Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Literal: the summer issue is out

News from LITERAL: Latin American Voices, vol. 9, Summer 2007

"All that is solid melts into air"--Karl Marx's famous dictum about modernity is perhaps truer today than ever before. This issue brings together three essays about the problems of culture, identity and history in the Spanish-speaking world that probe key aspects of the ever-fluctuating reality by which we are surrounded. Carlos Monsiváis presents in evocative fashion the transformation of Mexican culture--typically thought of as marked by its adherence to tradition--into a culture of migration, a transformation so deep that even those who remain behind have become migrants in a psychological or spiritual sense. Jay Mitsche Sepulveda explores the uncertain position of Hispanics and Latinos in the United States--Hisptinos he calls them--resisting assimilation but unable to overcome the splintering of their identity into separate national groups. Sebastiaan Faber examines the fierce, unresolved debates about the Spanish Civil War, showing how these disputes are symptoms of the shattering of traditional scholarly and journalistic notions of rigor and objectivity in an era of information overload. But the collapse of old certainties also offers new opportunities: for expanding the reach of tolerance, according to Monsiváis; for "fresh thinking," in the words of Sepulveda; and for a new, less rigid concept of historical truth, according to Faber.

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