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Chapter 11 - Latin American Literature and Dependency Theory Today

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 March 2022

Colleen Lye
University of California, Berkeley
Christopher Nealon
Johns Hopkins University
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This essay offers a three-part periodization of the Latin American novel in dialogue with 1960s dependency theory, arguably Latin America’s most important contribution to a wider Marxist tradition. Against the backdrop of a widespread turn toward textualist modes of analysis in the field of literary studies since the 1980s, this essay argues that dependency theory and the novel offer parallel means through which to analyze the structured nature of Latin American “difference” as arising from within – and not outside or beyond – the order of capital. Moving from nineteenth-century Brazilian realism to 1960s “Boom” narrative to contemporary Mexican noir, and drawing from pioneering critics such as Roberto Schwarz, Jean Franco, and Hernán Vidal, the essay argues that both dependency theory and the novel remain vital to excavating a history of the present.

After Marx
Literature, Theory, and Value in the Twenty-First Century
, pp. 176 - 191
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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