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Neobaroque in the Americas

Neobaroque in the Americas: Alternative Modernities in Literature, Visual Art, and Film

Copyright Date: 2012
Pages: 392
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  • Book Info
    Neobaroque in the Americas
    Book Description:

    In a comparative and interdisciplinary analysis of modern and postmodern literature, film, art, and visual culture, Monika Kaup examines the twentieth century's recovery of the baroque within a hemispheric framework embracing North America, Latin America, and U.S. Latino/a culture. As "neobaroque" comes to the forefront of New World studies, attention to transcultural dynamics is overturning the traditional scholarship that confined the baroque to a specific period, class, and ideology in the seventeenth century. Reflecting on the rich, nonlinear genealogy of baroque expression,Neobaroque in the Americasenvisions the baroque as an anti-proprietary expression that brings together seemingly disparate writers and artists and contributes to the new studies in global modernity.

    eISBN: 978-0-8139-3314-6
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. ix-x)
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  5. Introduction Neobaroque Alternative Modernities
    (pp. 1-28)

    This book opens with a portrait of neobaroque T. S. Eliot and closes with contemporary baroques in Chicano lowrider art and the hip-hop baroque in Cuban American art. In between, it ranges over vastly diverse territory: the major works of Djuna Barnes, contemporary antidictatorship literature and film from Chile and Argentina by Diamela Eltit, José Donoso, Raúl Ruiz, and María Luisa Bemberg, and Latin American and Caribbean postcolonial theory outlining the emergence of a decolonizing New World baroque in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It encompasses Spanish-language and English-language works, focusing mainly on the United States and the Southern Cone...

  6. 1 Neobaroque Eliot Antidissociationism and the Allegorical Method
    (pp. 29-66)

    Neobaroque Eliot? This chapter is written to claim for T. S. Eliot an unusual denominator, foreign-sounding not only within Eliot studies but also within studies of Anglo-American poetry and modernism. For decades, Eliot’s persona has been stable: everyone recognizes the U.S.-born, English-convert poet-critic who developed from youthful vanguardist to cultural conservative, declaring himself “classicist in literature, royalist in politics, and anglo-catholic in religion.”¹ Even as Eliot was first deified by the New Critics, then demonized by the next generation of poststructuralist and postmodernist critics reacting against New Criticism and the hegemony of high modernism, his attributes remained the same. In...

  7. 2 The Neobaroque in Djuna Barnes Melancholia and the Language of Abundance and Insufficiency
    (pp. 67-120)

    The most salient features of Djuna Barnes’s literary work are its obscurity and its hyperbolic style. In all her major works, Barnes flaunts an ornate, circular, rambling, extravagant prose. In this way, her work radically counters the engineering principles of efficiency canonized by modernist writers of the machine age who proposed to cleanse language of redundant, wasteful material, such as the imagists, Hemingway, and Stein. The early William Carlos Williams and Ezra Pound, for example, invoked technology as a model for modernist writing; Williams called the modern poem a “machine made of words.”¹ In so doing, they emulated the battle...

  8. 3 The Latin American Antidictatorship Neobaroque Allegories of History as Catastrophe and Performances of the Wounded Self in Diamela Eltit’s Lumpérica and José Donoso’s Casa de campo
    (pp. 121-182)

    This chapter and the following turn to a new cycle of the neobaroque in the Americas, which I call the antidictatorship neobaroque. Crossing multiple borders of time and space, this shift takes us from Eliot’s and Barnes’s Anglo-American modernism to a unique Latin American variety of postmodernism. Across Latin America, the core period associated with postmodernism in the United States and Europe, from the late 1960s into the 1980s, saw a staggering number of right-wing military dictatorships, which conducted state-sponsored “dirty wars” against political opponents. Among them were the dictatorships in Chile (1973–89), Argentina (1976–84), Brazil (1964–84),...

  9. 4 Antidictatorship Neobaroque Cinema Raúl Ruiz’s Mémoire des apparences and María Luisa Bemberg’s Yo, la peor de todas
    (pp. 183-242)

    This chapter builds on the previous one for its delineation of the revival of baroque expression as a response to the dictatorships that engulfed Latin America in the seventies and beyond. The neobaroque turned out to be particularly useful for the purposes of the post-Boom literature of defeat and disillusionment that arose in the wake of the coups. Against the deceptive illusionism of the fascist state’s official narratives of progress, neobaroque antidictatorship literature mobilizes a critical poetics of artifice and disillusionment. Neobaroque fragmented allegorical images thus come to haunt the simulacra of the authoritarian state: to unmask the dictatorships’ official...

  10. 5 Hemispheric Genealogies of the New World Baroque Early Modern New World Baroque and Diasporic Baroques in Contemporary U.S. Latino/a Art and Culture
    (pp. 243-310)

    Mexican novelist Carlos Fuentes’s novelLa frontera de cristal(1995;The Crystal Frontier), which is set on the U.S.-Mexico border, begins with the impressions of a young, aristocraticcriollafrom Mexico City on her first visit to the border region of northern Mexico.¹ Prepared by her Blue Guide tour book, which tells her that “there is absolutely nothing of interest” (Crystal Frontier3) to be found inel norte,Michelina indeed sees nothing but the absence of the elite Hispanic architecture of the Mexican capital she calls her home: “She could see nothing. Her gaze was captured by a mirage:...

  11. NOTES
    (pp. 311-352)
    (pp. 353-364)
  13. INDEX
    (pp. 365-378)