Traces the development of Afro-Cubanism, a movement in Caribbean arts and letters that stemmed from a rediscovery of the region's African heritage during the 1920s.
Afro-Cubanism is a movement in Caribbean arts and letters that stemmed from a rediscovery of the region's African heritage during the 1920s and to some extent paralleled the Harlem Renaissance in the United States. Thus the movement was not an isolated fad but the result of a long-standing tradition. Intended for both scholars of Latin American literature and specialists in ethnic studies, this book traces the development of Afro-Cubanism from its origins in medieval Spain to its highest expression in the 1930s. Each chapter offers a close reading of a major text that represents a moment of canonical change. Throughout the volume, special attention is given to the role played by racial ideology in the construction of the literary portrayal of Afro-Cubans.
Through a combination of literary history and insightful examination of key texts, the book clarifies issues regarding both the genesis of Afro-Cubanism and its importance in Spanish-American literature, and it links the movement to recent theories of canon formation by examining how Afro-Hispanic literary works have become valued by academic critics and writers. In order to show how nations of race and nationalism contributed to the shaping of the Afro-Cuban vogue, the volume looks at several major works and provides translations into English of a few short but influential studies.
Acknowledgements Introduction The Critical Axis Peninsular Origins: Simón Aguado's Entremés de los negros Juan Francisco Manzano: Building a Tradition The Black Witch Doctors Nicolás Guillén's Son Motifs: Afro-Cubanism Comes of Age Shaping the Canon: The Flowering of Afro-Cubanism Appendix to the Introduction: Afro-Cuban Poetry by José Juan Arrom Appendix to Chapter 2: Black Interlude by Simón Aguado Appendix to Chapter 5: Son Motifs by Nicolás Guillén Selected Bibliography Index
Endorsements Draws on Mullen's wide range of interests and consolidates in one comprehensive volume much of his previous work in the area.—Richard Jackson, Professor Emeritus^LCarleton University, Canada
[This book] provides an excellent survey of the complexities of Afro-Cubanism as it develops and as it leaves its indelible mark on the pages of Spanish American literature. By way of historical, social and literary commentaries, the author contributes to a more thorough understanding of the development of a Black presence in both Hispanic and North American literary contexts, detailing its importance with regard to the socio-political milieu and to its acceptance into the canon of Spanish American letters. The inclusion of samples of pertinent texts greatly enhances the discussion of the history and importance of literary contributions by authors of African ancestry to the store of Spanish American literature.—William W. Megenney^LProfessor of Spanish and Portuguese^LUniversity of California, Riverside