3501 - Representation of an Exceptional Space: The Mexican U.S Border

Representation of an exceptional space: The Mexican U.S. Border

Border regions are increasingly being considered exceptional spaces within countries, rather like islands that are similar to other islands and yet are in marked contrast to the rest of the country as they straddle two countries and national ethos. This is also true of the cultural production of these regions. In this paper I analyse how the literature of the Mexican- U.S. border has managed to carve out a new space in the literary world and break the hegemony of the capital city. Theorists like Jean Franco and Albert Moreiras have claimed that ‘national literature’ or literature that deals with the mythology of the national is an aging and tired category as now literatures are territorialised by global problems like AIDS, narcotrafficking, migratory flows that do not heed national boundaries.The space described in the texts produced in this region allows us to search for clues to the literary space the authors occupy in the Mexican field of cultural production and also the relationship of the centre to its periphery. The cosmopolitanism of the border is due to the melting pot of races and peoples and the labor force of all México and foreigners who congregate here. The literature produced in this region is also consequently transnational but still linked to the soil that it lives on through the common experiences all groups have had with this exceptional place and these common experiences contribute to a cultural memory that is different from the one in the heartland and this makes for singular representations of life here. With this kind of new identity the fragmentation characteristic of globalization and flows of migrants is sought to be reduced.

Keywords: Mexican - U.S. border literature, Exceptional spaces

Author: Sawhney, Minni Sawhney (University of Delhi, India / Indien)


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