Tag Archives: literature

Confidences in La Lagunilla Market: Tracing the Untold Story of Female Magazines in Mid-Century Mexico

Posted by Alejandra Vela- PhD Student at Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Literatures, NYU

Mexican Miracle was the name given to the years that extend from 1940 to 1970 in Mexican recent history. Years of development, industry and a strong economy, Mexico was in a moment of unprecedented growth. Within this growth and restructuring of the country, the role of women was gradually modified: she went from being the selfless mother, housewife, concentrated in domestic work, to, as early as the early seventies, the working woman, the informed student, reader of feminist texts that came from France, the United States, or Spain. In the middle of this story there are many key moments. In the late forties the University City was inaugurated, which would allow a greater number of students (among them many women) to get in the country’s “máxima casa de estudios”; in 1955, Mexican women exercised the right to vote for the first time, and in the 1960s the contraceptive pill began to be commercialized. The journals, specifically addressed to women, published throughout these decades constitute a great barometer for measuring these changes.

Precisely because these are limited editorial and textual spaces (a literary genre dedicated to a specific gender), they allow us to delve into the ways in which not only the publishers, but also the subjects who consumed these cultural products were negotiating their presence and permanence in the public domain. This was the scenario before which I decided to embark on the search for these magazines, rarely preserved by their fragility and tendency to disappear, but also largely ignored for being considered frivolous, banal, “cursis”, women’s things that have no literary or academic value.

Continue reading

De la palabra escrita a la palabra hablada

Una primera aproximación a la poesía dominicana reciente

Adalber Salas Hernández, PhD Candidate at the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, NYU

Proviniendo de un contexto hispanoparlante, el deseo de estudiar la poesía escrita en español en el Caribe no siempre implica una tarea sencilla. Especialmente si uno ha decidido estudiar el trabajo de poetas jóvenes, que han publicado un libro o quizás dos, y cuya difusión suele ser impar –salvo en contados, interesantísimos casos. El asunto se complica un poco más cuando se trata de la poesía dominicana: los espacios de circulación de sus autores no consagrados no siempre son fáciles de hallar. No obstante, en cuestión de días uno se encuentra con un trabajo poético vivo, múltiple, que crece devorando horizontes.

Tratándose de mi investigación, la poesía dominicana reciente es la practicada por autores nacidos a partir de 1970. Un límite arbitrario, sin duda, pero sumamente útil. En este sentido, mi primer contacto en República Dominicana fue Frank Báez. Poeta, cronista, narrador, traductor y editor, junto a Giselle Rodríguez Cid, de la revista Ping Pong, Frank es además miembro del colectivo multidisciplinario El Hombrecito –donde también se encuentra el excelente poeta Homero Pumarol–, el cual fusiona de modo muy interesante poesía y música (en su canal de YouTube pueden escucharse canciones individuales, discos enteros y hasta alguna grabación en vivo). Su quehacer lo coloca en una suerte de encrucijada: es uno de los nervios principales de la nueva poesía del país –no solamente como uno de sus practicantes más reconocidos, sino también como difusor. Gracias a su inestimable ayuda, he podido conocer dos de los principales trabajos antológicos realizados en este campo: el número especial dedicado por la revista Punto de Partida, de la UNAM, a la poesía dominicana actual (No. 171, enero-febrero de 2012) y la muestra Presencias reales, publicada en la propia revista Ping Pong, en el 2011. A través de estos trabajos antológicos, he podido conocer la obra de poetas como Ariadna Vásquez Germán, Alejandro González Luna, Rossalinna Benjamín o Luis Reynaldo Pérez: escrituras ágiles, con brío, muy diferentes entre sí, que sumé de inmediato a las que ya formaban parte de mi investigación.

En la poesía dominicana reciente, la palabra escrita mantiene un vínculo singular con la palabra hablada: siempre una está a punto de convertirse en la otra. La letra vive al borde de la voz. Cabe recordar aquí el trabajo de la poeta y performer dominicana Josefina Báez, el cual, si bien no cae en los límites de mi investigación, es necesario leer –y escuchar, y ver–, pues resulta fascinante. Y cabe también recordar que, aparte de El Hombrecito, la figura de Rita Indiana: mejor conocida por su música (Rita Indiana y Los Misterios) y por su producción narrativa, también encontré en ella una poeta de singular potencia. En esta primera aproximación, un hecho se destaca de buenas a primeras: en la poesía reciente de República Dominicana, la palabra tiene un pasaje permanente de ida y vuelta para viajar de la escritura al habla.

La Memoria Circundante o La Magdalena de Proust es el Picante de Pollo: Tres Semanas en Cochabamba, Bolivia.

Posted by Guillermo Severiche – MFA Student at Creative Writing in Spanish at NYU

19657358_10159097971850171_8052250488422476688_n

Poco antes de llegar a Cochabamba releía la frase de Por el camino de Swann en donde el narrador sumerge su magdalena en el té y el recuerdo de pronto lo invade. Allí entiende que del pasado antiguo – una vez todo muerto y derrumbado – lo que más subsiste son los olores y sabores. Allí esperan, dice, aguardan entre las ruinas salvaguardando la memoria incólume de las personas pasadas que han dejado de ser, de los momentos matutinos que quizás significaron más de lo que pensábamos. Al aterrizar en Cochabamba tuve la sensación de un retorno ajeno. Al principio pensé que había algo familiar en todo esto, que volvía a la casa que hacía poco había vuelto a abandonar. Al día siguiente y durante las próximas tres semanas, fueron muchos los indicios que me permitieron entender que los recuerdos persisten en zonas geográficas ajenas para uno pero cercanas a aquellos del pasado; que es posible recordar cosas desconocidas porque significaron la vida diaria de los seres que de alguna u otra forma nos definieron. Un plato de sopa, un pedazo de pan, algunos modos de habla y entonaciones de voz, me trajeron a la memoria cosas de mis abuelos que llevaron consigo al emigrar hacia la Argentina como modos cotidianos de vida y que han permanecido a mi alrededor más allá de su muerte.

Continue reading

CLACS Welcomes Chilean Author José Ignacio Valenzuela in First U.S. Book Tour Presenting ‘Trilogía del Malamor y Malaluna’

trilogia-del-malamor-2

The Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS) in collaboration with the Embassy of Chile proudly invites you to join author José Ignacio Valenzuela in his first U.S. tour presenting Trilogy Malamor and its prequel Malaluna on Monday, September 26th at the KJCC Auditorium.

Trilogía del Malamor is a wildly successful trilogy by José Ignacio Valenzuela and is considered the first fantasy series of Latin America. Composed of the books “Hasta el fin del mundo”, “La raíz del mal” and “El árbol de la vida,” this wonderful series full of adventure, romance, enigmas and suspense delights and surprises readers with endearing characters and an unexpected ending. Set in the small mysterious town of Almahue, meaning “place of phantoms” in the Mapuche language, at the edge of the cold sea of Patagonia, it is a place where magic and fantasy abounds and where the desire to love can kill.

Malaluna is a prequel to the series released at the end of last year. Since its release it has captivated fans and new readers by recounting the previous and unknown story of the characters that give life to the Malamor saga. Valenzuela recently sold the film rights to the trilogy, so a film version of this magical story is pending.

José Ignacio Valenzuela has a vast career as an author and screenwriter for film and television in Chile, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the United States. He has published a number of novels and short fiction, and has also served as professor and instructor of creative writing.

CLACS has also invited Ángeles Donoso Macaya, Associate Professor at Borough of Manhattan Community College and expert in contemporary Latin American literature, and Chilean author Carlos Labbé. The panelists will discuss the writing of the trilogy, its reception in Latin America, the upcoming films, and more generally, the development of contemporary young adult literature in the region.

The books of the Malamor trilogy will be on sale at the event. The event will be held in Spanish and it is free and open to the public.

Please join CLACS and the Embassy of Chile in celebrating Chilean literature and José Ignacio Valenzuela’s work by joining us on September 26 at 6:30 p.m. at the KJCC Auditorium.

 

Chronicle of an Omission Foretold: The Place of Concrete Poetry in the History of Digital Literature

Visual Poetry pieces by Augusto de Campos

Video Poetry works by Augusto de Campos exhibited during July in São Paulo

Milton Laufer, PhD Student at the Spanish and Portuguese Department.

As a PhD Student in the Spanish and Portuguese Department, my research focuses on the development in Latin America of what is known as digital literature. By this I mean a particular way of thinking about texts which is not constrained by the bounds of the device called “book”, which lays in between many other disciplines, like the visual arts, video art, and computer games. This involves not only a new paradigm, or at least a broader paradigm, in our way of conceptualizing literature, but also a meaningful political dimension, a democratization, in the sense of how cultural goods circulate—including but not limited to the Internet—and, most importantly, how they are produced: in the same fashion espoused by the avant-garde movements, in digital literature the boundaries between the producer and the consumer are blurred, calling into question not only ontological concepts like creator, art-work, and reader, but also legal ideas that have traveled a long and undisputed path, like intellectual property. Though the first two works of digital literature date back to the 1950s (Strachey, 1952 and Lutz, 1959), it was only during the past decade that a field of scholarship focused on this literary form began to emerge. In this time, digital literature has become a vital object of inquiry, not only because its trajectory is difficult to anticipate, but also—and more importantly—because it sheds light on our understanding of literary production in a broader sense.

Continue reading

Farewell 2014-2015 CLACS Cohort

Yesterday the CLACS 2014-2015 cohort presented their final projects of the Masters’ program. With the guidance and support of the Faculty, the students presented on a vast array of disciplines, from anthropology and journalism to literature and museology, providing an innovative look at topics related to Latin American and Caribbean Studies with impressive depth. Their research covered topics such as Quechua linguistics, gentrification in Ecuador, hipster culture in Cuba, the Palestinian migrant experience in Honduras, Afro-Mexican identity, diasporic Guatemalan literature, Chinese commerce in indigenous territories in Central America, among others. For the complete list of research projects, click here.

We are very proud of their accomplishments, and wish them all the best on what we are sure will be a successful future!

Sharing Tears With Maya Chinchilla

Posted by William Ramirez – MA Candidate at CLACS

This summer I traveled to Guatemala with the intention of learning more about current trends and developments in Guatemalan literary, poetic, and artistic production. In recent years, there has been a surge in not only scholarly, but also literary and artistic production of the “Central American” (including Guatemala) in the United States (See Arturo Arias, Ana Patricia Rodriguez, Kency Cornejo, Claudia Milian). For example, in 2014, Guatemalan-American poet, Maya Chinchilla (Maya Chapina), published her first book, The Cha Cha Files: A Chapina Poética (Kórima Press), marking the first time a Guatemalan-American publishes a book of poetry with themes concerning the Guatemalan/Central American-American experience within the United States. However, her work would perhaps be lesser known within Guatemala. A question arises: what relevance would her poetry have with current Guatemalan literary and artistic trends and, moreover, with Guatemalans, in general, who perhaps have never set foot outside of the country? I came to look for what type of relation might, or might not, exist between literary, artistic, and poetic productions between Guatemalan-Americans and those within the country.

Ramirez_Guatemala_ChaChaFiles

Cover of ‘The Cha Cha Files: A Chapina Poética’ by Maya Chinchilla. Artists – Yolanda Lopez, Rio Yañez

Continue reading