The Boom and Post-Boom Generations in Latin America


Boom? Magic realism? Lo real maravilloso? Whatever it is called, this generation forged—with enormous vigor and creativity—a new path for Latin American literature that put it on the map of world letters to such a degree that names like Octavio Paz, García Márquez, Carlos Fuentes, Vargas Llosa, and Julio Cortázar—in addition to “predecessors” like Jorge Luis Borges and Juan Rulfo—are usually cited among the leading figures of 20th-century literature. These authors bring with them innovation in language, style, structure, time, and narrative voice. They break with established canons, explore the friction between history and fiction, question received notions regarding origins and identities, and fuse genres without losing sight of political issues and with not a few of them finding themselves exiled. In the second semester, we will look at the generation that followed them, those writers who learned but also rebelled against them in the 1980s and beyond: Roberto Bolaño, MacOndo, Isabel Allende, Angeles Mastretta, Cuban writing since the early 1990s, etc. In this new generation, there are strong women’s voices, new questions raised about what it means to be Latin American or a citizen of the world, irony and parody beyond the internationalism that characterized the earlier generation, and interrogations regarding the postmodern condition.  Taught in Spanish. Open to interested students at Advanced Spanish level.