The Post Boom in Spanish American Literature

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Last updated: May 5, 2019

What time period did the post boom take place?
The late 1970s

What was the first reason for the post boom?
Political Reasons. Cuban poet Herberto Padilla was arrested in 1971 on the grounds of counter revolutionary activities which dissolved the faith in the cuban revolution of the boom writers.

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What was the second reason for the post boom?
Literary Reasons. José Donoso’s ‘El obscene parajo de la noche’ is symbollic due to its extremely difficult style and is an indication for a need in change of direction.

What was the third reason for the post boom?
Thematic Reasons. Mass Culture was introduced. Authors such as Manuel Puig introduce elements such as B-movies, porn, radionovelas etc in their novels.

What did the post boom emerge as?
As a reaction of the new narrative and as a new version of it.

What were boom writers criticised for? What is different about the post boom?
Boom writers were criticised for being too experimental and not as easily accessible. The post boom is accessible to a broader audience – some authors return to a more plot centred, clearly structured narrative.

What is a similar theme in boom and post boom literature?
Political engagement – however they are undertaken in different ways

What is historical context strongly influenced by?
the exile experience and consolidation of dictatorships in the southern cone.

What was the boom era dominated by? What was the post boom era dominated by?
Male voices (authors and characters). Voices of homosexuals, exiles and women.

What does the post boom era move away from?
Magical realism and engages in the socio historical reality.

What are the 5 key characteristics of the post boom?
1. Wider variety of writers, often with different backgrounds and literary styles (exile novels, autobiographical novels)2. characters and themes move away from traditional views of masculinity. 3. Themes are exile, politics, society, sexuality, everyday life4.

Non experimental fiction – simpler style of writing 5. Novels are historically accurate and deal with both fictional and historical figures at the same time

Where is Manuel Puig from and when was he born?
Argentina, 1932

What are the main themes in Manuel Puigs work?
– Break with the contrast in high and low culture – Introduction of popular mass culture elements in his literature – Critique to traditional social and gender roles – In favour of sexual and political dissidence

What is Manuel Puigs most famous work?
El beso de la mujer araña

When was el beso de.. written?
1976, on the eve of the Argentine military dictatorship, in a context of increasing repression.

What are the main themes of ‘el beso de la muj…’
critique of authoritarianism and established social and gender roles, homosexuality and political activism

What is the style of ‘el beso..

Non narative in style, mainly dialogue between 2 main characters and some passages of interior monologue.

Who are the main characters and what does it do in terms of genre?
Valentin, a political activist and Molina, a homosexual who are jailed in the same cell. It uses popular genres to approach serious topics.

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