Literary Memoirs

Literary Memoirs

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Novelist, scholar, journalist, statesman, and leading member of Chile's "Generation of 1842"-an intellectual movement so named for the founding of the National University-Jose Victorino Lastarria (1811-1888) lived his life at the forefront of nineteenth-century Chilean and Spanish American culture, literature, and politics. Recuerdos Literarios (or Literary Memoirs) is his masterpiece, encompassing the candid memories of a tireless activist, both the creative and critical sensibilities of an influential Latin American early modernist, and an eyewitness account of the development of Chilean literature and historiography. An ardent, eloquent participant in every defining artistic and ideological debate in Chile during the formative mid-1800s, Lastarria recorded his epoch as closely as he did his own origins, education, ambitions, and career. Sometimes reminiscent of Montaigne's essays, Eca de Quieroz's journalism, or Barbusse's didactic convictions, Literary Memoirs is an engrossing account of Chile's newly ordained nationhood.
This addition to Oxford's prestigious Library of Latin America series is more than a retelling of things past; it is an informed yet informal testament to the idea of chilenidad (or "Chileanness") and a detailed portrait of one of Chile's cultural architects. For this new edition of Literary Memoirs, Frederick M. Nunn's introduction presents an informative historical background and R. Kelly Washbourne's translation carefully preserves Lastarria's form and content.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 448 pages
  • 138.2 x 208 x 30mm | 547.41g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0195116860
  • 9780195116861

Review quote

"[The Library of Latin America] is the most significant publishing event in Latin American literature in this country since the Boom of the 1960s."-The Wall Street Journal "With the Library of Latin America, Oxford has opened up a new frontier that may prove as exciting and enigmatic as the continent itself."-The Herald, South Carolina "Language has always been a barrier to our unity as the Americas, and most especially to our reading of each other's literatures. Now with this new series by Oxford University Press, the library of Latin America is literally open to North Americans and to English speakers everywhere. This is an important series for anyone who is prevented from knowing the classics of the southern half of this hemisphere because of not knowing the language. !Bienvenidos to these
new readers!"-Julia Alvarez
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About Jose Victorino Lastarria


Frederick M. Nunn is Professor of History and International Studies at Portland State University. He is the author of The Time of the Generals: Latin American Professional Militarism in World Perspective.

R. Kelly Washbourne is completing his doctorate in Latin American literature at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He is assistant editor of the Amazonian Literary Review.
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