Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage - Vol. 3

Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage - Vol. 3

Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage - Vol. 3

Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage - Vol. 3

Excerpt

The past two decades bear witness to a re-evaluation of the origins and recursors of the Hispanic literary heritage of the United States. This phenomenon now plays a decisive role in rethinking the very nature of American literature, formulating new canonical parameters, and in determining the content of university classes taught on the subject. Scholars throughout Latin America, the Hispanic Caribbean and in European countries where specialties exist on U. S. Hispanics/Latino (as) have also begun to incorporate the new knowledge in professional assemblies and university settings. Periodization of the literature has borne similar scrutiny. As critics, researchers and academics recovered lost manuscripts, novels, poetry, historical narratives and examples of other literary genres, the antecedents of Hispanic American contributions are older than previously imagined. Timeframes have also been revised. As significant, the institutionalization of an Hispanic literary heritage has had transformative effects beyond academic and geo-political borders, changing the ways Hispanics think about themselves and each other.

As the literature on U. S. Hispanics continues to grow, all indicators point to a heightened sense of awareness and receptivity among Hispanic/Latinos (as), regardless of national origins, with respect to a collective agency and historical role in the formation of the United States. The validation of memory, identity, cultural affirmation and creative expression, tempered by considerations of gender, race and class, spans centuries as persons of Hispanic heritage have always figured in the making of the United States of America. As Spanish settlements: presidios or villas, pueblos and missions multiplied throughout the Americas, pre-dating Jamestown by at least one hundred years, the seeds of a comprehensive Latino/Hispanic experience are evident well before the massive migrations and immigrations of contemporary times. This buried past is the subject of prevailing historical investigation and literary criticism. The third volume of Recovering the U. S. Hispanic Literary Heritage offers a persuasive contribution in this direction.

Chronicles, travel narratives, diaries and testimonials; administrative, civil, military and ecclesiastical records; musical and theatrical compositions; prose, poetry and other rich primary sources constitute the earliest extant Spanish . . .

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