Moving Forward, Looking Back

Sarah M. Misemer

Trains, Literature and the Arts in the River Plate

2010
249 pages
$57.50
ISBN 0-8387-5765-9

Moving Forward, Looking Back: Trains, Literature, and the Arts in the River Plate by Sarah M. Misemer argues that the train is paradoxically an anachronistic and modern indicator of River Plate national identity when seen in the literature and film of the region. The train's connections with new concepts of time and space, as well as the rise of the industrial age, make it a symbol loaded with cultural meanings. This project traces the importance of the train as a marker of key moments in Argentine and Uruguayan history from 1854 to the present (nation-building, neo-colonialism, modernization/industrialization, dictatorship, privatization, and debt crisis). Through textual, filmic, and historical accounts this study demonstrates that the train is not simply an icon of the nineteenth-century's Naturalist movement, but rather a powerful contemporary metaphor for authors and directors of the River Plate as they communicate/create collective memory and cultural values in a region mired in uneven spurts of modernization and progress.

About the author:

Sarah M. Misemer is an Assistant Professor of Hispanic Theater at Texas A&M University. Dr. Misemer is the author of Secular Saints: Performing Frida Kahlo, Carlos Gardel, Eva Perón, and Selena, (2008). She has published numerous articles on contemporary River Plate, Mexican, Spanish and Latino theater in journals such as Latin American Theatre Review, Gestos, Revista Canadiense de Estudios Hispánicos, Symposium: A Quarterly Journal in Modern Languages, Letras Peninsulares, Revista Hispánica Moderna, and Hispanic Poetry Review. Her main areas of research include contemporary Argentine and Uruguayan theater, performance, and literature.

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