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Voices of Marginality

Exile and Return in Second Isaiah 40-55 and the Mexican Immigrant Experience

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Gregory Lee Cuéllar

Voices of Marginality is theoretically grounded in the theology of the diaspora, which according to Fernando F. Segovia has been forged in the migratory experience of American Hispanics. This theological perspective views Judean exiles (587 B.C.E.) and contemporary Mexican migrants as part of a recurring diasporic human experience. The present analysis «reads across» from the exile and return envisioned in the poetry of Second Isaiah (40-55) to the corridos (ballads) about Mexican immigration to the United States. More specifically, the diasporic categories of exile and return in Second Isaiah inform our reading of exile and return in the Mexican immigrant corridos. Conversely, the rhetorical ability of these corridos to transmit a collective Mexican identity for immigrants in the United States provides a compelling lens for understanding the images of exile and return in Second Isaiah. Ultimately, both literary productions reflect voices of marginality.