Can Literature Promote Justice?
225 pages

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As if in direct response to The New Yorker's question of "The Power of the Pen: Does Literature Change Anything?" Kimberly Nance takes up the relationship between ethics and literature. With the 40th anniversary of the testimonio occurring in 2006, there has never been a better time to reconsider its role in achieving social justice.

The advent of the testimonio--loosely, a political autobiography of a Latin American activist who hopes, through the telling of her life story, to bring about change--was met with a great deal of excitement by scholars who posited it as a radical new form of literature. Those accolades were almost immediately followed by a series of critical problems. In what sense were testimonios "true"? What right did privileged scholars in the U.S. have to engage accounts of suffering with traditional modes of criticism? Were questions of veracity or aesthetics more important? Were these texts autobiography or political screeds? It seemed critics didn't know quite what to make of the testimonio and so, after a brief bout of engagement, disregarded it.

Nance, however, argues that any form as prolific as the testimonio is well worth examining and that these questions, rather than being insurmountable, are exactly the questions with which scholars ought to be wrestling. If, as critics claim, that the testimonio is one of the most pervasive contemporary Latin American cultural genres, then it is high time for a comprehensive study of the genre such as Nance's.



Publié par
Date de parution 28 avril 2006
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9780826592125
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 1 Mo

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Can  Literature Promote ? ?  Justice Trauma Narrative  and Social Action in Latin AmericannimotiesTo  . 
Can Literature Promote Justice?
Can Literature Promote Justice?
Trauma Narrative and Social Action in Latin AmericanTestimonio
 Kimberly A. Nance
Vanderbilt University Press 
© 2006 Vanderbilt University Press All rigts reserved First edition 2006 10 09 08 07 06 1 2 3 4 5
Printed on acid-free paper Manufactured in te United States of America Designed by Wendy McAnally
Material from tree previously publised essays appears ere wit te permission of te copyrigt olders: “ ‘Let us say tat tere is before me a uman being wo is suffering’: Empaty, Exotopy and Etics in te Reception of Latin American CollaborativeTestimonio.” InBaktin: Etics and Mecanics, edited by Valerie Z. Nollan, 57–74. Evanston: Nortwestern University Press, 2003. DisarmingTestimony:SpeakersResistancetoWriters,CriticsandReadersAppropriations in Latin AmericanTestimonio.” Biograpy24, no. 3 (2001): 570–88. “FromQuarto de Despejoto a Little House: Domesticity as Personal and Political Testimony in te Diaries of Carolina Maria de Jesus.”PALARA: Publication of te Afro-Latin/American Researc Association5 (2001): 42–49.
Nance, Kimberly A. Can literature promote justice? : trauma narrative and social action in Latin American testimonio / Kimberly A. Nance. — 1st ed.  p. cm.  Includes bibliograpical references and index.  ISBN 0-8265-1523-1 (clot : alk. paper)  ISBN 0-8265-1524-X (pbk. : alk. paper) 1. Latin American prose literature—20t century—History and criticism. 2. Literature and society—Latin America. I. Title. PQ7082.P76N36 2006 868.6080998dc222005022819
To Liam and Niall
Introduction:  Latin AmericanTestimonioand Testimonial  Criticism asProject, Process, and Product 1
1. A Genre Without a Strategy?  Latin AmericanTestimonioas a Retorical Project 19
2. A Genre Without an Addressee?  Readers, Retoric, and Resistance 48
3. A Genre Without a Chance?  Predictingte Social Effectiveness  of Testimonial Narratives 66
4.he Capacities and Constraints ofTestimonio’s Speakers and Experiencing Writers100
5. he Capacities and Constraints of Collaborating Writers, Translators, Editors, and PublisHers119
6.heCapacitiesandConstraintsofCritics:  Celebration and Mourning 137
Conclusion:  From Poetics to Prosaics
Appendix:  A Brief History of Latin American  Testimonial Narrative 167
Works Cited
My work on trauma narrative owes muc to conversations wit my fater, Jon Coleman Nance. Wen I was in ig scool, e was applying is experience from te military ospital in Da Nang, Viet Nam, to te emergency room of Cook County Hos-pital in Cicago. At dinner eac nigt, e told te day’s stories, and explained ow tey would figure at upcoming legislative earings and budget panels were e lobbied for social legisla-tion tat would reduce te incidence of trauma. hus, early on, I was convinced tat trauma required not only treatment but canges in public policy to prevent it from appening again, and I grew up amid empirical evidence tat narrative could be used to promote tose canges.  Years later, as I presented papers and publised articles on testimonio, conversations wit audience members and readers made it clear tat interest in te genre extended beyond te cir-cles of Latin Americanists. Wen I set out to make tis researc accessible to tose readers, Betsy Pillips at Vanderbilt Univer-sity Press took me at my word and eld me to it. I appreciate er fait and tenacity. Often our conversations were informed by te comments of a generous and demanding reader wo was at te time anonymous. I am pleased now to be able to tank Paul Jon Eakin.  Finally, no accounting of te conversations tat saped tis book would be complete witout acknowledging countless ex-canges wit Keit Alan Sprouse, wo as always been willing to talk about literature, justice, and persuasion.
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