Postnational Perspectives on Contemporary Hispanic Literature.

Author:Torres, Ana
Position:LATIN AMERICA - Book review

Scharm, Heike, and Natalia Matta-Jara, eds. Postnational Perspectives on Contemporary Hispanic Literature. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2017.

Heike Scharm is an associate professor of Spanish at the University of South Florida. Her co-editor, Natalia Matta-Jara, is a Spanish teacher in Washington, DC. Both have publications in reputable journals and Scharm is the author of a book on the Spanish author Javier Marias. The contributors to this volume are international scholars who have directed their chapters to scholars of Hispanisms. In the introduction, the editors point out that they prefer to use the term Hispanisms in order to stress the inclusivity of the different ethnicities, cultures, and languages that form the Spanish-speaking world instead of relegating these characteristics to contrived categorizations. The book has an introduction, followed by three units that are divided into Hispanism and theory, identity and belonging, and New World literatures. Each unit has three chapters. In the introduction, the editors emphasize that "reevaluating literary processes within a planetary rather than a local context requires a conscious attempt to avoid falling into the binary trap of center-periphery" (p. 2). This strategy entails a focus on the glocal (the convergence of global and local factors) while foregoing the traditional concepts of margin and center.

In chapter 1, Nil Santianez posits that" the question ought to interrogate not only the impact of globalization on contemporary literature and culture, but also its effect on our understanding of any literary and cultural artifact from any historical period" (p. 30). Essentially, he proposes a new pedagogy and ways of reading that are more intensive rather than extensive. In chapter 2, Ottmar Ette explores migration to and from Cuba, writing that "possibly the greatest challenge today consists of making a transition from history informed by spatiality to history shaped by movement" (p. 48). He opines that the literary canon should be one of inclusion rather than exclusion because literature written in exile is a chain of islands, not just one island. In chapter 3, the eminent scholar Julio Ortega describes the mixture of languages and cultures in the Spanish-speaking world as diverse, but equally important, given that "the inherent plurality of our language... is the foundation under construction for a transatlantic culture.... I propose to call [it]... a Baroque...

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