Magazine article World Literature Today

The Forked Juniper: Critical Perspectives on Rudolfo Anaya

Magazine article World Literature Today

The Forked Juniper: Critical Perspectives on Rudolfo Anaya

Article excerpt

The Forked Juniper: Critical Perspectives on Rudolfo Anaya. Ed. Roberto Cantú. Norman. University of Oklahoma Press. 2016. 317 pages.

Finally, a gathering of essays on Rudolfo Anaya's now vast archive of writing that considerably widens the circuitry of engagement with global literary histories. Roberto Cantú brings together a group of critically imaginative, international scholars whose readings no longer tolerate the facile regionalist, nationalist models that have for so long circumscribed our reception of not only Anaya's work but that of most Chicana/o writers. Finally, a group of scholars committed to exploring the deep aesthetic, philosophical, transcultural histories scribed into Anaya's oeuvre.

The essays are spectacular, smart, and inventive, offering, as most of them do, detailed analysis of Anaya's genealogical location within the long history of cultural production and intellectual exchanges across the Americas. This, especially in essays by John Pohl, Spencer R. Herrera, and Enrique Lamadrid. But not only the Americas. María Herrera-Sobek charts the correspondences between Anaya's mythotheological tropes and those of ancient Greece and Hindu Vedic philosophy and theology. Monika Kaup offers a brilliant reading of Anaya's writing as part of a long line in the "hemispheric continuities of the New World baroque" and a "mestizo deformation" present in Carpentier, García Márquez, Glissant, and other Latin American writers, artists, and critics of the late twentieth century whose own writing, like Anaya's, discloses a discursive sensibility reformed by hemispheric renegotiations of subjection. …

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