Document Type

Book Review

Subject Area(s)

Languages, Literatures and Cultures

Abstract

Pedro García -Caro’s After the Nation offers a historically-based analysis of the works of Carlos Fuentes and Thomas Pynchon. It argues that satire, parody, and metafiction in the works of these two authors challenge nationalist narratives promoted by Mexican and U.S. literary and official histories. This unique contribution explores ideas beyond the nation by studying establishedauthors–it compares a canonical Mexican author, Carlos Fuentes, and the more reclusive, but equally important, Thomas Pynchon. This approach to understanding the postnational is completely unlike other approaches, because it avoids the well-traveled paths of thinking through the current era by focusing on the border region, transnational migrant networks, or identity-based approaches, such as those that focus on Latino people in the U.S. After the Nation begins by developing a framework through which to examine the national literary histories of Mexico and the U.S. To do so, it converses with surveys of nationalism in each country, their literary canons, a panoramic outlook on the critical reception of these two authors, as well as the authors’ public personae and their other writings. Such dialogue is important; however, this section does not make the connection between metafiction, parody and satire explicit, nor does it develop a clear connection between these literary techniques and concepts of the postnational.

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