Tongue Ties: Logo-Eroticism in Anglo-Hispanic Literature / Edition 1

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"Before it becomes a political, social, or even linguistic issue, bilingualism is a private affair, intimate theater." So writes Gustavo Pérez Firmat in this ground-breaking study of the interweaving of life and languages in a group of bilingual Spanish, Spanish-American and Latino writers. Unravelling the "tongue ties" of such diverse figures as the American philosopher George Santayana, the emigré Spanish poet Pedro Salinas, Spanish American novelists Guillermo Cabrera Infante and María Luisa Bombal, and Latino memoirists Richard Rodriguez and Sandra Cisneros, Pérez Firmat argues that their careers are shaped by a linguistic family romance that involves negotiating between the competing claims and attractions of Spanish and English.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Gustavo Pérez Firmat is the most original, innovative, and scandalous critic of Spanish-language literature writing today. His wit is his method. In this book he delves into his own bilingual anxieties by studying those of others. Tongue Ties will become a classic."—Roberto González Echevarría, Sterling Professor of Hispanic and Comparative Literatures, Yale University, author of The Pride of Havana: A History of Cuban Baseball

"Ever original, ever scintillating, and ever consistent, Pérez Firmat yet again serves up a book that is urbane, playful, probing, and substantive. [This] exuberant text promises the reader as good a time as the author had in writing it."—John W. Kronik, Cornell University

"Gustavo Pérez Firmat is always a joy to read. Turbaning to Tongue Ties: Logo-eroticism in Anglo-Hispanic Writing, I expected to be enlightened and entertained. I was not in the least disappointed. But exceeding even his usual brilliance, in Tongue Ties we find Pérez Firmat at his most virtuoso self, bringing together Spanish, Spanish-American, and US Latino novelists, poets, and memoirists in a heteroglossic investigation of the bilingual, multilingual, and polylingual intricacy of tongues. A meditation on the psychic life and erotic power of our mother tongues, Tongue Ties is a marvelous guide to the unloosening vernaculars of our day."—Ramon Saldivar, Stanford University

"Tongue Ties is an exemplary literary achievement . . . all academics should strive to make their writing as lively as Perez Firmat's" —Comparative Literature Studies

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781403962881
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 10/17/2003
  • Series: New Directions in Latino American Culture
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.84 (w) x 8.44 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Meet the Author

Gustavo Pérez Firmat is the David Feinson Professor of Humanities at Columbia University. His books of cultural and literary criticism include The Cuban Condition (1989), Life on the Hyphen (1994), and Cincuenta Lecciones de Exilio y deSexilio (2000).

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Bilingual Bliss, Bilingual Blues 1
1 Saying Un-English Things in English 23
2 Love in a Foreign Language 45
3 Spanish-Only Body Talk 69
4 Mother's Idiom, Father's Tongue 87
5 Remembering Things Past in Translation 107
6 Spanish Passion, English Peace 123
7 Words That Smell Like Home 139
Epilogue: I'm Cuban - What's Your Excuse? 159
Notes 165
Index 191
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