The present study attempts to present key aspects of the overall ambiance from whence emerged a large and diverse body of Hispanic writings in New Mexico. Socio-cultural factors are emphasized within their respective historical context and numerous examples are provided to substantiate the assertions, including linguistic terminologies influenced by the commingling. The central focus is to target self-referentiality as a means to reach an early literary consciousness that is at times in opposition with mainstream New Spain or what was commonly known as accounts or cr6nicas from Tenochti tlan or Mexico city. The articulation of such a consciousness is demonstrated through various texts, thus positing a distinctive narrative position by those who came into contact with the region of New Mexico, and setting the stage for some basic differences. This process of contestatory manifestations (oral or written) is alluded to to indicate the degree of awareness on the part of Hispanic peoples of their circumstance. Another aspect that receives some critical reflexion is the role of newspapers in general and particularly as they proliferated in the latter part of the nineteenth century. Again, the situation of New Mexico is highlighted and the Las Vegas area is of especial interest. From this, discussion pertaining to the creation of a Las Vegas Renaissance is outlined and the founding of a large number of mutual aid societies is examined. The latters' role in promoting literature is of keen interest. From this social backdrop, a number of brief intertextual observations are made in specific works to underscore the element of self-referentiality. The last section of the study is dedicated exclusively to one work, Historia de un cautivo by Porfirio Gonzales. Through the analysis of this novella, I attempt to show how its entertaining qualities are coupled with social concerns vis-a-vis the coming of a new century. While the short novel might deal with a romantic subject of captivity, its discursive implications suggest other considerations in preparations for the changing times. Published in UNM Press book entitled ""Nuevomexicano Cultural Legacy: Forms, Agencies and Discourse.""
Rockefeller Foundation Humanities Scholars Program
SW Hispanic Research Institute
Lemeli, Francisco A.. "Background of New Mexico Hispanic Literature." (1994). http://digitalrepository.unm.edu/shri_publications/44