Nidia D'az's Nunca estuve sola
DONALD L. SHAW
In the 1950s and 1960s, Spanish American Boom fiction showed writers radically questioning both their conventionally accepted ability to observe, report and interpret reality, the ability of language to express reality and other formerly received ideas about the writer's task. Among the characteristics of Boom fiction which I, among others, provisionally attempted to list, was the disappearance from the mainstream of the old novel of protest and compromiso (commitment) and its replacement by a type of narrative more concerned with the general human condition, rather than with the conditions of life and behavior of men and women in Spanish America (Shaw, Nueva narrativa hispanoamericana 218). J. Ann Duncan, in her list of New Novel characteristics, gave first place to “rejection of mimetic realism for an imaginative, symbolic reality, with stress on the universal, metaphysical, and mythical, rather than regional and observed” (9). Elzbieta Sklodowska was less categorical, but suggested that, where it survived, the old protest novel had been changed by the introduction of elements of humor (La parodia en la nueva novela xii). Since the decline of the Boom in the mid-1970s things have changed. Following the lead of Fredric Jameson in particular, Santiago Colás has argued that the notion of Postmodernism has to be adapted to allow for the inclusion of social themes before it can usefully be applied to contemporary Spanish American narrative. Raymond Williams has similarly argued that, while there has taken place a “crisis of representation” which points to a crisis in the categories of adequacy, accuracy and “truth itself, ” nevertheless “Latin American postmodernism is resolutely historical and inescapably political” (10, 17).