Literature and Resistance in Guatemala · Textual Modes and Cultural Politics from El Señor Presidente to Rigoberta Menchú

By Marc Zimmerman

What circumstances lead writers in a poor, multi-ethnic and largely illiterate country to produce a literature that both expresses and affects opposition to the regime? Who are these writers? This study examines these and other questions about the literature of resistance in Guatemala, from the days of Estrada Cabrera up to the events of May and June of 1993.


These essays examine the multifaceted work of the Central American author whom Latin American literary historians consider precursor of “cultural dialogism” in poetry and fiction. As poet, essayist, journalist, novelist, and writer of “quasi–testimonio,” Alegría’s multiple discourses transgress the boundaries between traditional and postmodern political theories and practices.


José Carlos Mariátegui, the Peruvian political theorist of the 1920s, was instrumental in developing an indigenous Latin American revolutionary Marxist theory. He rejected a rigid, orthodox interpretation of Marxism and applied his own creative elements, which he believed could move a society to revolutionary action without the society having to depend upon more traditional economic factors.


This volume records the perspectives of a highly diverse group of prominent individuals who met late in 1988 in an important international symposium concerned with the continuing conflicts in Central America.


The Tension of Paradox · Jose Donoso's the Obscene Bird of Night As Spiritual Exercises

By Pamela May Finnegan

Pamela Finnegan provides a detailed criticism of a major novel written by one of Chile’s leading literary figures. She analyzes the symbolism and the use of language in The Obscene Bird of Night, showing that the novel’s world becomes an icon characterized by entropy, parody, and materiality.


The Nicaraguan Constitution of 1987 · English Translation and Commentary

By Kenneth J. Mijeski

This volume of seven essays on the 1987 Nicaraguan constitution does not accept a priori the judgment that Latin American constitutions are as fragile as egg shells, easily broken and discarded if found to be inconvenient to the interests of the rulers. Rather, they are viewed as being central to understanding political life in contemporary Nicaragua. The perspectives of the analysts and their conclusions are not consensual. They prohibit glib and facile general conclusions.


Kubitschek was one of the most important political leaders of Brazil during the twentieth century. As president, he pushed decisively for the industrialization of the largest of the Latin American nations. He also provided his country with the most democratic regime it had ever experienced. His leadership stimulated a flowering of Brazilian culture in literature, art, music, and architecture.


Laureano Gómez was president of Colombia in the early 1950s until overthrown by a military coup. He was also, for some fifty years, the leading exponent of Latin American conservatism, a political philosophy with roots in both nineteenth–century politics and religion. Focusing on Gómez, and other prominent conservative politicians, Henderson traces the evolution of Latin American conservatism and demonstrates the scope of its influence throughout the continent.


This volume addresses the complex issue of the Christian response to the Nicaraguan revolution from a perspective generally sympathetic to the Sandinista’s goals. Luis Serra, himself a Latin American who has worked with the peasantry, argues that the institutional Church has now become a major autonomous source of opposition to the revolution.