12 September 2009

Chicano Movement

Interlingual literature has existed since macaronic poetry (if we take the weak version of Wikcriticism, which deals primarily with texts in two or more languages) or even earlier (if we take the strong version of Wikcriticism, which says that all writing is interlingual). In the 20th century, one high point of interlingual literature, in the sense that it gave rise to a conscious effort by literary critics to deal with it, had to be the so-called Chicano Movement of the 1960s in the United States of America. Wilson Neate, in Encyclopedia of Latin American Literature (1997), describes the place of interlingual literature in the movement: “Literature derived from this politically-charged time was generally marked by its alignment with and articulation, at some level, of Movement ideology. Poetry in an innovative, interlingual format provided a popular vehicle for representations of a marginalized socio-cultural and historical experience with the aim of raising consciousness and encouraging self-empowerment. … Since the mid-1970s, poetry has moved away from the interlingual and the overtly political to become more introspective, displaying an increasing formal sophistication and a diversification of thematic concerns.” For literary criticism, we could say that we have to shift from the weak to the strong version of Wikcriticism as the literature moves from the clearly multilingual to the apparently monolingual.

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