Representations of China in Latin American Literature (1987-2016)

Autora: María Montt Strabucchi (2023)

Representations of China in Latin American Literature (1987-2016) analyses contemporary Latin American novels in which China is the main theme. Using ‘China’ as a multidimensional term, it explores how the novels both highlight and undermine assumptions about China that have shaped Latin America’s understanding of ‘China’ and shows ‘China’ to be a kind of literary/imaginary ‘third’ term which reframes Latin American discourses of alterity. On one level, it argues that these texts play with the way that ‘China’ stands in as a wandering signifier and as a metonym for Asia, a gesture that essentialises it as an unchanging other. On another level, it argues that the novels’ employment of ‘China’ resists essentialist constructions of identity. ‘China’ is thus shown to be serving as a concept which allows for criticism of the construction of fetishized otherness and of the exclusion inherent in essentialist discourses of identity.

The book presents and analyses the depiction of an imaginary of China which is arguably performative, but which discloses the tropes and themes which may be both established and subverted, in the novels. Chapter One examines the way in which ‘China’ is represented and constructed in Latin American novels where this country is a setting for their stories. The novels studied in Chapter Two are linked to the presence of Chinese communities in Latin America. The final chapter examines novels whose main theme is travel to contemporary China. Ultimately, in the novels studied in this book ‘China’ serves as a concept through which essentialist notions of identity are critiqued.

ISBN: 9781837644278 (Hardcover) |eISBN: 9781837644643 (PDF) |eISBN: 9781835535653 (ePub)


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