Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Public Faces of Estridentismo: Socializing Literary Practice in Postrevolutionary Mexico, 1921-1927
by Heilman, Elliot Richard, Ph.D., Northwestern University, 2015, 291; 3705264
Abstract (Summary)

This study examines the ways in which Mexican literary elites, or literatos, sought to engage new readers and expand the reach of their literary practice in the 1920s. Specifically, the analysis focuses on the efforts of Manuel Maples Arce (1898–1981) and Germán List Arzubide (1898–1998) to publicize the vanguard aesthetic movement known as Estridentismo between 1921 and 1927. During the 1920s, as Mexicans reconstructed a nation that had been torn asunder by the violence and upheaval of the Mexican revolution (1910–1920), Maples Arce and List Arzubide sought to expand the relevance of their literary efforts to communities that included more than just other literary elites.

In seeking to resonate with broader reading publics, the Estridentistas turned to manifestos, illustrated magazines, books, and literary journals—the genres of literary publicity available to literatos at the time. I understand the discursive products of these engagements as Estridentismo's "public faces," a term I use to analyze the ways in which Maples Arce and List Arzubide engaged with social expectations about who literatos were or why they mattered.

The first half of this study focuses on Maples Arce's time in Mexico City from 1921 to 1925. By analyzing Estridentismo's founding manifesto and Maples Arce's regular appearances in the magazine El Universal Ilustrado, I show the difficult and limited ways in which Estridentista social engagement emerged. The second half centers on List Arzubide's reenvisioning of Estridentismo's social mission after leaders of the movement relocated to the provincial capital of Xalapa in 1926. In this second phase of the movement, List Arzubide made addressing nonelites a fundamental part of Estridentista literary practice and, in many ways, drastically altered the public faces of Estridentismo.

I argue that despite these important differences, Maples Arce and List Arzubide were both committed to socializing their aesthetic practice and resonating with new readers at a moment in which few literatos explicitly addressed anyone but other literatos. By focusing on the development of the public faces of Estridentismo, this dissertation shows how a small group of iconoclastic poets helped to reimagine literary practice by publicizing their aesthetic rebellion to a nation emerging from civil war.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ray, Angela G.
Commitee: Coronado, Jorge F., Greenberg, Jessica R.
School: Northwestern University
Department: Communication Studies
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-A 76/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Communication, Latin American Studies, Rhetoric
Keywords: Estridentismo, Genre, Literary practice, Literato, Mexico, Publicity
Publication Number: 3705264
ISBN: 978-1-321-78156-4
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