Generalizations about contemporary writing from Spanish America are neither advisable nor recommended for general use. There is nothing coherent to be said about the literary production of twenty distinct countries, where the situation of the writer, the place accorded literature in that society, and the author’s particular response to the societal and political mix are a special case in each instance, applicable not even to a neighboring country. This is so in spite of the fact that Spanish American authors all seem to write in the same language and have a common history of conquest, colonization, and apparent liberation from the political and cultural models that were Spain’s legacy from the age of discovery. Though such things are not known or acknowledged in the U.S.A., it is good to keep in mind that an Argentine arriving in Mexico is a Martian to most Mexicans, as is a Cuban arriving in Chile—utterly...


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