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Culture, Politics, and National Identity in Mexican Literature and Film, 1929-1952


Anne T. Doremus

From 1929 to 1952 Mexico underwent a period of intense nationalism as the state, newly emerging from the Mexican Revolution, sought to legitimize itself, consolidate its institutions, and promote economic growth. As a consequence, these years also witnessed a fervent search for national self-awareness in the cultural sphere. This work contrasts constructions of national identity in some of the most renowned literary works of the period with those in some of the most popular films, revealing their distinct functions within the nationalist project. It demonstrates that in spite of their striking dissimilarities, articulations of a Mexican consciousness in these two mediums were complementary within the framework of nationalism, as they satisfied and shaped the interests and desires of distinct sectors of Mexican society.


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Acknowledgments ix


Acknowledgments I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the following people for their invaluable help and support: Professor Ruben Medina. from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, who read through numerous drafts and offered insightful comments; Professor Guido Podesta, also from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, who provided me with very useful suggestions; my parents, Burton and Jeanne Doremus, who were a constant source of encouragement and support; and above all my husband, Trishul Chilimbi, who spent hours proofreading and editing, and who boosted my morale countless times. Thank you all for your generosity. It was indispensable to the completion of this project. This page intentionally left blank

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