Aztec Palimpsest: Mexico in the Modern Imagination / Edition 1

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1997 Trade paperback New. No dust jacket as issued. Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. With dust jacket. 224 p. Audience: General/trade.

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Overview


Mexico is more than a country; it is a concept that is the product of a complex network of discourses as disparate as the rhetoric of Chicano nationalism, English-language literature about Mexico, and Mexican tourist propaganda. The idea of "Mexicanness," says Daniel Cooper Alarcón, "has arisen through a process of erasure and superimposition as these discourses have produced contentious and sometimes contradictory descriptions of their subject." By considering Mexicanness as a palimpsest of these competing yet interwoven narratives, Cooper offers a paradigm through which the construction and representation of cultural identity can be studied. He shows how the Chicano myth of Aztlan was constructed upon earlier Mesoamerican myths, discusses representations of Mexico in texts by nineteenth- and twentieth-century writers, and analyzes the content of tourist literature, thereby revealing the economic, social, and political interests that drive the production of Mexicanness today. This original linking of seemingly incongruous discourses corrects the misconception that Mexicanness is produced only by hegemonic groups. Cooper shows how Mexico has been defined and represented, by both Mexicans and non-Mexicans, as more than a political or geographic entity, and he particularly reveals how Mexicanness has been exploited by Mexicans themselves through the promotion of tourism as a form of neocolonialism. Cooper's work is valuable both for identifying attempts to revise and control Mexican myth, history, and culture and for defining the intricate relationship between history, historiography, and cultural nationalism. The Aztec Palimpsest extends existing analyses of Mexicanness into new theoretical realms and provides a fresh perspective on the relationship between the United States and Mexico at a time when these two nations are becoming more intimately linked.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816516568
  • Publisher: University of Arizona Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/1997
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Pt. 1 Chicano Nationalism and Mexicanness
Ch. 1 Toward a New Understanding of Aztlan and Chicano Cultural Identity 3
Pt. 2 English-Language Literature and Mexicanness
Ch. 2 Mexico as Infernal Paradise 39
Ch. 3 "Where Do You Get Your Ideas about Mexico?" 95
Pt. 3 Tourism and Mexicanness
Ch. 4 If a Tree Falls...Tourism and Mexicanness 151
Epilogue 188
Notes 191
Bibliography 207
Index 219
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