The Latin American Boom BY jeska1999 During the second half of the twentieth century Latin American literature exploded globally. The works produced during the mid to late 1900s are still enjoyed by readers of many ages, as well as many cultural backgrounds and ethnicities. This boom refers to the literature provided by such important authors as Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Julio Cortazar, Manuel Puig, and many more. Thanks to these literary superstars, through their literature, much of South and Central America were awarded the fame and glory that the countries truly reserved .
The Latin American Boom period began in the 1960s however there is great discrepancy as to which author or novel is responsible for it. Some believe Nobel Prize-winning Guatemalan novelist Miguel Angel Asturias’ novel Men of Maize, released in 1949, was the first. Others feel that Julio Cortazar’s Hopscotch or Vargas Llosa’s The Time of the Hero are responsible for this literary period. The first to introduce this sensation may be debatable but why and how are much clearer. Important historical moments like the Cuban Revolution are partly responsible for the boom.
Cold War cultural politics also played a large role in the spread of the orks of authors such as Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Mario Vargas Llosa, and Julio Cortazar in the United States during the 1960’s. In Deborah Cohn’s book The Latin American Literary Boom and U. S. Nationalism during the Cold War she explains the phenomenon: Universities, publishers, philanthropic organizations, cultural centers, and authors all coordinated their efforts to bring Latin American literature to a U. S. eading public during this period, when interest in the region was heightened by the Cuban Revolution. With this infamous boom came the introduction of a new literary genre, magical realism. It can best be described as a genre that incorporates extraordinary and supernatural themes into everyday reality. Magical realism is found in fictional literature and can be associated with stories or events that include myths and miracles. Jay Archer David defines magical realism as, “A narrative technique that blurs the distinction between fantasy and reality.
It is characterized by an equal acceptance of the ordinary and the extraordinary. ” An excellent example of this genre is Nobel Prize winning One Hundred Years of Solitude written by Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Gabriel attempts to explain a true history with the use of ictional characters and events. In the last forty six years One Hundred Years of Solitude has sold over twenty million copies and has been translated in dozens of languages.
The subjects of the literary works created during this time period greatly vary but one thing many of them have in common is the story of Latin America’s people. The llterature nas a common Teature 0T Tocuslng on struggles ana trlumpns 0T tne people. Much of the success of the Latin American Boom is due to magical realism. The “Boom” faded away during the late 1970’s into the 1980s but themes of magical realism can still be found today.