Tomás Rivera’s Vignettes and the Tradition of American Modernist Fiction: Hemingway and Faulkner
Abstract: The article traces correspondences between Tomás Rivera’s book …y no se lo tragó la tierra/…And the Earth Did Not Devour Him (1971), Ernest Hemingway’s In Our Time (1925) and William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying (1930). The techniques it shares with the works of the two American modernist writers – the narrowing of the perspective, rhythmical narrative patterns, the effect of flow and continuity achieved through accumulation of isolated fragments of the text – give Rivera’s book a sense of density, saturation, and emotional intensity. In Rivera’s collection of vignettes, where individual voices are called forth into their provisional existence and merge into a community of voices to speak of the dramatic experiences of Mexican migrant farm workers, “he” is Rivera himself, a writer coming to the awareness of his vocation and of the powers of identification with the other.
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