National consolidation and romantic novels go hand in hand in Latin America. Foundational Fictions shows how 19th century patriotism and heterosexual. and implementing foundational fictions through legislative or . DORIS. SOMMER of history. In the e history leaves open. This is precisely w that can be conside. Sommer D. Foundational Fictions: The National Romances of Latin America. Berkeley: University of California Press;
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Sommer’s approach to nineteenth-century Latin American literature has been widely received and generally well accepted. Rather than discount Sommer’s enormous contribution to the study of nineteenth-century Latin American literature as over determined, we can take this opportunity to further examine the concepts of foundational fiction and mestizaje with respect to representations of Jewishness in Latin American literature.
I would like to begin by briefly reviewing Doris Sommer’s approach to the Latin American literary works that she calls “foundational fictions. A re-examination of her work can nonetheless benefit literary criticism and foundationxl understanding of nineteenth-century literature.
Foundational Fictions: The National Romances of Latin America – Doris Sommer – Google Books
One overarching theory unites the chapters of Sommer’s book: Romantic fjctions, on my reading, gave a rhetoric for the hegemonic projects in Gramsci’s sense of conquering the antagonist through mutual interest, or ‘love,’ rather than through coercion” Sommer 6.
Sommer arrives at her interpretation by means of her unique definition of allegory.
As Sommer herself claims, people were already reading these novels as allegories: Rather than rely on the traditional definition of allegory as an extended metaphor or “a narrative with two parallel levels of signification” 42Sommer defines allegory as “a narrative structure in which one line is a trace of the other, in which each helps to write the other” Developing this concept even further, Sommer describes “the allegory in Latin American national novels as an interlocking, not parallel, fictuons between erotics and politics” As she reads, Sommer “shuttle[s] back and forth from reading romantic intrigues to considering political designs” Her understanding of the love story informs her interpretation of the political commentary and foris versa.
A curious aspect of Sommer’s approach that must be dealt with is dotis fact that many of the love stories that she analyzes as political allegories proposing national unification and consolidation are in fact failed unions.
Foundational Fictions: The National Romances of Latin America by Doris Sommer
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