Synopses & Reviews
The Argentine scholar Noé Jitrik has long been one of the foremost literary critics in Latin America, noted not only for his groundbreaking scholarship but also for his wit. This volume is the first to make available in English a selection of his most influential writings. These sparkling translations of essays first published between 1969 and the late 1990s reveal the extraordinary scope of Jitrik’s work, his sharp insights into the interrelations between history and literature, and his keen awareness of the specificities of Latin American literature and its relationship to European writing. Together they signal the variety of critical approaches and vocabularies Jitrik has embraced over the course of his long career, including French structuralist thought, psychoanalysis, semiotics, and Marxism.
The Noé Jitrik Reader showcases Jitrik’s reflections on marginality and the canon, exile and return, lack and excess, autobiography, Argentine nationalism, the state of literary criticism, the avant-garde, and the so-called Boom in Latin American literature. Among the writers whose work he analyzes in the essays collected here are Jorge Luis Borges, Esteban Echeverría, Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, José Martí, César Vallejo, José Bianco, Juan Carlos Onetti, José María Arguedas, Julio Cortázar, and Augusto Roa Bastos. The Noé Jitrik Reader offers English-language readers a unique opportunity to appreciate the rigor and thoughtfulness of one of Latin America’s most informed and persuasive literary critics.
“Reading these essays, I was struck by how much all of us owe to Noé Jitrik and by his role in the formation of a Latin American intelligentsia. Jitrik’s is a voice of wisdom and passion, and this volume reveals the extraordinary scope and weight of his intellectual presence.”—Gwen Kirkpatrick, Georgetown University
Collection of groundbreaking essays by Noe Jitrik, an important critic of Latin American literature.
About the Author
Noé Jitrik was born in 1928 in Rivera, Argentina. He is the Director of the Instituto de Literatura Latinoamericana at the University of Buenos Aires. He has taught at universities in Argentina, Mexico, the United States, Puerto Rico, France, and Venezuela. Jitrik is the author of many works of literary criticism and more than a dozen books of fiction and poetry. He is currently editing a twelve-volume history of Argentine literature.
Daniel Balderston is Professor of Spanish at the University of Iowa. He is the author of books including El deseo, enorme cicatriz luminosa: ensayos sobre homosexualidades latinoamericanas; Borges, realidades y simulacros; and Out of Context: Historical Reference and the Representation of Reality in Borges (also published by Duke University Press).
Susan Benner is a lecturer in the Department of English at Iowa State University.
Table of Contents
Editor’s Preface: Suspending Belief vii
Complex Feelings about Borges 1
Between Being and Becoming: Identity, Latinity, Discourse 27
Form and Signification in Esteban Echeverria’s “The Slaughter House” 35
Canon and Margin in Latin American Literature 64
From History to Writing: Symmetrical and Asymmetrical Tendencies in the Latin American Historical Novel 79
Notes on the Latin American Avant-garde: Working Papers 96
Beneath the Sign of the Baroque 114
The Rise and Fall of Argentine Nationalism 122
Autobiography, Biography, Narrative: Sarmiento and the Origins of Argentine Literature 154
Autobiography, Memoir, Diary 169
Marti in the Latin American Library 180
Lack and Excess in Jose Bianco’s Shadow Play 193
The Suffering Narrator 208
Arguedas: Reflections and Approaches 216
Notes on the “Holy Place” and “Otherness” in Cortazar’s Bestiary 232
I, the Supreme as Historical Novel 247
Thirty Years Later 263
Works Cited 291