI y XVII sí supieron apreciar la trascendencia de una guerra que transformó el devenir político de Japón, Corea y China. A partir de la ingente cantidad de información que estas crónicas atesoran sobre este conflicto, el presente artículo analiza el impacto que tuvo en la literatura peninsular cercana a los hechos, y examina las marcas del discurso narrativo europeo. El objetivo primor-dial de la investigación no es otro que proponer un marco interpretativo distinto respecto del que se ha venido planteando acerca de este suceso.


Un orientalismo dentro de otro: la India en la “sabiduría sintética” de José Vasconcelos
Óscar Figueroa

El artículo revisa el papel de las filosofías y religiones de la India en el canon sapiencial defendido por el intelectual mexicano José Vasconcelos. Con ese fin, se propone un análisis retrospectivo invertido, que comienza con el testimonio de obras tardías como Lógica orgánica (1945), Manual de filosofía (1940) e Historia del pensamiento filosófico(1937), hasta llegar finalmente a sus famosos Estudios indostánicos (1921). Esta forma de proceder permite notar la centralidad de la noción de síntesis no solo respecto a la fascinación temprana de Vasconcelos por la India sino asimismo a su posterior desencanto con dicha tradición. Luego, con el apoyo de la indología, se establece exactamente qué India inspiró el ideal vasconcelista de una “sabiduría sintética”, arrojando nueva luz sobre la complejidad de su “orientalismo” conforme al modelo reiterativo de “un orientalismo dentro de otro”. Como epílogo, se subraya la utilidad de la indología en el estudio del orientalismo hispanoamericano en general.


Escrituras de la muerte en la novela de Emilia Pardo Bazán (1879–1899)
María Aboal López

La obra novelística de Emilia Pardo Bazán nos permite un acercamiento a la relación de la sociedad decimonónica con la muerte y a algunos cambios paulatinos que esta experimentó dentro de su representación literaria a lo largo del siglo XIX, cuando se produjo la evolución desde la estética romántica hacia el concepto de “muerte vedada” que se afianzará en el siglo XX.



Queer Exposures: Sexuality and Photography in Roberto Bolaño’s Fiction and Poetry by Ryan Long (review)
Ignacio López-Vicuña


The Melancholy Void: Lyric and Masculinity in the Age of Góngora by Felipe Valencia (review)
María Cristina Quintero


Between Camp and Cursi: Humor and Homosexuality in Contemporary Mexican Narrative by Bisbey and Brandon P (review)
Lawrence La Fountain-Stokes


Violated Frames: Armando Bó and Isabel Sarli’s Sexploits by Victoria Ruétalo (review)
Carlos G. Halaburda


ISSUE 91.2   SPRING 2023


Immersive Critique in Lucrecia Martel's Zama
Liliana Galindo Orrego

Lucrecia Martel's Zama (2017) is the adaptation of the homonymous novel by Antonio di Benedetto, published in 1956. The action takes place in the 18th century, something we know from the novel, and from the representation of the colonial society in the film. The film, however, does not make any clear indication of the date in which the action takes place. Instead, it immerses the spectator in an atmosphere that is both natural and social. This immersion is achieved through sound and its connection with images. This immersion, however, does not entail illusion but is, in fact, intertwined with critical distance. This paper explores the apparent paradox between immersion and critique, paying attention to sound, the creation of a multisensory atmosphere, the composition of the frames, and the geometry of some scenes. This paper ultimately explores the connection between sound, image and power structures. 

El Garcilaso de Luis García Montero en 1991 y la tradición lírica
Albert Lloret

Este artículo plantea una interpretación de «Garcilaso 1991», un poema de Habitaciones separadas (1994) de Luis García Montero, como poética. Dicha interpretación se propone a la luz de las hasta ahora desatendidas relaciones intertextuales que el poema establece con el soneto 33 de Garcilaso de la Vega y en vista de otros textos metaliterarios del autor granadino que son contemporáneos a la creación del poema. Asimismo, se propone observar la poética de García Montero como definitoria del género lírico y de raigambre clásica, en vez de como síntoma de un zeitgeist estético. 


Sowing Wheat and Other Merits: The First "Black Conquistador" of the Mexican Field
Juan Manuel Ramírez Velázquez

Through a close reading of the rhetoric, structure, and context of the Probanza de méritos of Juan Garrido (1538), this article repositions an African-born servant who made himself indispensable to the Mexican Conquest(s). I argue that Garrido developed a hybrid identity that allowed him to live not on the fringe of the Ibero-Atlantic world, but rather as an imperial agent operating at the heart of the expanding empire. Tracing how probanzas deploy rhetoric to engage in individual and collective negotiations with the Crown, demonstrating the bridge from a feudal society to an early modern state, I explore how Garrido may have understood the impact of "race" in his petition and thus reconsider blackness itself in the context of sixteenth-century colonial Mexico. Ultimately, I recast how we understand experiences of Afrodescendants in the conquest of the Americas, and how their own relationship with royal authorities reveals their agency.


The Ottomans Conquer Latin America: The Rise of Turkish Melodramas
Mirna Trauger

This article explores the Turkish telenovela phenomenon that has swept Latin America since 2014 and, more recently, the Hispanic media market in the US. Drawing on media scholar Marwan Kraidy's concept of hybridity, the article examines the processes and conditions that created fertile ground for the enthusiastic reception of dizis, the name by which these series are known in Turkey. The article briefly examines the cross-pollination that is taking place between the Turkish dizi, an already hybrid genre, and the Latin American telenovela. It suggests that these cross-cultural exchanges are fueling a renewal of the Latin American telenovela after years of decline. The article's analysis of the internationally successful melodrama ¿Qué culpa tiene Fatmagul? provides an in-depth example for the discussion. The paper explores the reasons why this telenovela in particular has resonated strongly with audiences all around Latin America.


La transculturación de las representaciones iconográficas en los manuscritos mexicanos: La reproducción del guerrero vencido a través de varios documentos precolombinos y textos coloniales
Brayan Serratos

Pre-Hispanic codices hold an iconographic representation of a defeated warrior, which indicates events of a historical and religious nature and is reflected in steles with highly developed art. The tlacuilos' competent painting techniques showed that it was not easy for Spaniards and mestizo intellectuals to duplicate it and understand it. After Spanish intervention and with the help of the indigenous sages and the tlacuilos, the Spaniards and mestizos barely managed to create another series of analogous documents. Fernando Ortiz's concept of transculturation allows us to trace the transformations and reconfigurations that this image had through eight different manuscripts, not only throughout pre-Hispanic codices, but also among colonial documents. The selected images show the transit of cultures that existed in Mexico, firstly, between indigenous lordships, and later with the arrival of the Spaniards. 


"Entre él y mí grandes cosas pasaron": Secretary– Lord Friendship in Cárcel de amor
Chenyun Li

Medieval male friendship, at the intersection of sociopolitics, rhetoric, and philosophy, is both a habitus of affect and a possibility for unification. In Diego de San Pedro's Cárcel de amor (1483–1492), the bonding between el auctor and Leriano represents an Iberian late-medieval secretary–lord friendship that both constitutes el auctor's persona and persists throughout the story as the only certainty against passionate love, courtly enmity, and injustice. This article studies this friendship from the perspective of "virtue" and "unification," or "becoming one," the two principle dimensions of amiçiçia discussed by fifteenth-century moral philosophers—especially Alfonso Fernández de Madrigal and Ferrán Núñez. It argues that Cárcel incorporates these philosophical thoughts into its narrative-rhetorical design. By reading the paratexts of Cárcel, this article further contends that the pervasiveness of friendship creates a space of boundary-crossing in which the author, el auctor, and Leriano mirror each other and produce a conflated literary subjectivity.


Literatura argentina poscrisis 2001: Nuevos espacios escriturales en Bajo este sol tremendo (2009) de Carlos Busqued
Natalia D'Alessandro

The novel Bajo este sol tremendo (2009) by the Argentine writer Carlos Busqued (Chaco 1970 – Buenos Aires, 2021) seems to take his work on this question to an extreme: How is a space for writing redrawn after a major crisis? In this article, I propose that Bajo este sol tremendo could be read as a response to the perception of national fracture that arises after the 2001 crisis in the Argentine context. Thus, I will analyze certain narrative mechanisms in relation to the spatial that allow us to read Busqued's novel as an example of the search to trace new places from which to enunciate after the crisis. I postulate that this search for new literary spaces emphasizes the closure of the idea of an "Argentine Literature" in the singular, and underlines the emergence of new corpora marked by diversity.



Buying into Change: Mass Consumption, Dictatorship, and Democratization in Franco's Spain, 1939–1982 by Alejandro J. Gómez del Moral (review)
Annabel Martín


Imperial Educación: Race and Republican Motherhood in the Nineteenth-Century Americas by Thomas Genova (review)
Felipe Martínez-Pinzón


Intercolonial Intimacies: Relinking Latin/o America to the Philippines, 1898–1964 by Paula C. Park (review)
Laura J. Torres-Rodríguez


Teoría en tránsito: arqueología de la crítica y la teoría literaria españolas de 1966 a la posdictadura by Max Hidalgo Nácher (review)
Albert Jornet Somoza