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Literature and History of Latin America
In his essays, Jorge Luis Borges impersonates short stories that interrogate what an author is, the nature of literary history, how an author can rewrite history, and how literature works. Gabriel Garcia Marquez adds his book “A Hundred Years of Solitude” and many more. Garcia also covers fiction and the nature of magical realism. The Latin American literary boom had a sociological approach and a longer and deeper historical and anthropological process to it. The boom was influenced by contradictory dilemmas of regionalism and universalism.
The Latin American literary boom was experienced in the 1960s and the 1970s when Latin American authors’ works got widely spread throughout the world (Poblete). The new relatively young authors challenged traditional conventions of the region’s literature. The work of these authors was experimental and also highly political. These writers are known for drawing attention to social inequality and political authoritarianism. Apart from the Cuban Revolution, they can be regarded as having brought more attention to the region than any other event. These writers, for various reasons, became famous all over the world.
The dynamics of the Cold War brought political turmoil throughout Latin America. This political climate was the basis of the writers’ work. It defined their “radical” ideas espoused in their works. There were major changes in how literature and history were written and interpreted during this period. Some of the major events that marked this period were the Cuban Revolution, violence in Colombia, and the fall of General Peron.
Some literary scholars term the Latin American literary boom as an orphan literary generation devoid of a background, a father figure, or even the idea of Latin America. They claim that there was no prior historical background or influence. It was an original literary era with novel ideas and techniques and addressing issues unique to that period. The boom period refuses to be identified with the rural and anachronistic narratives.
The boom works were modernist. The authors were fond of coining new words and phrases. Garcia Marquez is the most closely associated author with magical realism. He brought magical realism into the limelight. In magical realism, unreal things are treated as real and mundane things as unreal. It represents the need and demand for mythos from readers to describe that which is not covered in history (Poblete). Magical realism combines the real and the imaginary that it is difficult to separate the two.
There was a profound interest in history and how it was written and interpreted during the boom period. The writers of this period had a sophisticated comprehension of literature’s ability to represent parallel and alternative history. Authors from this era were active in cultural and political debates. Gabriel García Márquez is the most renowned of all the authors from this period. He was known for representing frightful and most unusual events with a blank expression. An example is that of the physical and spiritual going up to heaven while the owner is hanging laundry.
Borges’s work contributed greatly to fantasy and philosophical literature. A magical realist like Garcia Marquez, Borges opposed the military rule and supported democratic elections. During this period, magical realism was criticized that the unreal world explored came at a cost of seriousness and responsibility amid societal problems. Magical realism works like those of Borges were criticized as lacking interaction with reality.
Poblete, J. The Boom, the Literary, and Cultural Critique. Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies. 2018 https://doi.org/10.1080/13569325.2018.1528440 Accessed 23 Nov. 2020.
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