Buenas Noches, American Culture
235 pages

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235 pages
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Night and darkness in Latina/o art and literature

Often treated like night itself—both visible and invisible, feared and romanticized—Latina/os make up the largest minority group in the US. In her newest work, María DeGuzmán explores representations of night in art and literature from the Caribbean, Colombia, Central and South America, and the US, calling into question night's effect on the formation of identity for Latina/os in and outside of the US. She takes as her subject novels, short stories, poetry, essays, non-fiction, photo-fictions, photography, and film, and examines these texts through the lenses of nationhood, sexuality, human rights, exoticism, among others.

Introduction: Critically Inhabiting the Night
1. Dreaded Non-Identitites of Night: Night and Shadow in Chicana/o Cultural Production
2. Queer "Tropics" of Night and the Caribe of "American" (Post) Modernism
3. Postcolonial Pre-Coloumbian Cosmologies of Night in Contemporary U.S.-Based Central American Texts
4. Transcultural Night Work of U.S.-Based South American Cultural Producers
Conclusion: Two Homelands Have I: "America" and the Night



Publié par
Date de parution 09 juillet 2012
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9780253001900
Langue English

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0500€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


María DeGuzmán
INDIANA UNIVERSITY PRESS Bloomington and indianapolis
This book is a publication of
Indiana University Press
601 North Morton Street
Bloomington, Indiana 47404-3797 USA
Telephone orders 800-842-6796
Fax orders 812-855-7931
© 2012 by María DeGuzmán
All rights reserved
No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. The Association of American University Presses’ Resolution on Permissions constitutes the only exception to this prohibition.
The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of the American National Standard for Information Sciences— Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials, ANSI Z39.48-1992.
Manufactured in the United States of America
DeGuzmán, María.
Buenas noches, American culture : Latina/o aesthetics of night / María DeGuzmán.  p. cm.
Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-0-253-00179-5 (cloth : alk. paper) — ISBN 978-0-253-00189-4 (pbk. : alk. paper) — ISBN 978-0-253-00190-0 (electronic book)
1. American literature—Hispanic American authors—History and criticism. 2. Night in literature. 3. Central American literature—History and criticism. 4. South American literature — History and criticism. 5. Night in art. I. Title.
 PS153.H56D44 2012
1 2 3 4 5 17 16 15 14 13 12
Introduction: Critically Inhabiting the Night
1. Dreaded Non-Identities of Night: Night and Shadows in Chicana/o Cultural Production
2. Queer “Tropics” of Night and theCaribeof “American” (Post) Modernism
3. Postcolonial Pre-Columbian Cosmologies of Night in Contemporary U.S.-Based Central American Texts 4. Transcultural Night Work of U.S.-Based South American Cultural Producers Conclusion:Two Homelands Have I: “America” and the Night
A word on the organization ofBuenas Noches, American Culture: Latina/o Aesthetics of Night.study concentrates on Latina/o literature and some film and photography from This the 1940s to the present, focusing chiefly on Latina/o cultural production during the last three decades. Though the study flows more or less chronologically within its individual parts, it also follows a spatial logic that arcs and spirals across the United States and between the Americas, exploring the groupings within and the sheer variety of “Latina/o” culture(s) as well as historical and contemporary connections among identities and locations. Chapter 1, on Chicana/o cultural production, is mostly situated in California and the Southwestern borderlands. Chapter 2, on continental U.S.-based Puerto Rican and Cuban American poets, concerns itself with the Hispanic Caribbean in relation to New York, New England, and the Midwest. Via the writings it examines, chapter 3 journeys to Central America, Guatemala, and Panama but also to New York, Los Angeles, and the Washington, DC, area as well as to Nicaragua and El Salvador. Chapter 4, on the transcultural night work of U.S.-based South American writers and one photographer, moves among the United States, South America, Spain, and Eastern Europe. Some segments of the arcs and spirals may be familiar to readers, and others surprising, disorienting, or vertiginous. Such were the mappings that unfolded before those tenuous instruments, my eyes, as they contemplated 1 tropes of night in Latina/o cultural production. As for temporality, within the framework of the contemporary period this book shuttles back and forth not only between postmodernism and modernism but, via the works themselves and sometimes in the blink of an eye, between a pre-Columbian era and the twenty-third century (2280 ad, to be precise). Simultaneously, this study takes its time. The introduction shades into its subject matter through various deepening degrees to arrive at Latina/o aesthetics of night. Such is the fluidity of time—movements made simultaneously at very different speeds—under the auspices of night.
For insightful remàrks, conversàtions, ànd màny other kinds of intellectuàl exchànge over the yeàrs thàt helped me to see more keenly into the dàrk of this book’s subject màtter during its conception, reseàrch, ànd composition, I would like to thànk Arturo ànd Frederick Aldàmà, Frànces Apàricio, Ràne Ràmón Arroyo, Stuàrt Bernstein, W. Fitzhugh Brundàge, Bernàdette Càlàfell, Brooke Church, Luchà Corpi, Màríà Coterà, Elyse Crystàll, Elizàbeth ànd Luis de Guzmán, Sàmuel R. Delàney, Theresà Delgàdillo, Arturo Escobàr, Rebeckà Rutledge Fisher, Màríà Alicià Gàrzà, Tànyà González, Nàn Goodmàn, airsten Silvà Gruesz, Minrose Gwin, Làurà Hàlperin, Càrlos Jiménez Càhuà, Ràndàll aenàn, Sherryl aleinmàn, Michàel P. aràmer, Alice auzniàr, Làrry Là Fountàin-Stokes, Antonio López, Debbie López, Ashley Lucàs, Rità Màrtin, Clàudià Miliàn, Amelià Màríà de là Luz Montes, Achy Obejàs, Brendà Pàlo, Richàrd Pérez, Cecile Pinedà, Dellà Pollock, John Ribó, Jonàthàn Risner, Ràlph Rodriguez, Màriànà Romo-Càrmonà, Ruth Sàlvàggio, Màríà Sánchez, Betsy Sàndlin, Alberto Sàndovàl-Sánchez, Alàn Shàpiro, Glenn Sheldon, Jàmes Smàlls, Pàtricià Juliànà Smith, Màrgàret Diàne Stetz, Xàvier F. Totti, Luz Màríà Umpierre, Antonio Viego, Lindà Wàgner-Màrtin, ànd Sue Wells. I would àlso like to thànk Indiànà University Press, notàbly Jànet Ràbinowitch, Jàne aàthleen Behnken, Sàràh Wyàtt Swànson, Ràinà Nàdine Polivkà, Angelà Burton, Màrvin aeenàn, ànd airà Bennett às well às the ànonymous reàders of this mànuscript for their thoughtful comments, their helpful suggestions, ànd their belief in this project. Màny thànks to Denise Càrlson for her càreful indexing. I àm gràteful to The Institute for the Arts ànd Humànities às well às to the Depàrtment of English ànd Compàràtive Literàture àt the University of North Càrolinà àt Chàpel Hill for màking reseàrch leàve possible. My deep gràtitude goes to my pàrents, Brooke Church, ànd my càt “Cuchi” for their presence.
Buenas Noches, Readers
Tropes of night in U.S. Latina/o arts take up the stigma of darkness as a condition to be inhabited ethno-racially and philosophically despite claims that the fate of U.S. Latina/os is to conform to an Anglo-American hegemony. Evocations of night might seem to be a way of making oneself palatable to a dominant Anglo culture through romanticization as people for whom the night is one longfiesta. However, exoticism within this rhetoric of night transgresses policed borders: a language of night and “vision-illuminated darkness” 1 emerges to disturb people’s sleep. The escapism that is often associated with night— particularly in the idea of night asfiesta or respite from the day—is channeled to wake the comfortable sleep of dreamers, challenging the habits of readers and viewers. Illustrative of this aesthetico-political practice is the mention of night in Cuban American 2 author Cristina García’s 2007 novelA Handbook to Luck.cover of night, the Under character Marta Claros flees the civil war in El Salvador and her abusive husband, who works on the firing squad killing rebels for the U.S.-backed military government:
Marta had never seen a sky this dark. There was no moon, and the stars seemed to hide in the black folds of midnight. The silence was so complete that Marta feared life itself had withdrawn from these parts. At any moment she might cross the border from one world to the next, imperceptibly, like death. The coyote said that a night like this was good cover, that theyanquis’fiercest lights 3 couldn’t penetrate it.
The dark night presents an escape route for Marta, a birth canal from El Salvador across Guatemala and into the United States where she must begin life all over again. She must survive the illegality of her status despite the forces ranged against her. García deploys night in connection with the experiences of Marta Claros, who is always journeying, like Lena Grove in Faulkner’s novelLight in August,originally titledDark House.The relationship between darkness and light (and light as birth) is extensive and complex in both novels. García’s novel mobilizes whatever escapist romance might be associated with night to portray the precarious passage into the United States of those dehumanized under the label “illegals.” The darkest period of night is represented as the paradoxical medium of baptismal birth and survival for so many twentieth-century and recent immigrants from the Other America south and southeast of the United States, who become “Latina/os” with all the 4 chaotic disorientations that attend the category that is not one category. Tropes of night are equally important to Latina/os who have been living for centuries within what became the geographical boundaries of the United States of America and yet, time and time again, have been rendered foreigners in their native land or, at best, second-class citizens. Tropes of night express and construct the multiple dimensions of beinglos otros americanos. To convey the range of meanings of the Spanish phrase “buenas noches,” English must furnish at least two phrases: “good evening” and “good night.” “Buenas noches” serves a dual function in the Spanish language. It does likewise in my study, signifying hello and good-bye, arrival and departure, recognition and transformation, beginnings and endings,
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