By Leslie Bethell
A Cultural heritage of Latin the US brings jointly chapters from Volumes III, IV, and X of The Cambridge heritage of Latin the USA. The essays position Latin American literature, song and visible arts in ancient context, from the early 19th century throughout the past due 20th century. subject matters contain narrative fiction and poetry; indigenous literatures and tradition; the improvement of track, sculpture, portray, mural artwork, and structure; and the background of Latin American movie. every one bankruptcy is followed via a bibliographical essay.
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Extra info for A Cultural History of Latin America: Literature, Music and the Visual Arts in the 19th and 20th Centuries (Cambridge History of Latin America)
In the introduction to his early tradition^ 'Un virrey y un arzobispo', first published in i860, he had written: In America traditions have hardly any life. America still has the freshness of the recent discovery and the value of a fabulous but as yet barely exploited treasure. . It is up to our young people to ensure that traditions are not lost altogether. This is why we ourselves pay such close attention to tradition, and to attract the interest of the people, we think it appropriate to clothe each historical narrative in the garb of romance.
Although these Spanish writers were aristocratic by birth or inclination, the genres they developed underwent important modifications when transplanted to American soil. At the same time, it is true that each work must be examined on its own specific terms: some were modern in spirit, but archaic in subject matter; others appeared to be exploring contemporary customs, but from a reactionary standpoint. The search for national authenticity often degenerated into mere pictur- 36 Literature, music and visual arts, c.
Certainly the Indian who appears in nineteenth-century Latin American literature is invariably the childlike noble savage of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, used as a symbol of liberation after nineteenthcentury independence, and not the downtrodden and malnourished figure who has worked on virtually feudal estates up and down the continent to this day. As Henriquez Urena said, the living Indian was not considered poetical. In 1879 t n e Ecuadorean Juan Leon Mera (1832-94) published his celebrated exoticist novel Cumandd^ subtitled 'a drama among savages', which was full of sexual titillation including the almost obligatory danger of incest between unwitting relatives, and set among the headhunting Jivaro Indians of the Amazon jungle.