The Boom in Spanish American Literature

Topic: LifeDream
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Last updated: May 11, 2019
When was the boom? And what did this period mean?
Late 50s and early 60s – it was the period in which South American fiction arrived on the global stage, wins prizes, attracts attention and gains prestige.

Why was the world interested in Spanish and Latin American fiction?
It was a tumultuous time in spain and spanish america due to the dictatorships and everyone was interested to see how this would come across through their modern literature.

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What are 5 key characteristics of Boom literature?
1. Experimental style of literature2. High Culture (i.e. not popular – designed for mass consumption).

3. Non linear plot (circular narrative) 4. Use of fantasy/magic to express reality 5. Critique of political reality (many novels were written by left wing writers)

When was Carlos Fuentes’ book ‘La region más transaprente’ published?

What book one the bibliotica breve prize in 1962?
Mario Vargas Llosla’s ‘La ciudad de los perros’

When was the end of the boom considered to be and why?
1970 – the suspension of the bibliotica breve prize

What is magical realism?
a literary genre or style, associated with latin american literature, that incorporates fantastic or mythical elements into realistic fiction.

What are two key elements of magical realism?
1. Hyperbole/Supernatural elements but with regular, everyday setting2. Supernatural/Fantasy treated as an everyday occurrence which is confusing to the reader

What is magical realism a reaction against? How?
Realism. It blurs boundaries between fiction, reality, life and death.

What is Magical realism of way of expressing? How is it interpreted?
Way of expressing latin american reality. It will be interpreted differently depending on the reader

What are 4 main themes in Latin American boom literature?
1. Injustice 2. Death 3. Corruption 4. Authority

What was magical realism exported as? What does this represent?
a literary technique as a result of the boom and therefore represents how influential the boom was.

Who were the big 4 Spanish American boom writers and where were they from?

Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Colombia)2. Carlos Fuentes (Mexico) 3. Mario Vargas Llosa (Peru)4. Julio Cortazar (Argentina)

What were the 3 effects of the boom?
1. Latin American writers achieve international readership and reputation.

2. Magical realism was exported 3. Rise of publishing houses throughout the region eg. Fondo de Cultura economica (Mexico) and Tercer Mundo (colombia)

When was Gabriel Garcia Marquez Born? What periods does his work cover.

What is he considered to be a key exponent of? What are three of his works?

1928. Boom and Post Boom. One of the key exponents of magical realism. Cien anos de soledad, el otono de patriarch, la hojaresca.

When was Marias Vargas Llosa born? What did he win in 2010. When does his work cover. What is an example of his early work? What is an example of his later work?

Won the Nobel Prize for literature. Work covers boom and post boom. Early: La casa verde, la ciudad de los perros. Later: La tía Julia y el escribidor.

When was Julio Cortazar born? Which of his novels is considered to be one of the key boom publications?


What is interesting about Julio Cortazar’s book ‘Rayuela’? What does it epitomise?
It has various endings and appears as a stream of consciousness. Epitomises the experimental literature of the boom. The book has a chart (Tabela de leccion) which tells you in what order to read the book. eg. you can start at any chapter.

When was Carlos Fuentes born? What is his key book?
1928. La muerte de Artemio Cruz.

What is ‘La muerte de Artemio Cruz’ considered to have done?
bring the arrival of Latin American literature on the international scene.

What are 4 features of la muerte de Artemio Cruz?
1. Use of flash back/cross cutting/multiple narrations2. Non linear narrative – moves between past and present 3. Some parallels with the narrativa de dictadores4.

Reflects Fuentes’ critique of Mexican reality through use of experimentalism.

What does la muerte de artemio cruz represnt? What verb is often used?
the death of idealism and triumph of individual opportunitism. The use of the verb ‘chingar’ (to screw over) is a theme. i.

e.. to screw others before they screw you. ‘change a su madre’.

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