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Cuadernos de Viaje: Contemporary Mexican Travel-Chronicles

Pitman, Thea; (1999) Cuadernos de Viaje: Contemporary Mexican Travel-Chronicles. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis aims to prove the existence of contemporary Mexican travel-chronicling. Section 2 concentrates on two recent series of travel-chronicles commissioned by Alianza Editorial Mexicana and the Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes (1989-1997). The purpose of this section is to examine the variety of contemporary, and possibly postmodern, approaches to this stubbornly realist and traditional genre. Authors studied in detail are: Juan Villoro and Francisco Hinojosa (an ironic approach to the effects of postmodernity and postmodernism on Mexican life and the practice of travel-chronicling); Rafael Ramírez Heredia and Orlando Ortiz (the commonplaces of the contemporary travel-chronicle); Héctor Perea and Alvaro Ruiz Abreu (an increasingly speculative, metaphorical approach); Fernando Solana Olivares and Hugo Diego Blanco (a move towards 'archival fictions' (González Echevarría) which use previous travel-chronicles as an 'archive', rather than as models for form and content). The background to, and blueprint for, these works is covered in Section 1: post-Independence Mexico developed a substantial tradition of internal and external travel- writing in order to counter foreign travel-writers' representations of Mexico, and to lay the literary foundations for a sense of Mexican national identity. This is compatible with the aims of costumbrismo, and with the Romantic and Realist movements in general. The practice of writing travel-chronicles boomed in the last years of the nineteenth-century with the increased economic stability and ease of travel of the Porfirian 'peace' years: modernista authors developed the first touristic travel-narratives. Authors singled out for comment are Manuel Payno, Guillermo Prieto, Ignacio Manuel Altamirano, Manuel Gutiérrez Nájera, Justo Sierra, and Amado Nervo. This tradition has continued throughout the twentieth century, gradually coming to concentrate more on the human faces of Mexico than on its natural resources. Authors studied here are José Vasconcelos, Salvador Novo, Fernando Benítez, and Jorge Ibargüengoitia.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Cuadernos de Viaje: Contemporary Mexican Travel-Chronicles
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Language, literature and linguistics; Mexico; Travel writing
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10102567
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