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Mainland Passage: The Cultural Anomaly of Puerto Rico

Ramón E. Soto-Crespo
Copyright Date: 2009
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 200
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5749/j.ctttsmw1
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  • Book Info
    Mainland Passage
    Book Description:

    One-third of the population of Puerto Rico moved to New York City during the mid-twentieth century. Since this massive migration, Puerto Rican literature and culture have grappled with an essential change in self-perception. Mainland Passage examines the history of that transformation, the political struggle over its representation, and the ways it has been imagined in Puerto Rico and in the work of Latina/o fiction writers.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-6814-4
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-viii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-x)
  3. Preface
    (pp. xi-xxii)
  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xxiii-xxiv)
  5. INTRODUCTION Neither Colony nor Nation
    (pp. 1-22)

    Most Puerto Ricans—whether they reside on the U.S. mainland or the Caribbean island—believe that Puerto Rico is an American colony. Yet the U.S. Constitution does not provide the legal framework for this conviction; it instead acknowledges only territories or federated states as political entities under its sovereignty. Moreover, the U.S. Constitution determines territorial status as a period of adjustment before annexation. To add more complexity to the mix, Puerto Rico’s relationship with the United States does not follow this strict constitutional doctrine, but rather introduces a new form: a nonincorporated territory, that is to say, a territory not...

  6. CHAPTER ONE State and Artifice: Edgardo Rodríguez Juliá and Puerto Rican Painting
    (pp. 23-56)

    José Campeche’s paintingGovernor Don Ramón de Castro(c. 1800) and Francisco Oller’s paintingThe Wake(El Velorio) (c. 1893) are two master -pieces of Puerto Rican art. Well known for innovations in style and technique, the paintings’ notoriety is due also to their historical importance, because they represent extinct cultural traditions. Even though they are highly recognized in academic circles for their aesthetic and cultural value, these paintings alert us to an ambivalence toward the political state in Puerto Rican history. Juxtaposed, these paintings illustrate crucial moments in institutional history when the political state appears and disappears from view...

  7. CHAPTER TWO The Mainland Passage: Luis Muñoz Marín’s Borderland State
    (pp. 57-81)

    On April 21, 1973, the founding patriarch of the Puerto Rican state, Luis Muñoz Marín (1898–1980), contemplated in his personal diary the idea of composing a special dictionary that would address the language of Puerto Rico’s complex relation to the United States. Anticipating that the publication of such a dictionary would trigger a “whirlwind of futile political polemics,” he discarded the idea, but not before providing examples of entries crucial to the project (Diario51). The first term of concern was “the nation.” Muñoz Marín emphasized thatthe nation“should not be employed by Puerto Ricans when referring to...

  8. CHAPTER THREE Escaping Colonialism: How to Do Things with American Imperialism
    (pp. 82-118)

    On October 4, 2000, during a congressional hearing of the Committee on Resources of the House of Representatives on bill HR 4751, Michigan congressman Dale E. Kildee burst out: “I think this proposal is legal fiction at best, and a hoax, at worst” (29). The bill, introduced by California congressman John T. Doolittle, asked the 107th Congress to recognize two important tenets of Puerto Rico’s commonwealth status: thePuerto Rico–U.S. Bilateral Pact of Non-Territorial Permanent Union and the Guaranteed Citizenship Act. The former is a stipulation in the Puerto Rican constitution, often cited by defenders of pro-commonwealth status, for...

  9. CHAPTER FOUR Out of the Mainland: Nuyorican Poetry and Boricua Politics
    (pp. 119-144)

    Mainland Puerto Rican writers attempted to escape the legacy of colonialism by inventing a new aesthetic construct and by renaming themselves Nuyoricans.¹ Their literary movement that started during the 1960s aspired to claim independence from insular conceptions of aesthetics, identity, and politics, but it also intended to escape the island-based legacy of colonialism. Nuyoricans would no longer think in colonial terms but would invent an aesthetics and identity that captured their new reality. The name Nuyorican, or Boricua in its most recent incarnation, represents the new reality of a subject unbound from the island’s U.S. colonialism. Moreover, Nuyorican represents a...

  10. Notes
    (pp. 145-152)
  11. Works Cited
    (pp. 153-164)
  12. Index
    (pp. 165-170)
  13. Back Matter
    (pp. 171-171)