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Two Paths to the Boom: Carpentier, Asturias, and the Performative Split

Stephen Henighan
The Modern Language Review
Vol. 94, No. 4 (Oct., 1999), pp. 1009-1024
DOI: 10.2307/3737234
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3737234
Page Count: 16
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Two Paths to the Boom: Carpentier, Asturias, and the Performative Split
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Abstract

The Spanish-American Boom novel stems from the integration of two trends common to cultural production in peripheral societies: the mythologization of the past and the negotiation of power relationships with hegemonic or colonizing powers. The performative split between these two tendencies, identified by Homi K. Bhabha, corresponds most closely in the Spanish-American case to the narrative trajectories of the novels of Alejo Carpentier and Miguel Angel Asturias. The novels of the Boom create a fruitful fusion of the mythologization of national history and the hybridizing vision born of negotiation with the metropolis around 1960, as the two paths that facilitated this fusion decline.

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