Neobaroque in the Americas: Alternative Modernities in Literature, Visual Art, and Film

Monika Kaup. Neobaroque in the Americas: Alternative Modernities in Literature, Visual Art, and Film. U of Virginia P. 2012.

In a comparative and interdisciplinary analysis of modern and postmodern literature, film, and visual culture, Neobaroque in the Americas examines the twentieth century’s recovery of the baroque within a hemispheric framework embracing North America, Latin America, and U.S. Latino/a culture. From the vantage point of the early 21st century, this study suggests, there can no longer be any doubt about the ongoing vitality of the baroque as the expression of an alternate form of modernity. No longer confined to its 17th-century European origins, this study argues, the baroque must be recognized as transcultural and polyglot: as a result of its prolific offshoots, the transculturated New World baroque and neobaroque, the baroque has become an antiproprietary expression that encompasses four centuries and multiple continents, nations, and artistic forms. This study extends the neobaroque to the North American context as it examines the multiple—modernist, postmodernist, and postcolonial—revivals of the baroque by expatriate Anglo American writers T.S. Eliot and Djuna Barnes, Chilean writers Diamela Eltit and José Donoso, Argentine director Maria Luisa Bemberg, Chilean director Raúl Ruíz, U.S. Latino/a artists Rubén Ortíz Torres, Amalia Mesa Bains, and Luis Gispert, and in the rasquachismo of Chicano lowrider visual art.

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