The Usable Past: The Imagination of History in Recent Fiction of the Americas

The Usable Past: The Imagination of History in Recent Fiction of the Americas

by Lois Parkinson Zamora
     
 

ISBN-10: 0521582539

ISBN-13: 9780521582537

Pub. Date: 08/28/2003

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

How can we know the past? How can we speak of it in literary forms? Why should we want to? Concentrating on the past as both the subject of fiction and as a force for inscribing fiction, The Usable Past traces the ways in which writers self-consciously participate in the construction of an American canon. Successfully linking Latin American and North American fiction,…  See more details below

Overview

How can we know the past? How can we speak of it in literary forms? Why should we want to? Concentrating on the past as both the subject of fiction and as a force for inscribing fiction, The Usable Past traces the ways in which writers self-consciously participate in the construction of an American canon. Successfully linking Latin American and North American fiction, Lois Zamora invokes authors as diverse in origin and manner as Carlos Fuentes and Willa Cather, Jorge Luis Borges and Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Sandra Cisneros and Mario Vargas Llosa to explore issues surrounding colonisation and independence, mestizaje and melting pot, domination and self-determination, and the ambivalence of history in a 'new' world. The Usable Past is an elegant examination of the historical attitudes and literary practices of writers located in American time and space - locations that yield insight into American literary visions and versions of history.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521582537
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
08/28/2003
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
257
Product dimensions:
5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.75(d)

Table of Contents

Preface; Part I. Anxiety of Origins: 1. The Usable Past: History as Idea in the Americas; 2. For the record: novels, newspapers, narration; 3. Ancestral presences: magical romance/magical realism; Part II. Intertextuality and Tradition: 4. Synchronic structures, Mario Vargas Llosa, The Conversation in the Cathedral Julio Cortázar, 62: A Model Kit; 5. Fragmentary fictions; 6. Clichés and community; Comparative conclusions: Baroque new worlds.

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