Documents in Crisis: Nonfiction Literatures in Twentieth-Century Mexico (SUNY Series in Latin American and Iberian Thought and Culture)
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Examines the theory and practice of nonfiction narrative literature in twentieth-century Mexico.
the autobiographical-I and his or her invention of self in the act of self-narration. José Vasconcelos’s four-volume, two-thousand-page Memorias belongs squarely to the tradition of classic autobiography as deﬁned by Gusdorf, Olney, and Lejeune. Here is a prime example of the Western, male, middle-class, well-educated subject writing the story of his own personal development with an emphasis on his individuality and originality, his intellectual formation and his public achievements, as well as
communist movement. That is, there is a striking shift from the depiction of futile suffering in “La infancia” to purposeful, although often dangerous struggle in “En la lucha.” In Benita the narrator describes her political awakening in a moment of crisis: her ﬁrst arrest while advocating for her husband’s freedom at a rally. The loss of her own freedom and the injustice of her arrest shock her into an awareness of the need to ﬁght against injustice and oppression in the larger society. Her new
document, and Cancian speciﬁcally conﬁrms the authenticity and reliability of its information based on his own ﬁeldwork in the region (Cancian 1372). Literary scholar Mario Valdés cites Juan Pérez Jolote as one of two outstanding mid-century narratives treating the Tzotzil (the other is Rosario Castellanos’s Oﬁcio de tinieblas), and he mentions the presence of extensive information about the economic, social, and religious structure of Chamula society that is documented by carefully observed and
occurring at the level of the national life insofar as they touch the protagonist (the Revolution) or the Chamula community (the annual arrival of new civil authorities). The measurement of time in weeks and months generally pertains to the life activities of the protagonist experienced outside of his town, including the careful counting of the days spent working for wages on the lowland plantations, where each day holds a small monetary value against the debt contracted prior to the season of
in the previous chapter’s discussion of two chronicles about (un)natural catastrophe and its human consequences. In this chapter I will continue the study of the contemporary chronicle and politics by examining a manifestation of one of the genre’s principal contributions to public discourse in Mexico: the representation of new social movements and political crises from a nongovernmental perspective. The student movement of 1968 initiated a signiﬁcant disruption in middle-class complacency with