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'There’s no river, no square, no church, no nothing. This house is the whole world': Contemporary Uruguayan Women’s Writing

Montañez MS (2012) 'There’s no river, no square, no church, no nothing. This house is the whole world': Contemporary Uruguayan Women’s Writing, Palabras Errantes, 2012.


First paragraph: The notion of literary or cultural generations, as a model of periodisation, is an appealing as well as questionable topic in literary studies in the Hispanic world. In principle, it offers the possibility of identifying the diverse cultural processes within a given historical framework, but it also brings problems of categorisation. In Uruguay, while this kind of approach has proven problematic at times, the country's twentieth century literary history has been divided into literary generations, such as the Generation of 1900, 1930 or Centenario, 1945 (also known as Generación crítica or de Marcha), and the Generation of the Crisis. These generations are somehow connected and informed by the political, social and cultural developments in the country and have been used to shape the notion of Uruguayan national identity. To some extent, these literary generations conflate and overlap with four of the most significant political and social phases in Uruguayan history, as noted by historian José Pedro Barrán:

[The] consolidation of political democracy, social reform and economic prosperity (1903-1930); economic and political crisis, and later democratic reinstatement (1930- 1958); economic stagnation, atomization of the traditional political parties, and the growth of the left, followed by military rule (1959-1985); finally, democratic restoration, and the country's entrance to the Common Market of the Southern Cone (MERCOSUR) (1985-...).

In Uruguay, despite critics and scholars demonstrating the limitations and ambiguities of such strict divisions, cultural generations have served to construct the national literary canon and have, therefore, contributed to the establishment of normative understandings of the nation's identity (as progressive, Europeanised, white, bourgeois, heterosexual and masculine).

AuthorsMontañez María Soledad
Publication date2012

Palabras Errantes

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