Date: 16-Mar-2006 From: Ulrich Lueders <lincom.europat-online.de> Subject: Language and Identity in Chicano/Latino Discourse: Cantero
Title: Language and Identity in Chicano/Latino Discourse
Subtitle: Lenguaje e identidad en el discurso chicano/latino
Series Title: LINCOM Studies in Language and Culture 01
Publisher: Lincom GmbH
Author: Monica Cantero, Drew University
Paperback: ISBN: 3895864870 Pages: 200 Price: Europe EURO 62
Paperback: ISBN: 3895864870 Pages: 200 Price: U.S. $ 75.64
Paperback: ISBN: 3895864870 Pages: 200 Price: U.K. £ 43.30
In today's changing and multifaceted society we are being presented with a variety of new questions that out past may not have adequately prepared us for; the face of America is no longer, if it ever was, homogenous. As a result of this realization being reintroduced to our con-sciousness on a daily basis, we have scrambled to find some sort of new art, a way to describe ourselves that we have not previously known. In the search new authors and methodologies of literature have come to the forefront, offering unique perspectives on ways of being.
One type of literature that offers a particularly relevant point of view to this problem is the genre of Latina and Chicana literature. Rising from the singular phenomenon created by the juxta-position of two cultures, these works speak to the difficulty of creating a self-identity out of fractured and opposing messages presented by their surrounding culture. Neither fully American nor Hispanic, the literature deals with the painful problem of self-determination of identity.
In this paper Monica Cantero examines the questions being dealt with in this literature: Who am I? What does my history mean to me? Since I am neither one image my culture presents me nor the other, what am I? Where does my significance lie? This struggle for a synthesized, whole identity is one that resonates in all readers, regardless of cultural background. The resolution decided on by the works is to turn to art, to creation. The only way to harmonize the discord between the conflicting images offered by a culture is to take all of the images and embrace them. As a result, only through incorporating all facets of existence, can a being of true beauty be created. La Mestiza, or the "mix" then becomes the answer to a fractured culture. Literature, art, and linguistic choices combine all conflicts in order to be both benediction and resolution.