Latin American Literature Today No. 10

Number 10

In our tenth issue, we question the values of literature and journalism in the post-truth age through the words of Mexican writer Juan Villoro and we explore new territories of digital literature in a dossier curated by Scott Weintraub. We also feature memories of the 1968 Tlatelolco Massacre told through graphic narrative, new perspectives on the...

When faced with a totally new situation, we tend to attach ourselves to the objects, to the flavor of the most recent past. We look at the present through a rear-view mirror. We march backwards into...

The production of electronic literature in Colombia obeys at least four patterns of cultural behavior, each with its own tensions and challenges. It is also increasingly co-opted by the requirements of an emerging consumer market of cultural and educational digital content. This essay shows how these conditions of production emerge and what type...

Based on the recent appearance of the Antología de poesia electrónica (2018) in the portal of the Centro de Cultura Digital de México, containing diverse and multimodal/media works by six young poets (Zapoteca 3.0, Nadia Cortés, Carolina Villanueva Lucero, Romina Cazón, Ana Medina y Martín Rangel), and which develops poetic projects that...

Most of the Latin American and Latina women1 creators included in recent, global databases of electronic literature2 fall into the loose definition of e-poets. One of the earliest to make their mark in this emerging field was Ana Maria Uribe (Argentina), who worked in the field of visual and kinetic poetry. Over time she moved from creating non-...

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Fiction

Mayra Santos Febres

All my life I've been told I should be afraid of women like her. But now I need her for thousands of reasons. I need to know what she knows. Know the people she knows. Get inside her. I need to see with her shooter's eyes, eyes for the kill. Learn what she's learned from the earth, from the laws of the earth. Because the earth isn't as we imagine...

María Fernanda Ampuero

Niña Ali was strange, strange even in her generosity. For example, she wouldn’t give us expired food or old clothes. She gave us the good things. The same as she ate and wore. Of course, her clothes were far too big, but she sent them to be altered before giving them to us. And when she travelled she brought us back new clothes, handbags, make-up...

El último zarpazo

When he got home hours later, Felipe confirmed, with astonishment and dread, that his wife had actually left. According to their agreement, Julia had taken half of everything, plus what they had gotten together to create a home that would have the flavor of her homeland: the Talavera jars, the dinner set from Tlaquepaque, the Oaxacan rugs, the...

Interviews

Luis Fernando

Luis Fernando has worked as a professional comic artist for more than forty years. Since 1979, he has published in papers like Unomásuno, El Universal, La Jornada, and Milenio Diario. He spoke to us about the evolution of Mexican comics and graphic art as a way to confront his own past.

Jimmy Santiago Baca

At the beginning of May I traveled to northern New Mexico. My trip was motivated by a close writer friend who did a writing retreat with Jimmy Santiago Baca and, since I had previously asked Baca for an interview, this ended up being the best time to do it.

Megan McDowell

Responsible for bringing a new generation of Latin American voices into English, Megan McDowell has translated some of the most renowned contemporary authors in Spanish, including Alejandro Zambra, Mariana Enriquez, Gonzalo Torné, Lina Meruane, Diego Zuñiga, and Carlos Fonseca. After the success of her translation of Argentine writer Samanta...

Essays

Tlatelolco

In the Plaza de las Tres Culturas in the Tlatelolco neighborhood in Mexico City, an austere stone commemorates the tragic night of October 2, 1968. Following a short list with the names and ages of fallen students, appears a lonely question mark: "(?) ...". A silent shout of the names of so many others who in 1968 shouted one last time for a freer...

Braulio Fernández Biggs

It’s a very peculiar experience to begin addressing the theatrical and hermeneutic problems of the so-called “Nunnery Scene” in Hamlet by telling your students: “Turn to page 57.” It seems trivial; in the end, the goal is to get to the text and analyze it.

Weildler Guerra Curvelo

Over a decade ago, while I was preparing a conference in New York City for an indigenous researchers meeting, I was examining photographs that could help me illustrate the paradoxes surrounding the historic region known as La Guajira. One of them showed the sinuous lines resembling sandy rivers that furrowed the face of an old wayuu lady, another...

Poetry

Marosa di Giorgio

    Once again I saw the forest of elder trees, the little rivers and their nearly nameless inhabitants: the spoons of water, the pans of water and the mushrooms.

Ángelo Néstore

Like rearranging the furniture of one’s home,searching for some peace,that’s how I prepare to burn the bridgesthat uphold everything I knew as manly.

Margara Russotto

Everything is very cmplicated here,dearest friend.The cffee and the sugar have disappeared.

Editor’s Pick

La hija de la española. Karina Sainz Borgo.

Where does one begin to lie? With a name? With a gesture? In memories? Perhaps in words? The success of a lie depends in great part upon its beginning. There are narratives that manage to not only set the tone, but to define the theme within the first half of the first line. That is the case in Karina Sainz Borgo’s La hija de la española [...

When I Walk Through That Door, I Am: An Immigrant Mother’s Quest. Jimmy Santiago Baca

Jimmy Santiago Baca’s new book is a long poem, which “brilliantly reimagines the epic poem”, according to Richard Blanco.  The work is a cyclical poem and depicts almost if not all the features of an epic poem.  The reference to Neruda’s Canto General (1950) is unavoidable if we speak of the historical-political identity of the poem,...

El vértigo horizontal. Juan Villoro

El vértigo horizontal [Horizontal vertigo], by the Mexican writer Juan Villoro, is designed as a cartographic map of the Mexico City subway with different lines and intersections. The lines lead to different descriptions of how to live in the city, characters of the city, crossings, places, and ceremonies. The index that is designed as a...

Indigenous Literature

Jayariyú Farías Montiel

In August of last year, we had the opportunity to publish a dossier of indigenous literature dedicated to contemporary Wayuu literature written in Colombia in LALT. Within the texts we published, there were evident and repeated allusions to the Wayuu people “of this side” and “of that side,” paraphrasing Cortázar, since the Wayuu community lives...

Daniela Catrileo

Since its third issue, Latin American Literature Today has included a special dossier to disseminate the voices of dozens of indigenous women poets who since the 80s have forcefully burst onto the scene all over the American continent. This editorial move is a humanitarian as well as a political gesture, since these voices,...

Manuel Espinosa Sainos

I would like to begin by stating that translating Indigenous literatures into languages like English is seldom done and even less theorized. In the case of “bilingual” Indigenous texts, for example, Indigenous authors themselves tend to create both the Indigenous- and Spanish-language text. As I lay out in my recent article on the poetry of the...