At Face Value: Autobiographical Writing in Spanish America

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Overview

This study of Spanish American autobiography from its beginnings in the post-colonial nineteenth century to the present day concentrates mainly on cultural and historical issues. Spanish American autobiographies are fascinating hybrids, often wielding several discourses at once. They aspire to documentary status while unabashedly exalting the self, and dwell on personal experience while purporting to be exercises in historiography, the founding texts of a national archive. Professor Molloy examines a wide range of texts, from Sarmiento's Recuerdos de provincia to Victoria Ocampo's Autobiografia. She analyses their textual strategies, the generic affiliations they claim, their relationship to the European canon and their dialogue with precursor texts, as well as their problematic use of memory and the ideological implications of their repressive tactics. This method enables her to identify perceptions of self and tensions between self and other, thus shedding light on the fluctuating place of the subject within a community.

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Product Details

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments; Introduction; Part I. The Scene of Reading: 1. The reader with the book in his hand; 2. From serf to self: the autobiography of Juan Francisco Manzano; 3. The theatrics of reading: body and book in Victoria Ocampo; Part II. Childhood and Family Tales: 4. Childhood and exile: the Cuban paradise of the Countess of Merlin; 5. A school for life: Miguel Cane's Juvenilia; 6. The search for Utopia: Picón Salas looks forward to the past; 7. A game of cutouts: Norah Lange's Cuadernos de infancia; Part III. Memory, Lineage and Representation: 8. Autobiography as history: a statue for posterity; 9. Shrines and labyrinths: a place to remember; 10. First memories, first myths: Vasconcelos' Ulises criollo; Notes; Bibliography; Index.

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