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Neobaroque: Latin America's Alternative Modernity

Neobaroque: Latin America's Alternative Modernity HIS ARTICLE IS A CONTRIBUTION to new modernity studies from the third world by Enrique Dussel, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Nestor García Canclini, Arjun Appadurai, and others, studies which have challenged the notion of a singular and universal modernity modeled on European history. The goal of these studies is to describe modernity in its actual global reach: in Chakrabarty’s words, “How do we think about the global legacy of the European Enlightenment in lands far away from Europe in geography or history? . . . [H]ow would one write of forms of modernity that have deviated from all canonical understandings of the term?” (Habitations xxi, xx). I argue that the neobaroque—the twentiethcentury rescuscitation of the baroque by New World writers and theorists such as José Lezama Lima, Gonzalo Celorio, Irlemar Chiampi, Bolívar Echeverría, and others—constitutes a New World discourse of countermodernity.1 The neobaroque is another piece in the emerging puzzle of global modernity—transmodernity, in Dussel’s terms, or modernity at large, in Appadurai’s terms. Like Dussel, Chakrabarty, and Appadurai, I argue that modernity should be understood as having multiple forms generated by the complex interplay of colonial and indigenous concerns. The New World neobaroque, I contend, constitutes just such a site-specific http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Comparative Literature Duke University Press

Neobaroque: Latin America's Alternative Modernity

Comparative Literature , Volume 58 (2) – Jan 1, 2006

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2006 by University of Oregon
ISSN
0010-4124
eISSN
1945-8517
DOI
10.1215/-58-2-128
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

HIS ARTICLE IS A CONTRIBUTION to new modernity studies from the third world by Enrique Dussel, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Nestor García Canclini, Arjun Appadurai, and others, studies which have challenged the notion of a singular and universal modernity modeled on European history. The goal of these studies is to describe modernity in its actual global reach: in Chakrabarty’s words, “How do we think about the global legacy of the European Enlightenment in lands far away from Europe in geography or history? . . . [H]ow would one write of forms of modernity that have deviated from all canonical understandings of the term?” (Habitations xxi, xx). I argue that the neobaroque—the twentiethcentury rescuscitation of the baroque by New World writers and theorists such as José Lezama Lima, Gonzalo Celorio, Irlemar Chiampi, Bolívar Echeverría, and others—constitutes a New World discourse of countermodernity.1 The neobaroque is another piece in the emerging puzzle of global modernity—transmodernity, in Dussel’s terms, or modernity at large, in Appadurai’s terms. Like Dussel, Chakrabarty, and Appadurai, I argue that modernity should be understood as having multiple forms generated by the complex interplay of colonial and indigenous concerns. The New World neobaroque, I contend, constitutes just such a site-specific

Journal

Comparative LiteratureDuke University Press

Published: Jan 1, 2006

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