Literary, Cultural, and Political relations

Researcher: Maarten
van Delden

Maarten van Delden has research and teaching interests in the twentieth-century novel and short story, in Latin American intellectual history, and in literary and cultural relations between Mexico and the United States. His first book, Carlos Fuentes, Mexico, and Modernity (Vanderbilt UP, 1998), examines the Mexican author’s literary career in the context of international modernism and postmodernism, and studies Fuentes’s trajectory as a public intellectual. His second book, co-authored with the Canadian political scientist Yvon Grenier, and titled Gunshots at the Fiesta: Literature and Politics in Latin America (Vanderbilt UP, 2009), tackles the fraught relationship between writing and politics in Latin America, seeking to determine how these realms are both intertwined and separate. Van Delden’s contribution to the book consists of chapters, among others, on José Martí, Octavio Paz, and Gabriel García Márquez, and on nineteenth and twentieth-century representations of La Malinche. It also includes a critique of contemporary trends in Latin Americanist criticism.

In addition to these two books, Van Delden has written over fifty articles and around twenty book reviews on a wide range of topics, including the Latin American novel, with studies on works by Alejo Carpentier, José Lezama Lima, Miguel Ángel Asturias, Julio Cortázar, Ernesto Sábato, and others; Mexican intellectual debates, with a focus on the circle of writers around Octavio Paz; and US-Mexican literary relations, with articles on the depiction of Mexico in Anglophone authors such as D.H. Lawrence and Richard Rodriguez, as well studies of the border literature of Ricardo Aguilar Melantzón and others.  His forthcoming publications include articles on “The Holocaust in Mexican Literature” and on “La idea de la democracia en el pensamiento político de Roger Bartra.” He is currently at work on a book titled Polemical Continent: Culture Wars in Twentieth-Century Spanish America.