Download e-book for kindle: At Face Value: Autobiographical Writing in Spanish America by Sylvia Molloy

Download e-book for kindle: At Face Value: Autobiographical Writing in Spanish America by Sylvia Molloy

By Sylvia Molloy

This research of Spanish American autobiography from its beginnings within the post-colonial 19th century to the current day concentrates commonly on cultural and historic matters. Spanish American autobiographies are attention-grabbing hybrids, usually wielding numerous discourses right away. They aspire to documentary prestige whereas unabashedly exalting the self, and live on own event whereas purporting to be workouts in historiography, the founding texts of a countrywide archive. Professor Molloy examines a variety of texts, from Sarmiento's Recuerdos de provincia to Victoria Ocampo's Autobiografia. She analyses their textual suggestions, the widely used affiliations they declare, their courting to the ecu canon and their discussion with precursor texts, in addition to their frustrating use of reminiscence and the ideological implications in their repressive strategies. this technique allows her to spot perceptions of self and tensions among self and different, hence laying off mild at the fluctuating position of the topic inside a group.

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Extra info for At Face Value: Autobiographical Writing in Spanish America

Sample text

What shall I choose to tell? When shall I stop? Will they think I'm lying or exaggerating? And then, as the "bulky chronicle of lies" is out in the open before him, come the fears: I am ashamed of it; I wish I had other things to tell besides it; it will disappoint my reader (del Monte) who will no longer like me. What is the nature of the it that disturbs Manzano to the point of shame? As is often the case with victims, he takes on the shame of his oppressor, has trouble naming the torture to which he has been subjected.

Significantly, he uses the same euphemism to refer to the plans for his manumission, showing how writing and freedom - two projects "unfit" for a slave - were closely allied in his mind. What Manzano's letters do reveal, however, is a change of attitude towards his literary mentor, brought about by the autobiographical experience itself. Two letters referring specifically to the project allow one to measure that change. In the first, dated 25 June 1835, Manzano describes the actual beginning of his writing.

The influence of Spain, claims Sarmiento, stifles the imagination through "the perversity with which the language is taught, the influence of grammarians, the respect for the admirable model, the fear of breaking rules . . "25 In sum, Spain has not only taught Spanish America to read the same book always in the same way (with "respect for the admirable model") but - Sarmiento carries the metaphor one step further - it has turned its docile colonies themselves THE READER WITH THE BOOK IN HIS HAND 27 into repetitious copies (bad texts) that have little to offer in the way of meaning.

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