Searching for Recognition: The Promotion of Latin American Literature in the United States

By Irene Rostagno | Go to book overview

VIII

In the early eighties the scope of the center's Literature Program changed. With the exception of the support provided for University of Texas at Austin professor Naomi Lindstrom's translation of Argentine Roberto Arlt's The Seven Madmen ( 1929), which David R. Godine published in 1984, translation was de-emphasized. Priority was given to projects like the Writers in Residence Program set up by former director Rosario Santos. A diligent organizer, Santos invited younger authors like Cuban Reinaldo Arenas, poet Enrique Lihn, and Luisa Valenzuela to be guests of the center and acquaint themselves with the New York literary community. Though the program was successful, Santos's plans suffered a major setback with the temporary termination of Review. When the Council of the Americas, a business group also founded by David Rockefeller, and the center merged to form the Americas Society, the center was replaced by the society's Literature Program, currently headed by Daniel Shapiro. It continues to promote Latin American literature and art through its journal Review, cultural activities, and occasional publicity support for newer authors. Since 1985 the society has sponsored only three translations, including Nicanor Parra Antipoems: New and Selected ( 1985).

The center changed the history of Latin American literature in this country. Thanks to its translating of works by almost seventy authors, a half a dozen of which have become household names among American intellectuals, more and more publishers feel comfortable with Latin American writing, and important publications no longer regard Spanish American or Brazilian works as curiosities. No other national literature has had the advantage of such creative and tireless support.


NOTES
1.
For discussions of the technical innovations of the boom novelists, see D. P. Gallagher, Modern Latin American Literature ( London: Oxford University Press, 1973), Carlos Fuentes, La nueva novela hispanoamericana ( Mexico City: Joaquín Mortiz, 1969), and Zunilda Gertel, La novela hispanoamericana contemporánea ( Buenos Aires: Columba, 1971).
2.
José Donoso, The Boom in Spanish American Literature: A Personal History, trans. Gregory Kolovakos ( New York: Columbia University Press, 1977), 10-11.

-138-

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Searching for Recognition: The Promotion of Latin American Literature in the United States
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Copyright Acknowledgments v
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction xi
  • Notes xvi
  • 1- Waldo Frank's Crusade for Latin American Literature 1
  • Notes 26
  • 2- Blanche and Alfred Knopf's Literary Roundup 31
  • Notes 55
  • 3- The Plumed Horn/ El Corno Emplumado: The Spell of Cuba in the 1960s 59
  • IV 84
  • 4- Casa De Las Américas and The Center for Inter-American Relations: Competing for Latin American Literature 89
  • Notes 138
  • Conclusion 145
  • Notes 150
  • Selected Bibliography 151
  • Index 155
  • About the Author 160
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