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During a century of extraordinary change, poets became the
chroniclers of deep polarizations. From Ruben Dario's quest to
renew the Spanish language to Cesar Vallejo's linking of religion
and politics, from Jorge Luis Borges's cosmopolitanism to Pablo
Neruda's placement of poetry as uncompromising speaker for the
downtrodden, and from Alejandra Pizarnik's agonies of the self to
Humberto Ak'abal's examination of all things indigenous, it is
through verse that the hemisphere's cantankerous collective soul in
an age of overhaul might best be understood.
Based on Ilan Stavans' new translation which accurately captures the verve of the original, this Norton Critical Edition includes: an introduction and explanatory annotations; contextual materials highlighting the novella's strong anticlerical views and its affinities with Don Quixote in depictions of social hierarchy in Renaissance Spain; as well as excerpts from Juan de Luna's Lazarillo sequel; and eleven critical studies.
Nobel Prize-winner Octavio Paz offers a dazzling mind journey to the sources of poetry. Poet, diplomat, writer, philosopher, hailed as an "intellectual literary one-man band" by the New York Times Book Review, Nobel Prize-winner Octavio Paz was a key figure in the Latin American Literary Renaissance and in world literature. In this entrancing work, part prose-poem and part rumination on the origins of language and the antic, erotic, sacred nature of poetry, Paz takes inspiration from Hanuman, the red-faced monkey chief and ninth grammarian of Hindu mythology. On a journey to the temple city of Galta in India-which Paz finds partially ruined in a leaf-filled countryside surrounded by forbidding hills-Hanuman's mythical encounters serve as the springboard for the poet's speculations on all manners of things, from movement and fixity to meaning and identity, the reality behind language, and the nature of nature. Images of the holy city, complete with the marauding monkeys for which it is known, constantly obtrude on his musings. Perhaps the most poetic of Paz's prose works, The Monkey Grammarian is visual: every page is rich in images, of palaces and temples, pilgrims and sadhus, and the monkey god himself. Paz's probing, crystalline prose makes this an unforgettable voyage of the mind.
A New York Times Best SellerEnough with the dead white men! Forget what you learned in school! Ever since Columbus,who was probably a converted Jew, discovered" the New World, the powerful and privileged have usurped American history. The true story of the United States lies not with the founding fathers or robber barons, but with the country's most overlooked and marginalized peoples: the workers, immigrants, housewives, and slaves who built America from the ground up and made this country what it is today.In A Most Imperfect Union , cultural critic Ilan Stavans and award-winning cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz present a vibrant alternative history of America, giving full voice to the country's unsung but exceptional people. From African royals to accused witches, from Puerto Rican radicals to Arab immigrants, Stavans and Alcaraz use sardonic humour and irreverent illustrations to introduce some of the most fascinating characters in American history,and to recount travesties and triumphs that mainstream accounts all too often ignore. What emerges is a colourful group portrait of these United States, one that champions America's progress while also acknowledging its missteps.Sweeping and cinematic, stretching from the nation's prehistory to the post-9/11 era, A Most Imperfect Union is a joyous, outrageous celebration of the complex, sometimes unruly individuals and forces that have shaped our ever-changing land.
About the Book
Since it was first published in 1971, Galarza's classic work""has been assigned in high school and undergraduate classrooms across the country, profoundly affecting thousands of students who read this true story of acculturation into American life.
To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the publication of "Barrio Boy," the University of Notre Dame Press is proud to reissue this best-selling book with a new text design and cover, as well an introduction--by Ilan Stavans, the distinguished cultural critic and editor of the "Norton Anthology of Latino Literature--"which places Ernesto Galarza and "Barrio Boy"in historical context.
About the Author
Ernesto Galarza (1905-1984) was a labor organizer, historian, professor, and community activist. When he was eight, he migrated from Jalcocotan, Nayarit, Mexico, to Sacramento, California, where he worked as a farm laborer. He received a Ph.D. in history from Columbia University. In addition to "Barrio Boy," he is the author of a number of books, including "Strangers in Our Fields" (1956), "Merchants of Labor" (1964), and "Spiders in the House and Workers in the Fields" (1970). In 1979, Dr. Galarza was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature.
"Unlike people who are born in hospitals, in an ambulance, or in a taxicab I showed up in an adobe cottage with a thatched roof that stood at one end of the only street of Jalcocotan, which everybody called Jalco for short. Like many other small villages in the wild, majestic mountains of the Sierra Madre de Nayarit, my pueblo was a hideaway. Even though you lived there, arriving in Jalco was always a surprise." --"from Chapter 1"
Reviews of the original edition
." . . An illuminating record of the forebodings of ordinary rural Mexicans at the beginning of the revolution." -- "The New York Review of Books"
"With its suspense, humor, and occasional sadness, "Barrio Boy" is splendid reading." -- "American Anthropologist "
"Galarza's proud and moving book is a testament to who he is, where he came from, and to the country which received him and in which he has devoted his life fighting for both "la justicia" and justice." -- "Social Education Journal "
"Barrio Boy"is the remarkable story of one boy's journey from a Mexican village so small its main street didn't have a name, to the "barrio" of Sacramento, California, bustling and thriving in the early decades of the twentieth century. With vivid imagery and a rare gift for re-creating a child's sense of time and place, Ernesto Galarza gives an account of the early experiences of his extraordinary life--from revolution in Mexico to segregation in the United States--that will continue to delight readers for generations to come.
Originally published in two parts in 1605 and 1615 and often considered "the first modern novel," Miguel de Cervantes's Don Quixote is undoubtedly the most influential work in the Spanish literary canon. In this groundbreaking graphic adaptation, cultural commentator Ilan Stavans and illustrator Roberto Weil reimagine Cervantes's masterpiece in ways that are both faithful and whimsically irreverent. In these pages, Stavans and Weil pay tribute to Cervantes's novel as well as its complex resonances in the centuries since its publication. The dauntless "mad knight" Don Quixote and his hapless squire, Sancho Panza, encounter the infamous windmills, contend with disbelieving peasants and noblemen, and seek relentlessly for Quixote's imaginary love, Dulcinea. They also confront their own creators and adapters-Cervantes, Salvador Dali, Franz Kafka, and Stavans and Weil themselves-and try to make sense out of the madness of drones, taxicabs, and their own literary immortality. The result is an ambitious and compelling graphic novel that reveals Don Quixote as un libro infinito-a work that reflects the past, present, and future of the human condition. Available in both English and Spanglish editions, this inspired and audacious interpretation of one of the greatest novels ever written is sure to be savored by generations to come.
Published in 1542 to an astonished and captivated public, Chronicle of the Narvaez Expedition tells the unforgettable story of a sixteenth-century soldier turned explorer who, along with three other survivors of a shipwreck, makes his way across an unknown geographic and cultural landscape. This Norton Critical Edition is based on David Frye's new translation. It is accompanied by Ilan Stavan's introduction, the translator's preface, the editor's detailed explanatory annotations, and a map tracing Cabeza de Vaca's journey from Florida to California. "Alternative Narratives and Sequels" enriches the reader's understanding of and appreciation for Cabeza de Vaca's chronicle, which can be read both as historical record and as fiction (Cabeza de Vaca having written his account years after the events took place). Gonzalo Fernandez de Oviedo y Valdez's General and Natural History of the Indies (1535) provides a different account of the same journey, while sequels can be found in a 1539 letter from the Viceroy of New Spain to the Emperor and in Fray Marcos de Niza's Relacion on the Discovery of the Kingdom of Cibola (1539). The Spanish explorers, soldiers, and missionaries of the period saw the New World as a place of enchantment, riches, and opportunity. This spirit is captured in "Contexts" with documents including a 1493 letter from Christopher Columbus to a potential benefactor of his future travels; Hernan Cortes's 1520 letter from Mexico; and an excerpt from Fray Bartolome's Brief Account of the Destruction of the Indies (1542). A selection from Miguel Leon Portilla's Broken Spears provides readers with the viewpoint of the vanquished. "Criticism" includes five major assessments of Chronicle of the Narvaez Expedition spanning eighty years. Contributors include Morris Bishop, Rolena Adorno and Patrick Charles Pautz, Paul Schneider, Andres Resendez, and Beatriz Rivera-Barnes. A Chronology, Selected Bibliography, and Index are also included.
Ilan Stavans's collection of essays on kitsch and high art in the Americas makes a return with thirteen new colorful conversations that deliver Stavans's trademark wit and provocative analysis. "A Dream Act Deferred" discusses an issue that is at once and always topical in the dialogue of Hispanic popular culture: immigration. This essay generated a vociferous response when first published in The Chronicle of Higher Education as the issue of immigration was contested in states like Arizona, and is included here as a new addition that adds a rich layer to Stavans's vibrant discourse. Fitting in this reconfiguration of his analytical conversations on Hispanic popular culture is Stavans's "Arrival: Notes from an Interloper," which recounts his origins as a social critic and provides the reader with interactive insight into the mind behind the matter.
Once again delightfully humorous and perceptive, Stavans delivers an expanded collection that has the power to go even further beyond common assumptions and helps us understand Mexican popular culture and its counterparts in the United States.
Mexican educator and thinker Jose Vasconcelos is to Latinos what W.E.B. Du Bois is to African Americans--a controversial scholar who fostered an alternative view of the future. In Jose Vasconcelos: The Prophet of Race, his influential 1925 essay, "Mestizaje"--key to understanding the role he played in the shaping of multiethnic America--is for the first time showcased and properly analyzed. Freshly translated here by John H. R. Polt, "Mestizaje" suggested that the Brown Race from Latin America was called to dominate the world, a thesis embraced by activists and scholars north and south of the Rio Grande. Ilan Stavans insightfully and comprehensively examines the essay in biographical and historical context, and considers how many in the United States, especially Chicanos during the civil rights era, used it as a platform for their political agenda. The volume also includes Vasconcelos's long-forgotten 1926 Harris Foundation Lecture at the University of Chicago, "The Race Problem in Latin America," where he cautioned the United States that rejecting mestizaje in our own midst will ultimately bankrupt the nation. Ilan Stavans is the Lewis-Sebring Professor in Latin American and Latino Culture at Amherst College. He is the general editor of The Norton Anthology of Latino Culture and the author of classics such as The Hispanic Condition and Spanglish. Jose Vasconcelos (1882-1959) was a philosopher, a pedagogue, Mexico's secretary of education, and the founder and inaugural chancellor of U.N.A.M., Latin America's preeminent public institution of higher learning.
2015 marks the four hundredth anniversary of the publication of the complete Don Quixote of La Mancha-an ageless masterpiece that is unusually fertile and endlessly adaptable. Flaubert was inspired to turn Emma Bovary into "a knight in skirts". Freud studied Quixote's psyche. Twain was fascinated by it, as were Kafka, Picasso, Nabokov, Borges and Welles. The novel has spawned ballets and operas, poems and plays, films and video games, and even shapes the identities of nations. In Quixote, Ilan Stavans, one of today's pre-eminent cultural commentators, explores these many manifestations. Training his eye on the tumultuous struggle between logic and dreams, he reveals the ways in which a work of literature is a living thing that influences and is influenced by the world around it.
As the largest and youngest minority group in the United States, the 60 million Latinos living in the U.S. represent the second-largest concentration of Hispanic people in the entire world, after Mexico. Needless to say, the population of Latinos in the U.S. is causing a shift, not only changing the demographic landscape of the country, but also impacting national culture, politics, and spoken language. While Latinos comprise a diverse minority group-with various religious beliefs, political ideologies, and social values-commentators on both sides of the political divide have lumped Latino Americans into a homogenous group that is often misunderstood. Latinos in the United States: What Everyone Need to Know (R) provides a comprehensive, multifaceted exploration of Latino American history and culture and the forces shaping this minority group in the U.S. From exploring the origins of the term "latino" and examining what constitutes Latin America, to tracing topical issues like DREAMers, the mass incarceration of Latino males, and the controversial relationship between Latin America and the United States, Ilan Stavans seeks to understand the complexities and unique position of Latino Americans. Throughout he breaks down the various subgroups within the Latino minority (Mexican-Americans, Dominican-Americans, Cuban-Americans, Puerto Ricans on the mainland, and so on), and the degree to which these groups constitute-or don't-a homogenous community, their history, and where their future challenges lay. He sees Latino culture as undergoing dramatic changes as a result of acculturation-changes that are fostering a new "mestizo" identity that is part Hispanic and part American. However, Latinos living in the United States are also impacting American culture. As Ilan Stavans argues, no other minority group will have a more decisive impact on the future of the United States.
Poetry. Fiction. Essays. Latino/Latina Studies. This milestone collection gathers unpublished stories, essays, letters, poems and a teleplay written by Acosta (1935-1974), the Chicano attorney, political activist and writer, between the early 1960s and shortly before his mysterious disappearance in Mexico in 1974.
Jewish identity and magical realism are the themes of the tales of adventure and cultural alienation collected here by the leading authority on Jewish Latin American literature. First published in 1994 as Tropical Synagogues: Short Stories by Jewish-Latin American Writers, Ilan Stavans's classic anthology is expanded and updated in this new edition.
At 9:53 on the morning of July 18, 1994, a suicide bomber drove a Renault Trafic van loaded with explosives into the Asociacion Mutual Israelita Argentina, a Jewish community center in the bustling commercial neighborhood of Once, Buenos Aires. The explosion left eighty-five people dead and over three hundred wounded. Originally published in Spanish amid widespread controversy, Once@9:53am: Terror in Buenos Aires imagines the two hours before the attack through the popular format of the fotonovela. Part documentary, part fiction, this vivid retelling of Argentina's deadliest bombing depicts a vibrant, complex urban community in the hours before its identity was forever changed. This expanded English edition includes a new essay by Ilan Stavans detailing the aftermath of the attack and the faulty investigations that have yet to yield any arrests or reach resolution. A unique and powerful visual experience, Once@9:53am is both a commemoration of an atrocity that shifted Latin American Jewish identity in innumerable ways and an ingenious use of a popular format to explore the dangerous intersection of politics and religion in Latin America.
"An interweaving of longing and reemergence"
Ten newly commissioned projects examine the complexities of contemporary Jewish American identity While American Jews are commonly considered a homogenous ethnic group, the reality today is far more complex. Conversion, adoption, intermarriage, and immigration have transformed the fabric of Jewish communities, as they have the United States as a nation. This fascinating book explores questions of American Jewish identity and how Jews fit today into larger discourses of race, ethnicity, and religion. Featuring ten photographic and video projects by emerging and mid-career artists, all commissioned by The Jewish Museum, the book presents a range of provocative discussions of the nature of Jewish identity in 21st-century America. Susan Chevlowe discusses how the artists explore individual communities to dispel stereotypes of contemporary Jewish life, and Ilan Stavans dissects the diversity of American Jews over the last century. In illuminating interviews with the artists, Joanna Lindenbaum provides insights into their ideas and methods. A beautifully illustrated portfolio of each of the commissioned works immerses the viewer in a distinctive community, revealing complex and often surprising ways in which Jewish Americans grapple with their identity. Participating artists: * Dawoud Bey * Tirtza Even and Brian Karl * Rainer Ganahl * Nikki S. Lee * Yoshua Okon * Jaime Permuth * Andrea Robbins and Max Becher * Shari Rothfarb and Avishai Mekonen * Jessica Shokrian * Chris Verene
After a chance meeting with a shaman in Colombia, Ilan Stavans, the highly regarded literary scholar, found himself in the Amazon rainforest. He had reluctantly agreed to participate in a religious ceremony that involved taking the hallucinogen ayahuasca. Even though he considered himself a skeptic and a rational intellectual, as someone whose worldview was defined by his education and his heritage as a Mexican Jew, Stavans found that the ritual pushed him to reconsider many of his basic understandings, including his perceptions of indigenous cultures in Latin America, as well as his career as teacher, thinker, and artist. This one-act play is delivered in the form of a lecture that mimics the author's startling spiritual journey. The book includes twenty-five bold images, in color and black and white, which capture the author's performance of the play.
What explains our current obsession with selfies? In I Love My Selfie noted cultural critic Ilan Stavans explores the selfie's historical and cultural roots by discussing everything from Greek mythology and Shakespeare to Andy Warhol, James Franco, and Pope Francis. He sees selfies as tools people use to disguise or present themselves as spontaneous and casual. This collaboration includes a portfolio of fifty autoportraits by the artist ADAL; he and Stavans use them as a way to question the notion of the self and to engage with artists, celebrities, technology, identity, and politics. Provocative and engaging, I Love My Selfie will change the way readers think about this unavoidable phenomenon of twenty-first-century life.
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