Synopses & Reviews
Over the past fifty years, Puerto Rican voters have roundly rejected any calls for national independence. Yet the rhetoric and iconography of independence have been defining features of Puerto Rican literature and culture. In the provocative new book Dream Nation
, Marandiacute;a Acosta Cruz investigates the roots and effects of this profound disconnect between cultural fantasy and political reality.
Bringing together texts from Puerto Rican literature, history, and popular culture, Dream Nation shows how imaginings of national independence have served many competing purposes. They have given authority to the islandandrsquo;s literary and artistic establishment but have also been a badge of countercultural cool. These ideas have been fueled both by nostalgia for an imagined past and by yearning for a better future. They have fostered local communities on the island, and still helped define Puerto Rican identity within U.S. Latino culture.
In clear, accessible prose, Acosta Cruz takes us on a journey from the 1898 annexation of Puerto Rico to the elections of 2012, stopping at many cultural touchstones along the way, from the canonical literature of the Generaciandoacute;n del 30 to the rap music of Tego Calderandoacute;n. Dream Nation thus serves both as a testament to how stories, symbols, and heroes of independence have inspired the Puerto Rican imagination and as an urgent warning about how this culture has become detached from the everyday concerns of the islandandrsquo;s people.
A volume in the American Literature Initiatives series
andquot;No other book weaves together so beautifully and completely the political, historical, social, economic, and cultural threads which make up the tapestry of Puerto Rican nationalism. Graceful, thought provoking, and deeply learned, Dream Nation will certainly have a lasting impact.andquot;
andquot;Gutsy and provocative, Dream Nation
explores the 'semantics of desire' of colonial tropes of independence, challenging readers to probe and explicate the gaping abyss between yearning and fulfillment in identity politics.andquot;
andquot;An excellent book and an engrossing read. Highly recommended.andquot;
In this provocative new book, Maria Acosta Cruz investigates why the rhetoric of independence is so pivotal to Puerto Rican culture, despite the fact that the islandandrsquo;s voters have consistently rejected calls for national sovereignty. Weaving together texts from literature, history, and popular culture, Dream Nation
shows how this seemingly revolutionary and populist iconography of independence has become an established orthodoxy.
About the Author
and#160;MARandIacute;A ACOSTA CRUZ is an associate professor of Spanish at Clark University. Her work has appeared in the journals Hispanandoacute;fila, Revista Iberoamericana, Revista de Estudios Hispandaacute;nicos,
and Chasqui Revista de Literatura Latinoamericana
Table of Contents
1. Literary Tradition and the Canon of Independence
2. Breaking Tradition
3. From the Lush Land to the Traffic Jam
4. Dream History, Dream Nation
5. Dreaming in Spanglish