Appropriating Theory (Paperback)

Angel Rama's Critical Work (Pitt Illuminations)

By Jose Eduardo Gonzalez

University of Pittsburgh Press, 9780822964889, 240pp.

Publication Date: August 11, 2017

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Angel Rama (1926-1983) is a major figure in Latin American literary and cultural studies, but little has been published on his critical work. In this study, José Eduardo González focuses on Rama’s response to and appropriation of European critics like Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno, and Georg Lukács. González argues that Rama realized the inapplicability of many of their theories and descriptions of cultural modernization to Latin America, and thus reworked them to produce his own discourse that challenged prevailing notions of social and cultural modernization.

About the Author

Jose Eduardo Gonzalez is associate professor of Spanish at the University of Nebraska. He is the author of Borges and the Politics of Form and coeditor of Primitivism and Identity in Latin America: Essays on Art, Literature and Culture, and New Trends in Contemporary Latin American Narrative: Post-National Literatures and the Canon.

Praise For Appropriating Theory: Angel Rama's Critical Work (Pitt Illuminations)

“A fascinating and innovative study of Angel Rama’s silent and open dialogue with his intellectual interlocutors and the effects this dialogue had on Rama’s notion of ‘cultural modernization.’  It follows Rama’s evolution chronologically as a thinker who reflects on and writes about the impact of economics, politics, and society on literary matters in Latin America from colonial times to the late twentieth century.”
—Greg Dawes, North Carolina State University

“A comprehensive account of the development of Rama’s thought. It traces the numerous revisions that Rama made of key concepts and insights, in the context of a series of debates and concerns that are by turns theoretical, regional, political, and biographical. It shows how the Uruguayan critic’s work was forever informed by a voracious if skeptical appetite for European theory.”
—Jon Beasley-Murray, University of British Columbia