Proceed with Caution, When Engaged by Minority Writing in the Americas / Edition 1

Proceed with Caution, When Engaged by Minority Writing in the Americas / Edition 1

by Doris Sommer
     
 

ISBN-10: 0674536606

ISBN-13: 9780674536609

Pub. Date: 08/01/1999

Publisher: Harvard

Let the reader beware. Educated readers naturally feel entitled to know what they're reading--often, if they try hard enough, to know it with the conspiratorial intimacy of a potential partner. This book reminds us that cultural differences may in fact make us targets of a text, not its co-conspirators. Some literature, especially culturally particular or "minority

…  See more details below

Overview

Let the reader beware. Educated readers naturally feel entitled to know what they're reading--often, if they try hard enough, to know it with the conspiratorial intimacy of a potential partner. This book reminds us that cultural differences may in fact make us targets of a text, not its co-conspirators. Some literature, especially culturally particular or "minority" literature, actually uses its differences and distances to redirect our desire for intimacy toward more cautious, respectful engagements. To name these figures of cultural discontinuity--to describe a rhetoric of particularism in the Americas--is the purpose of Proceed with Caution.

In a series of daring forays, from seventeenth-century Inca Garcilaso de la Vega to Julio Cortázar and Mario Vargas Llosa, Doris Sommer shows how ethnically marked texts use enticing and frustrating language games to keep readers engaged with difference: Gloria Estefan's syncopated appeal to solidarity plays on Whitman's undifferentiated ideal; unrequitable seductions echo through Rigoberta Menchú's protestations of secrecy, Toni Morrison's interrupted confession, the rebuffs in a Mexican testimonial novel. In these and other examples, Sommer trains us to notice the signs that affirm a respectful distance as a condition of political fairness and aesthetic effect--warnings that will be audible (and engaging for readings that tolerate difference) once we listen for a rhetoric of particularism.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674536609
Publisher:
Harvard
Publication date:
08/01/1999
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
384
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Advertencia / Warning
1A Rhetoric of Particularism1
Pt. 1The Traps of Translation
2Freely and Equally Yours, Walt Whitman35
3Mosaic and Mestizo: Bilingual Love from Hebreo to Garcilaso61
4Cortez in the Courts92
Pt. 2Taking a Life
5No Secrets for Rigoberta115
6Hot Pursuit and Cold Rewards of Mexicanness138
7Beloved Knows Holocausts beyond Telling160
Pt. 3White Writing on Dark Subjects
8Who Can Tell? Villaverde's Blanks187
9Grammar Trouble for Cortazar211
10About Face: The Talker Turns toward Peru234
Notes273
Acknowledgments353
Index355

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >