Mining Memory

Mining Memory
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Reimagining Self and Nation through Narratives of Childhood in Peru
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Mary Beth Tierney-Tello
Bucknell Studies in Latin American Literature and Theory
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Mining Memory examines how twentieth-century narratives and films reimagine the self and the nation by representing child and adolescent protagonists and their evolution. The book shows that beyond representing the struggles of individual subjects, narratives of childhood are part of a process of constructing and reconstructing cultural identity.
Every major Peruvian author of the twentieth century has written a narrative focused on childhood or coming of age. Mining Memory argues that Peruvian narratives of the twentieth century re-imagine childhood not only to document personal pasts, but also to focus on national identity as a dynamic and incomplete process. Mining Memory shows how 20th-century narratives and films reimagine the self and the nation by representing child and adolescent protagonists and their evolution, using the remembrance of childhood as part of a nation-making project. The book demonstrates how, in the context of Peru, fictions focusing on childhood become vehicles for the national reimagining and collective remembering central to much of Latin American literature.

The figure of the child, as emblem of both a collective memory and an always deferred utopian project, holds special promise for twentieth-century Peruvian writers as they write from a national context rife with cultural, racial and political conflict. The book intervenes in debates internal to Peruvian cultural studies as well as wider conversations in Latin American Studies and post-colonial studies. Mining Memory provides a new understanding to both the Latin American and Anglo-American traditions regarding the representations of national subjectivities through the voices of the child and adolescent. Such a representational strategy performs a very particular kind of hybridity and temporal balancing act capable of addressing the very issues of cultural memory and fractured identities so relevant to multi-cultural, post-colonial cultural contexts.

Narrating the Child as National Subject

Geographies of Childhood

The Politics of Memory and Emotion

Chapter One. On Writing a National Child: Migrant Subjectivity and the Heterogeneous Nation

The Indigenous Within: Los ríos profundos

The Other Side of Criollo Subjectivity: Un mundo para Julius

Chapter Two. Childhood Homes and Foundational History: Local Identities in National and Global Landscapes

Local Agencies on the National Stage in De mi casona

From Local to Global in País de Jauja

Chapter Three. The Child Between: Geographies of Childhood and the Role of Critical Memory

Remembering Childhood through Text and Image in Miguel Gutiérrez's La destrucción del reino

Narrative and Critical Memory in Ximena de dos caminos

Chapter Four. Chronicles of Childhood: On the Politics of Nostalgia and Emotion

Remembering Home: A Return to the Subjective in Entre el amor y la furia (1997)

Nostalgic Affect and Countermemory in Más allá de la ventana

Chapter Five. Children at the Margins: The Abject and National Communities

Snapshots of the Margins: "Los gallinazos sin plumas" and Caídos del cielo

Death and Resistance from the Margins: Montacerdos

Chapter Six. Remembering and Dismembering Gendering: Performing Adolescence in Word and Image

Dismembering and Remembering Pichula Cuéllar

In and About Homosexuality in No se lo digas a nadie

Conclusion. Childhood, Past and Future: New Feminine Political Agencies and Cultural

Citizenship on Film


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