Troubled Waters: Rivers in Latin American Imagination
From the mighty Orinoco River whose presence Columbus correctly surmised while on the high seas, and which both awed Humboldt and inspired him to create a new way of writing about nature, to the Magdalena of García Márquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera, rivers have played a key part in the literary, cultural, and political imagination of Latin America.
The path-breaking volume Troubled Waters: Rivers in Latin American Imagination (eds. Elizabeth M. Pettinaroli and Ana María Mutis) makes sense of the notion of rivers across the chronological and spatial expanse of the region. Just published by University of Minnesota Press as part of its influential Hispanic Issues Online series, Troubled Waters examines how writers have transformed flowing waters into sites of contemplation and contestation—the ways in which, across four centuries, literary treatments of rivers have questioned and refashioned the historical, geographic, and literary foundations of the colonial Spanish American and modern Latin American imaginaries. Joining the philosophical and cosmographic debates central to the founding of European colonialism in the Americas, authors in the region have adopted the representation of particular rivers to point to paradoxes and contradictions in received, organicist notions of the colonial, the imperial, the national, and the global.
The distinguished roster of contributors includes leading scholars representing a wide range of places, periods, and perspectives within the field of Hispanism. This volume places itself at the core of a debate over an element that continues to serve as a vital symbolic space informing Latin American cultural, political, and environmental movements of lasting import.
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