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Mikilistes and Modernistas: Taking Paris to the "Second Degree"

Mikilistes and Modernistas: Taking Paris to the "Second Degree" 1 This crisis of purpose facing modernista writers was first comprehensively analyzed by Angel Rama in Rubén Darío y el modernismo. 2 In The World Republic of Letters, Pascale Casanova traces an international literary history based upon the notion of Paris as the center of the literary world. She advances a conception of Paris similar to the one maintained in this study: due to the relative autonomy and longevity of its literary tradition, during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries Paris became the privileged site for cultural exchange and development, the meeting place where authors from all over the world converged to create a universal standard of literature. As such, explains Casanova, Paris may be thought of as the Greenwich meridian of literary time. However, although Casanova undertakes an unprecedented analysis of peripheral (what she calls “suburban”) literature and the ways it interpellates this myth of Paris, her arguments are framed by a hierarchical understanding of literary time. For example, her discussion of Rubén Darío focuses on his discursive exploitation of Paris as an attempt to help Latin America “catch up” to the literary present. Similarly, she suggests that Octavio Paz becomes a CLJ604-04hanneken.indd 370 MikiLisTes AND MoDeRnisTas / http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Comparative Literature Duke University Press

Mikilistes and Modernistas: Taking Paris to the "Second Degree"

Comparative Literature , Volume 60 (4) – Jan 1, 2008

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2008 by University of Oregon
ISSN
0010-4124
eISSN
1945-8517
DOI
10.1215/-60-4-370
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

1 This crisis of purpose facing modernista writers was first comprehensively analyzed by Angel Rama in Rubén Darío y el modernismo. 2 In The World Republic of Letters, Pascale Casanova traces an international literary history based upon the notion of Paris as the center of the literary world. She advances a conception of Paris similar to the one maintained in this study: due to the relative autonomy and longevity of its literary tradition, during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries Paris became the privileged site for cultural exchange and development, the meeting place where authors from all over the world converged to create a universal standard of literature. As such, explains Casanova, Paris may be thought of as the Greenwich meridian of literary time. However, although Casanova undertakes an unprecedented analysis of peripheral (what she calls “suburban”) literature and the ways it interpellates this myth of Paris, her arguments are framed by a hierarchical understanding of literary time. For example, her discussion of Rubén Darío focuses on his discursive exploitation of Paris as an attempt to help Latin America “catch up” to the literary present. Similarly, she suggests that Octavio Paz becomes a CLJ604-04hanneken.indd 370 MikiLisTes AND MoDeRnisTas /

Journal

Comparative LiteratureDuke University Press

Published: Jan 1, 2008

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