Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage - Vol. 4

Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage - Vol. 4

Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage - Vol. 4

Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage - Vol. 4

Synopsis

This historic fourth volume of articles represents the finished, re-worked product of the biennial conferences of recovery, providing theoretical and practical approaches, and critical studies on specific texts. Jose Aranda and Silvio Torres-Saillant's introduction conceptualizes and unifies a broad historical swath that encompasses the Spanish and English-language expression of Hispanic natives, immigrants and exiles from the colonial period to 1960.

Excerpt

Silvio Torres-Saillant

The essays gathered in this volume came out of the fifth conference sponsored by the University of Houston’s Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage Project led by Nicolás Kanellos with the support of a national cadre of scholars committed to bringing into visibility the writings of Hispanics in what is now the United States from the colonial period—prior to the English settlement at Jamestown—to the 1960s. in the preceding volume iii of this series, editors María Herrera-Sobek and Virginia Sánchez Korrol close their introductory essay by asserting that the work therein presented confirmed “the existence and magnitude of an Hispanic literary tradition that did not burst forth in the trendy heat of multiculturalism or pluralism or increased immigration as many scholars would have us believe,” claiming further that the “historical longevity of this heritage can no longer be in doubt” (Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage [Houston: Arte Público, 2000:14]). Perhaps nothing attests so eloquently to the veracity of these colleagues’ affirmation than the fact that when scholars young and seasoned from around the country met in Houston for the fifth iteration of the Recovery conference, marking the eighth year of productive operation by the team assembled by Kanellos, they for the most part seemed free of the compulsion to bear witness. None of the speakers appeared particularly anxious to show that a vast corpus of texts written by authors of Hispanic descent actually existed with deeper historical roots in this land than the writings of settlers ancestrally linked to Britain.

As the essays herein contained will show, the conference participants proceeded as if with the confidence that such a fact was already established and that the thing to do now was to assess the body of texts in question with an eye on . . .

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