Prominent Writers And Literary Movements Of Latin American Literature
The last couple of decades have seen the publication of vast number of cultural critiques of empire and its aftermath designated with the label ‘post-colonial’. Despite their many disparities of perspective and subject matter, this body of discourse shares a single common reference point that is the impact of colonialism. They are all broadly concerned with experience of exclusion, denigration, and resistance under systems of colonial control. Thus the term post colonialism addresses itself to the historical, political, cultural, and textual ramifications of the colonial encounter between the west and the non-west, dating from sixteenth century to present date.
Post- colonial considers how colonialism shaped all those who were to it: the colonizers as well as the colonized. In particular, studies of post-colonial cultures, texts, and politics are commonly interested in the colonial oppression, colonized people and those which were subtle, sly, oblique, and apparently underhand in their protest.
Post colonialism is a theoretical approach in literary and cultural studies; it also designates a politics of transformational resistance to unjust and unequal forms of political and cultural authority which extends back across the twentieth century, and beyond. Post colonialism thus refers to the theories, tests, political strategies and modes of activism that aim to challenge structural inequalities and bring about the social justice. It reflects the socio-cultural and Scio-political power control.
Post-colonial approach is commonly associated with names such as Edward said, Gayathri Spivak, Homi Bhabha, Stuart hall, Ania Loomba, Gyan Prakash, Leela Gandhi, Frantz Fanon. They analyzed the issues of power, religion, culture, gender and politics under colonialism, and how these issues work in relation with colonial hegemony.
Post-colonial literature refers to the writings of colonized countries. Colonized countries includes almost every country in the world expect Argentina. Post-colonial literature depicts the contemporary realities of life, of power domination, social hierarchy, meaninglessness of modernity, and inner conflicts of the suppressed people.
Latin American literature includes written and oral literatures of Latin America. Any written material in Spanish, Portuguese, and the occult languages of America is considered as Latin American literature. This literature attained global prominence in the second of the twentieth century, largely because of the twentieth century movement Latin American Boom. Latin American literature is often related with the style known as magical realism; Gabriel Garcia Marquez is the most famous exponent of this particular style.
Latin American literature was primarily oral, there were lots of mythological stories, folk tales and occult anecdote, these oral and mythical stories which represent their traditions and custom were recorded and transformed into writing during the colonial period. Aztecs and Mayans produced elaborated codices.
During the colonial period the writings were majorly of colonizers they expressed their new experience through writing. Columbus’s letters or Bernal Diaz del Castillo’s description of the conquest of Mexico are the best example of such kind of writings. The ethics of colonization and the status of the indigenous peoples are the most debated topic of colonial period; this is reflected in Bartolome de las Casas’s Brief Account of the destruction of the Indies.
During colonial period natives also contributed to the body of literature. El Inca Garcilaso de la Vega and Guaman Poma wrote accounts of the Spanish conquest. They used literature as medium to express their ideas and perspectives that often contrasts the ideas of colonizers. Other important writers of this time were Simon Bolivar, Andres Bello.
The emergence of fiction in Latin American literature occurred during nineteenth century. Doris Sommer’s, writer and critic claimed that nineteenth century was a period of foundational fictions. The novels produced during this period attempted to establish a sense of national identity. The main focus of these novels was on the role and rights of the occult and local people, dichotomy of civilization and barbarism. Notable novels of this period were Domingo Sarmiento’s Facundo, Jorge Issacs’s Maria, and Euclid’s Da Cunha’s Os Sertoes.
The religious classic of nineteenth century also occupies a predominant place in Latin American literature. Jose Hernandez’s epic poem Martin Fierro is a perfect example of such religious pieces. It is a story of poor gaucho who fights a war against Indians; it is a great example of the gauchesque genre, an Argentine version of poetry about the lives of gauchos.
Nineteenth century witnessed various movements ranging from realism, romanticism to nationalism. Writers of these movements used their writings as a platform to question the colonial order; they sought their Latin American identity. Finally at the end of nineteenth century new type of literary movement called Modernismo occurred, which has been great milestone in Latin American literature.
Latin American wars of independence had influenced nineteenth century literature and it led to literary themes of identity, empowerment, protest, resistance, inequality and human rights. Writers of nationalism used these themes in their writings. This movement aimed at cultural as well as political independence.
Modernismo was a poetic movement, it has its origin from the Nicaraguan Ruben Dario’s text Azul(1888). It influenced literary culture outside of the region. In this movement writers sought to establish Latin American connections, the national difference were no longer an issue. For instance Jose Marti, Cuban patriot wrote journals for Argentina, they crossed the regional boundaries and tried to establish Latin American connection.
Medernismo is a resistance against colonialism, aestheticism, and anti-political. Writers of this period followed the same trend of nineteenth century. They questioned the social order and political system. Jose Marti, prominent modernist, wanted his reader to know about the imperialistic tendencies of the United States and insists that Latin American should avoid allowing United States to intervene in their affairs.
The Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges wrote philosophical short story. His works explored the theme of mass culture. Brazilian author Machado de Assis, exceptional novelist produced ironical and psychological short stories. His works gave Brazilian prose a universal scope. Mexican author, Stridentism and Cuban novelist and mycologist were also prominent writers of modernism.
Female authors began to emerge during this period. They wrote about inequality, oppression, and marginalization. Their works challenged Latin American patriarchal society, and explored the hypocrite of the dominant class, and condemned the corruption of the government. Famous women writers of this movement include Sor Juana de laCruz, Juana Matto de Turner.
Latin America enjoyed the growing economic prosperity after World War II; this gave them confident to experiment in every field, including literature. Twentieth century Latin American literature witnessed greatest revolutionary movement ‘literary boom’. Writers of literary boom experimented with language, used different style and mixed different styles together, crossed traditional boundaries in their works.
Authors of Boom precede literatures that were far beyond the archetypical narrative and used non-literary and experimental narrative. Boom generation authors were greatly influenced by European authors such as William Faulkner, James Joyce, and Virginiya Woolf also by famous Spanish poet and dramatist Federico Garcia Lorca.
Latin American literature got global recognition after the Boom movement. Novels produced in this movement mostly used a technique ‘magical realism’. The works of the period explored universal and metaphysical themes rather than suppression, social issues. Notable authors of this movement were Jose Donoso, Augusto Rao,Miguel Angel Asturias.
Contemporary Latin American literature is vibrant and varied. It had a great impact in North America as well as throughout the world. Contemporary writers like Paulo Coelho, Isabel Allende, Jaime Bayly, and Jorge Franco mixed fantasy and realities in their works. The works of this contemporizes are world phenomenon, they had been read and critically acclaimed by worldwide readers.
Brazilian contribution to Latin American literature begun with Carta dePero Vaz deCaminha, a document describes 1500’s Brazil. Writings produced during colonial period were predominately by Europeans, they expressed their traveling experience in their writings. Jose de Allencar contributed to the realism movement of Latin American literature which explored the themes like nationalism, celebration of nature, with his famous two works The Guarani and Iracema.
Modernismo started in Brazil with the week of modern art in 1922. Mario de Andrade, Oswald de Andrade were the most famous modern writers, their works attempted to enhance the social conditions. Writers of this movement combined patriot tendencies with European modernism, they experimented with language.
Contemporary Brazilian literature focused mainly on human life and its aspects such as loneliness, political issues, violence, boredom, and media control. Contemporary writers crossed the boundaries that had been set by old writers and movements. It formed new ground in Brazilian literature. Contemporary writers invented new trends, and explored new concepts.
We communicate and express our feeling to others through language, but the languages we use differ from country to country and even state to state. The use of numerous languages creates problem of communication and the need for translation. Translation had been done among different communities of the world through transference or substitution and caring the meanings from one language to another.
Translation in literature includes translation of novels, poems, proses and other forms of literature. Translations of literature completely differ from mere translation of words, because the artistic image created in the original text must be carried out in the translation. For the very reason translator must consider the specific features of the original text in order to produce the same impact that the original text had on readers. Hence translation in literature is not a mere translation of words indeed it serves aesthetic purpose.
Translation of novels utterly differs from the translation of poetry. Translation like poetry has become elusive. It is both a substitution and transference of meaning from one language to another language.it is the replacement of textual material in one language by equivalent material in another language. The concept of translation has undergone a sea change over the years. Studies in translation gained more importance during the twentieth century.
Translation requires lots of skill; translated text needs to be adequate. Hence, the translator should possess inwardness with both language namely the source language and target language. The translator has to make a balance between maintaining close fidelity to the original and utter freedom from it. Literary meaning and emotion of the original text must be carried out in the translation.
Translation in the modern context is not secondary to original literatures in the source language. It is not reproduction but recreation. Translation brings the readers, writers, and critics of one nation and culture into contact with those of others. The ideas, culture, and the tradition of particular community people transferred to other people and communities through translation.
Latin America is a land of diversity, people of Latin America follows different culture, custom and speaks different languages. Hence, in the Latin American context the translator has a great role to play. Several regional literatures of the country can reach global readers as well as can reach to other community people of Latin America through translation. Thus, Latin America is a paradise for translators and translation has a great scope in Latin America.
Margaret Elisabeth Jull Costa is a British born renowned translator. She has been in the translation field for more than thirty years and translated many works of Portuguese, Spanish, and Latin American writers. She is a proud recipient of many international awards. She carried the true essence and emotion of the original in her translations.
She translated the works of Javier marias, Fernando pessoa, jose saramago, bernardo atxaga, ramon del valle-inclan. Now days she is being noted for her work in translating the novels of Jose Saramago. She received many prestigious awards like Portuguese translation prize and Oxford-Weidenfeld translation prize for her translations.
Paulo Coelho is a famous contemporary Brazilian novelist. He also worked as theatre director, actor, and journalist. He is one of the most extensively read and praised authors of present time. His works are based on self-fulfillment and personal happiness, his self- help and philosophical books helps people to understand the true meaning of life, and helps in their psychological development. The philosophical significance in his novels makes him globally acknowledged. His most inspiring and influencing novels have been translated into innumerous languages.
Paulo Coelho was born and raised in Rio de Janerio, from childhood Coelho wanted to become writer but his most conservative and spiritual family wanted him to become an engineer like his father. At first he opposed his family’s decision then convinced himself and joined law college, but the most adventurous and creative Coelho couldn’t make there and dropped out. After this he worked as hippie and composed lyrics for Elis Regina, Rita Lee, because of the content of his songs he was arrested by military government and was labeled as “subversive”.
In 1980’s he deserted his lifestyle as hippie and married Brazilian artist chiristina Oiticia, after marriage he expressed his ideas through novels. His first book, hell archives was published in 1982, and it failed to create considerable impact. After few unsuccessful novels like practical manual of vampirism, the pilgrimage, Coelho strike a major triumph with his famous novel the alchemist. Initially alchemist was unsuccessful but HarperCollins published the book in 1994. Later it became an international best seller.
Coelho found the Paulo Coelho institute, which supports the children and the old people in 1996. This shows his humanity and his concern towards the society. He wanted to serve the society through his works; most of his novels are self-help novels which motivates the readers to know the importance of life and encourage them to live it to the maxim.
Paulo Coelho’s most of the novels are auto-biographical. In his novel he uses his life incidents, he keeps his life as an example and guides his readers not make the mistakes that he did in his life. His works presents more positive perceptive of life and encourages its reader to overcome the obstacles and insecurities and leads to the path of success. Coelho had complied more than thirty six novels, following books are widely known among them.
The Alchemist (1988), is a psychoanalytical novel. It is a story of a Spanish shepherd. it depicts the journey of the shepherd boy towards his dream. It stresses the importance of listening others. It proposes the philosophy that people discover themselves when they have proper knowledge of how to listen. It is believed to be his third novel and it brought him the fame.
The Winner’s Standalone (2008), it mirrors the contemporary society. It condemns the thirst for money, power, and fame, and insists that all should listen and follow their hearts, because only it speaks the truth. It is a story of Russian millionaire, a renowned middle-eastern stylist, Starlet Gabriela, an aspiring detective, and model jasmine.
The Devil and Miss Prym(2009), it is a recreation of Adam and eve myth, where a small village represent the garden of Eden, golden bullion denotes the fruit of knowledge the villagers represent the Adam and eve. Traveler represent the most cunning and elegant serpent. Conflict between good and evil is the main focus of the novel
Eleven Minutes (2003), it portrays the story of young and adventurous Maria who aspires to become a dancer but falls in the wrong hand and becomes a prostitute. Maria is caught between Realities versus imaginary world. It describes the unflinching exploration of the lengths that a person would go in search of love, sex, and spirituality.
Brida(1990),a young Irish girl wanted to become witch, and has always been fascinated about the magic. He learns from a magician to dance rhythmically to invoke the moon and with the help of mage she overcomes all fears and Destiney. It includes themes such as love, passion, mystery, and spirituality.
By The River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept (1994), in this novel two persons of different character and dreams are combined together by their desire to change and to pursue their dreams. A woman wants to become strong and the man seeks solution for his inner conflicts. Together they experience fear of failure, and prejudice. In the end of the novel they discover their own personal truth.
Manuscript Found in Accra (2012), it depicts the war between Christian, Muslims, Jews, who previously lived together, are preparing for battle, defeat and slaughter. This novel is an attempt to rethink our humanity, and it questions the necessity of the war. It stresses the fact that war is unnecessary and it will lead to nothing but to disaster.
Maktub (1994), it is Arabic word that means destiny or fate, it has been used and mentioned many times in his another famous work The Alchemist. It is a collection of short stories that represent the treasure of wisdom. These stories were first published in the Brazilian newspaper folha de sao Paulo. Most of these stories take its origin from Brazilian folklore.
The Zahir (2005), it is a story of a famous writer who abandons his fame, power, money to search true meaning of life. He takes up journey to from Paris to central Asia in search of his wife. This novel presents the love story of Esther and author. This novel is based on the belief that true love comes back to you. It emphasizes the importance of love.
The witch of Portobello (2006), this story depicts the mother daughter relationship. Athena is an adopted daughter of a rich Lebanese family. She moved to London when the country was experiencing the war. She falls in love with man who gets her pregnant. They marry against their families wish. Athena becomes mother and realizes the importance of mother and takes up a journey to search her mother.
Isabel Allende, Marcos Aguinis, Diamela Eltit, Giannina Braschi, Roberto Ampuero, and Fernando Vallejo are considers as contemporaries of Paulo Coelho. Though the use of style and themes differ from one author to another, the works of these contemporary writers commonly address the issues like political, violence, media control, and loneliness.
Isabel Allende is a Chilean author, she writes Spanish language. She is known for her famous novels The House of the Spirits and City of Beasts. Isabel used magical realism in her works. She is proud recipient of Chile’s National Literature Prize in 2010 and Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2014.
Marcos Aguninis is an Argentine writer, musician, and psychoanalysis. Most of his works focuses on the independence, disapproval of authoritarianism, and democracy. Diamela Eltit is a Chilan poet and university professor. She received noble prize in 2004. Giannina Braschi is a Puerto Rican novelist. In her novel Yo-Yo Boing, she introduced Spanglish. She writes in English, Spanglish, and Spanish. Through her works she attempts to capture the cultural experience of 50 million Hispanics in the United States. She is a recipient of PEN award.
Roberto Ampuero is a Chilean writer, novelist, columnist, and present minister of Chile. His works have been published in Latin America and Spain. He is best known for his autobiography Nuestros Anos Verde Olivo(1999), it is a story about his days in Cuba. Fernando Vallejo Rendon is a Colombian writer, novelist, filmmaker, biographer, and essayist. He is best known for his work La Virgen de los sicarios.
Viktor Frankl was a holocaust survivor, neurologist, psychiatrist and the founder of the theory logo therapy. Frankl was born into a Jewish family. His interest in psychology seeded during his school times. He inscribed a paper on the psychology of philosophical thinking for his final exam in Gymnasium. After finishing his studies in Gymnasium, he studied medicine in Vienna. He showed special interest in neurology and psychiatry and focused on the topics of depression and suicide. He was influenced by the writings of Sigmund Freud and Alfred Adler.
His experience in concentration camp made him to realize the real meaning of the life. He believed that finding meaning in life is important in all forms of existence, even the cruelest ones. Frankl presumes that there is always a reason to continue living. He expressed his findings and discoveries in his books. His philosophical books made him one of the key figures in existential therapy and humanistic psychologists.
He is best known for his book Man’s Search for Meaning which is the combination of his experience in Nazi concentration camp and his psychotherapeutic methods. In this book Frankl expressed his ideas of meaning and introduced his theory logo therapy, which is about the importance of meaning extra and about various stages where people find the meaning.
Logo therapy is a theory which is a branch of existential analysis. It is constructed on the belief that the most powerful motivational force and powerful driving force in human life is to find meaning in their life. This kind of unique and rare meaning must be fulfilled by that person alone, only then it attains a significance that will satisfy his/her own will to meaning. This theory is based on Kierkegaard’s will to meaning and completely contrasted to Adler’s will to power and Freud’s will to pleasure.
Logo therapy is a therapy established by Frankl. It also called the third Viennese school of psychology by few authors. It makes the patient aware of his will to find meaning can contribute much to his ability to overcome his neurosis. Logos is a Greek word that means ‘meaning’. Thus it concentrates on the meaning of human existence as well as on the human being’s search for such meanings.
It makes the human aware of their hidden logo that is their meaning of their existence. It tries to make the humans aware of what they actually crave for in the depth of their being. In logo therapy man’s main concern is rooted in fulfilling a meaning rather than a mere adjustment and adaptation to society and environment or in a mere satisfaction or gratification of instincts and drives.
Logo therapist is neither teacher nor a preacher; they are more concerned with moral exhortation rather with logical reasoning. They act as an eye specialist and not as a painter where the painter tries to show the world that he want us to see, the eye specialist strives to show the world as it is. Thus logo therapist’s role is to broaden and widen the visual field of the patient so that the true meaning of his life becomes visible to him.
This thesis is an attempt to explore the some simple and basic questions of life like What life really is?, what is the purpose of life?, and what is really important in life?. It tries to explain the importance of life and meaning. In order to live content life one must know who he/she really is and what they really want from life. Meaning in life gives clear view of life and self thus encourages one to live a content life.
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