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Revolutionary insurgencies, paradigmatic cases

Kumaraswami, P. (2015) Revolutionary insurgencies, paradigmatic cases. In: Szurmuk, M. and Rodríguez, I. (eds.) The Cambridge History of Latin American Women's Literature. Cambridge University Press, New York, pp. 228-242.

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This essay will examine and compare the production of women's writing during and after the Nicaraguan and Cuban Revolutions, a corpus that includes novels, poetry, and testimonies, but also features considerable generic hybridity. Since both revolutions are separated by some twenty years, each must be understood in the context of the specific ideological conditions that framed women’s participation in culture and revolution, and must also be considered in light of evolving gender discourses, both national and international. As such, these texts respond to both local and transnational paradigms of feminine subjectivity, and highlight the particular problems that arise from women’s insertion into the revolution and its representation in literature. These writers also have to negotiate the evolving context of revolution itself, with its moments of euphoria and disenchantment – and it is here that the greatest contrasts can be found between the two revolutionary instances and their political features: whilst Cuba’s revolutionary process has somehow survived economic crisis and created a level of political stability and continuity (not without its own problems), the Nicaraguan case is characterised by ruptures and resentments which are clearly reflected in the work of writers before, during, and after the Sandinista revolution, and which continue to the present day. This chapter will address the work of the most prominent woman writer of the Nicaraguan revolution, Gioconda Belli, whose main work reflects her involvement in the Sandinista struggle; ex-commander Mónica Baltodano has recently compiled a four volume piece with testimonials of men and women who participated in the organization and actions led by the Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional, and Violeta Barrios de Chamorro, former president of Nicaragua, who has recently co-authored an autobiography. There are other women poets to consider, especially under the auspices of the Asociación de Mujeres Nicaraguenses Luisa Amanda Espinoza, such as Vidaluz Meneses, Michele Najlis and Daisy Zamora. The testimonios compiled by Margaret Randall are also important pieces to consider for both Nicaragua and Cuba. The most important voices of the Cuban revolution still resident on the island are poet Nancy Morejón and writers Mirta Yáñez and Aida Bahr, with younger writers such as Adelaida Fernández de Juan and Marilyn Bobes representing a more recent generation.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Language Text and Power
ID Code:38315
Publisher:Cambridge University Press


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