José Martí, comparative critique, and the emergence of Latina/o modernity in gilded age New York

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Abstract

Es claro que la Am. puede crear y está creando, un lenguaje nuevo. (It is clear that America can create and is creating a new language.) -José Martí (Obras completas 22: 143) Es de hombres de prólogo y superficie-que no hayan hundido los brazos en las entrañas humanas, que no vean desde la altura imparcial hervir en igual horno las naciones, que en el huevo y tejido de todas ellas no hallen el mismo permanente duelo del desinterés constructor y el odio inicuo,-el entretenimiento de hallar variedad sustancial entre el egoísta sajón y el egoísta latino, el sajón generoso o el latino generoso, el latino burómano o el burómano sajón: de virtudes y defectos son capaces por igual latinos y sajones. Lo que varía es la consecuencia peculiar de la distinta agrupación histórica. -José Martí (“La Verdad sobre los Estados Unidos,” Patria 23 de marzo de 1894; En los Estados Unidos 1753) [The entertainment of locating any substantial distinction between the Saxon egotist and the Latino egotist, the generous Saxon and the generous Latino, the Saxon bureaucrat and the Latino bureaucrat - for Latinos and Saxons have an equal capacity for virtues and defects - is only for men of prologue and surface, men who have not sunk their arms into human entrails, men who do not, from an impartial height, watch the nations all boiling on the same stove, men who do not find, in their very germ and fabric, the same permanent duel between constructive selflessness and wicked hatred. What varies are the peculiar consequences of the distinct historical grouping. -José Martí (“The Truth about the United States,” SW 329, translation modified)] A self-affirmation of latinidad as modern despite being minoritarian, not beholden to the cultural ideals nor the political dictates of Europe or the United States, appears in the New York-resident José Martí‘s writings towards the end of his life, when, after twelve years in the largest US city, he became the “Delegado” of the Partido Revolucionario Cubano and continued to write the torrents of poetry and prose through which he inscribed himself into multiple literary histories.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Cambridge History of Latina/o American Literature
PublisherCambridge University Press
Pages249-275
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9781316869468
ISBN (Print)9781107183087
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities(all)

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