Critical Passions: Selected Essays

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Jean Franco's work as a pathbreaking theorist, cultural critic, and scholar has helped to define Latin American studies over the last three decades. In the process, Franco has played a crucial role in developing cultural studies in both the English- and Spanish-speaking worlds. Critical Passions is the first volume to gather a wide-ranging selection of Franco's influential essays.

A key participant in all the major debates in Latin American studies--beginning with the "boom" ...

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Overview

Jean Franco's work as a pathbreaking theorist, cultural critic, and scholar has helped to define Latin American studies over the last three decades. In the process, Franco has played a crucial role in developing cultural studies in both the English- and Spanish-speaking worlds. Critical Passions is the first volume to gather a wide-ranging selection of Franco's influential essays.

A key participant in all the major debates in Latin American studies--beginning with the "boom" period of the 1960s and continuing through debates on ideology and discourse, Marxism, mass culture, and postmodernism--Franco is recognized for her feminist critique of Latin American writing. While her principal books are all readily available, Franco's several dozen articles are dispersed in a variety of periodicals in Latin America, Europe, and the United States. Collected for the first time in a single volume, these essays (many of which are considered pioneering and classic) demonstrate Franco's ability to reflect on and judge with equal seriousness all spheres of expression, whether subway graffiti, a fashion manual, a Mexican novel, or an avant-garde haiku.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“A formidable compendium of Franco’s critical thought, attesting to the evolution of a brilliant avant-garde intellectual who has set the pace for serious inquiry in the Latin American field as we know it today. Critical Passions is not simply a tribute to Franco but an urgent recounting of the progression of a field of study that she has helped shape.”—Francine Masiello, author of Between Civilization and Barbarism: Women, Nation, and Literary Culture in Modern Argentina

“Pratt and Newman have done the critical readership an immense service by collecting these far-flung essays by one of our foremost critics. This learned feminist touches upon issues of history and identity, of cultural politics and the study of globality, from a political perspective that remains resolutely focused on social justice.”—Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, author of A Critique of Postcolonial Reason: Toward a History of the Vanishing Present

“The essays collected in this volume reflect the range, innovativeness, theoretical clarity, and analytical power that have made Jean Franco’s work a beacon of light in the study of Latin American culture.”—Susan Kirkpatrick, author of Las Romanticas: Women Writers and Subjectivity in Spain

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Jean Franco is Professor Emerita of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. She is the winner of the 1996 PEN award for lifetime contribution to disseminating Latin American literature in English, and has been recognized by both the Chilean and Venezuelan governments with the Gabriela Mistral Medal and the Andres Bello Medal for advancing literary scholarship on Latin American literature in the United States. Her previous books include Plotting Women: Gender and Representation in Mexico, César Vallejo: The Dialectics of Poetry and Silence, and A Literary History of Spain and Spanish.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: The Committed Critic 1
1 Feminism and the Critique of Authoritarianism
Killing Priests, Nuns, Women, Children (1985) 9
Gender, Death, and Resistance: Facing the Ethical Vacuum (1986) 18
"Manhattan Will Be More Exotic This Fall": The Iconization of Frida Kahlo (1991) 39
Going Public: Reinhabiting the Private (1992) 48
La Malinche: From Gift to Sexual Contract (1992) 66
The Finezas of Sor Juana (1993) 83
From Romance to Refractory Aesthetic (1996) 97
The Mares of the Apocalypse (1996) 109
The Gender Wars (1996) 123
2 Mass and Popular Culture
A Not-So-Romantic Journey: British Travelers to South America, 1818-28 (1979) 133
Narrator, Author, Superstar: Latin American Narrative in the Age of Mass Culture (1981) 147
What's in a Name? Popular Culture Theories and Their Limitations (1982) 169
High-Tech Primitivism: The Representation of Tribal Societies in Feature Films (1993) 181
What's Left of the Intelligentsia? The Uncertain Future of the Printed Word (1994) 196
Globalization and the Crisis of the Popular (1996) 208
Making Differences, Shifting Boundaries (1994) 221
3 Latin American Literature: The Boom and Beyond
Reading Vargas Llosa: Conversation Is Not Dialogue (1971) 233
Lezama Lima in the Paradise of Poetry (1974) 239
The Crisis of the Liberal Imagination and the Utopia of Writing (1976-1977) 259
From Modernization to Resistance: Latin American Literature, 1959-1976 (1978) 285
Dependent Industrialization and Onetti's The Shipyard (1980) 311
The Utopia of a Tired Man: Jorge Luis Borges (1981) 327
Self-Destructing Heroines (1984) 366
Satire and the Dialogues of the Dead: Diachronic Discourse in I the Supreme (1986) 379
Pastiche in Contemporary Latin American Literature (1990) 393
Comic Stripping: Cortazar in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (1997) 405
4 Mexico
Journey to the Land of the Dead: Rulfo's Pedro Paramo (1974) 429
Dominant Ideology and Literature: The Case of Post-Revolutionary Mexico (1976) 447
Women, Fashion, and the Moralists in Early-Nineteenth-Century Mexico (1984) 461
Waiting for a Bourgeoisie: The Formation of the Mexican Intelligentsia in the Age of Independence (1986) 476
Deluded Women (1996) 493
Afterword: The Twilight of the Vanguard and the Rise of Criticism (1994-1995) 503
Biographical Note 517
Index 519
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