Border Writing

Border Writing: The Multidimensional Text

D. Emily Hicks
Foreword by Neil Larsen
Volume: 80
Copyright Date: 1991
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 176
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5749/j.ctttsnzb
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  • Book Info
    Border Writing
    Book Description:

    A paradigmatic contribution to literary theory and interpretation out of the writings of Latin America.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-8398-7
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Foreword
    (pp. xi-xxii)
    Neil Larsen

    In keeping with a growing trend in critical theory, Emily Hicks’sBorder Writing: The Multidimensional Texttakes as its implicit point of departure the following problem: how are we now to think about, produce, and/or consume culture without succumbing either to the tainted universalism embodied in Enlightenment notions of “civilization” or to the equally suspect particularisms lurking in notions of “national culture”? Or, to put it more succinctly: how to think about culture without nation? For what is perhaps the dominant current of cultural studies, this problem is “solved” through a tacit mapping of the cultural domain to correspond to...

  5. Introduction: Border Writing as Deterritorialization
    (pp. xxiii-xxxii)

    As the functional expression of the self-conscious attitude of a writer juxtaposed between multiple cultures, border writing must be conceived as a mode of operation rather than as a definition. What makes border writing a world literature with a “universal” appeal is its emphasis upon the multiplicity of languages within any single language; by choosing a strategy of translation rather than representation, border writers ultimately undermine the distinction between original and alien culture.¹ Border writers give the reader the opportunity to practice multidimensional perception and nonsynchronous memory (Bloch, “Nonsynchronism and the Obligation to Its Dialectics,” 22–38).² By multidimensional perception...

  6. Chapter 1 García Márquez: Cultural Border Crosser
    (pp. 1-10)

    Gabriel García Márquez grew up in Aracataca, Colombia, a company town that was built by the United Fruit Company, and had the same wooden shacks with roofs made of zinc and tin and the same contrasts of wealth and poverty as those described by William Faulkner, another border culture dweller. The imperialist presence of the banana company deterritorialized language or the production of signification. After leaving Colombia in 1955, García Márquez lived in Paris for three years, then in Venezuela and New York. In the early 1960s, he went to Mexico City, where he wroteCien años de soledad.¹ Although...

  7. Chapter 2 Beyond the Subject: From the Territorialized to the Deterritorialized Text
    (pp. 11-39)

    If writing is always a rereading, is not reading always a rewriting? Such a question points up the context in which border writing must be approached as a process of negotiation. If part of the “meaning” of a text may exist in the difference between the conscious and unconscious reference codes of the author and those of the reader, without excluding the logic or narrative strategies of the text itself, then the problem of the relationship of art and politics can be reformulated. This approach makes it possible to see how the work emerges from an interference pattern created by...

  8. Chapter 3 Cortázar: The Task of the Translator
    (pp. 40-67)

    For much of his life, Cortázar was under severe scrutiny by the left, and this fact is by no means superfluous to any adequate reading of his texts. In the case ofLibro de Manuel, for example, if he sets a trap for the reader by appearing to write a “merely” didactic text, this strategy allows him to plead guilty to the lesser of two counts; meanwhile, he is not even charged for the real deed—the unforgivable act of criticizing revolutionary ideology at its core. Thus, many critics have responded toLibro de Manuelthe way the police did...

  9. Chapter 4 That Which Resists: The Code of the Real in Luisa Valenzuela’s Como en la guerra
    (pp. 68-75)

    Como en la guerra(He Who Searches) is the title of a short novel, or a long short story, written by Luisa Valenzuela in 1977. It is also a metaphor that underlies the six most obvious referential codes that structure the narrative: (1) the traditional tale; (2) the hermeneutic code; (3) the Freudian-Lacanian psychoanalytic code; (4) the code of Marxism and politics in Latin America; (5) the code of feminism and (6) the code of the real. ¹ In terms of the multidimensional or holographic model, these referential codes are double in that they force a division of readers into...

  10. Chapter 5 Valenzuela: The Imaginary Body
    (pp. 76-107)

    Cola de lagartijais a feminist, postmodernist, meta-allegorical narrative—in short, a border work—in which Valenzuela uses elements of the grotesque in order to perform an exorcism; she will exorcise the demons that have destroyed the country from within.¹ Rather than ridding the country of subversives, however, she rids the consciousness of her reader of identification with the repressive regimes that have countenanced the torture and the disappearances of the 1970s. Valenzuela’s shamanistic cure uses signs and symbols that provide meaningful equivalents to the “dirty war” of the 1970s in which the fear of the “other,” thesubversivo, manifested...

  11. Chapter 6 Contemporary Border Writing and Reading: From Aztlán to Nicaragua
    (pp. 108-124)

    It has been said that literature is the space in which feminist debates take place in Latin America. I would like to expand upon this idea by adding theory to this space for dialogue. As a displaced woman born in San Francisco, raised between San Francisco and San Diego, and now living in the Mexico-U.S. border region, I am particularly interested in Alice Jardine’s criticism of Deleuze and Guattari’s model of deterritorialized literature and the question of the feminine border “subject.” The women of my generation, too young to be participants in the Free Speech movement but who experienced the...

  12. Notes
    (pp. 125-130)
  13. Bibliography
    (pp. 131-136)
  14. Index
    (pp. 137-140)
    Robin Jackson
  15. Back Matter
    (pp. 141-143)