Peru is a nation built on the still extant colonial divide between indigenous peoples and the descendants of their Spanish conquerors, a divide that finds expression in the short stories, novels, and essays by renowned Peruvian writers such as Jose Maria Arguedas and Mario Vargas Llosa. The Colonial Divide in Peruvian Narrative explores debates over Peru's modernisation and cultural identity in post-1940 literature, exploring how Arguedas, Vargas Llosa, and others confronted challenges of language, style, and narrative form in their attempt to write across their nation's cultural divisions. It examines how modernisation affected the relationship between Peru's white elite and its indigenous majority, how historical change stimulated the emergence of new narrative techniques, and how these in turn made possible an understanding of the historical contexts in which they arose. Though Peru is its principal focus, the text engages with current studies of modernity at the postcolonial margins of the Western world by contributing to an understanding of the class and ethnic conflicts generated by rapid modernisation in culturally heterogeneous nations.
The Colonial Divide will add to the growing body of critical literature on the ways in which modernity in formerly colonised nations such as Peru is inflected by the enduring legacies of colonialism.
Misha Kokotovic is Assistant Professor in the Department of Literature at the University of California San Diego. He is the author of many articles on racial discourse and indigenous culture in Latin America.
Introduction; Modernity from the Margins: Narrative Form and Indigenous Agency in Broad and Alien is the World and Yawar Fiesta; From Development Theory to Pachakuity: Jose Maria Arguedas's Anthropology and Fiction in the 1950s; Between Feudalism and Imperialism: Indigenous Culture and Class Struggle in All the Worlds and Drums for Rancas; The Criollo City Transformed: Andean Migration in Urban Narrative; Mario Vargas Llosa Writes Of(f) the Native: Cultural Heterogeneity and Neoliberal Modernity; Epilogue - More than Skin Deep? Social Change in Contemporary Peru.