Review of “Post-Imperial Encounters: Anglo-Hispanic Cultural Relations'” (eds. Tazón Salces and Carrera Suárez)

I draw your attention to a review I have recently published:


Review of Juan E. Tazón Salces and Isabel Carrera Suárez (eds.),
Post-Imperial Encounters: Anglo-Hispanic Cultural Relations, Atlantis
(Madrid, Spain), Vol. 28, No. 1, June 2006, pp. 133-138; on-line at:

Book reviewed:

Juan E. Tazón Salces and Isabel Carrera Suárez, eds., 2005, Post/Imperial
Encounters: Anglo-Hispanic Cultural Relations (Studies in Comparative
Literature 45), Amsterdam and New York: Rodopi, 239 pp.


It is now a commonplace to state that Spanish is one of the handful of
languages capable of rivalling English at global level, and, indeed, to
praise the vitality and dynamism of Spanish-speaking cultures in the
contemporary world. However, detailed and rigorous comparative studies of
the two language and cultural systems (or polysystems), Hispanophone and
Anglophone, in their multiple synchronic and diachronic manifestations
remain relatively rare. The volume under review thus appears as the
concretisation (to a reasonable degree successful) of a valuable and
necessary effort.

What we have before us is a collection of twelve essays on disparate
subjects falling (mostly) within the broad area of Anglo/Hispanophone
cultural relations, preceded by a brief editorial introduction but
otherwise not explicitly linked. All the articles are in English, a choice
which could be seen as a possible source of imbalance: a 50-50 language
breakdown might have suggested an alternative take on the power-relations
between the two systems. Neither polysystem is at any point actually
defined, and it is taken for granted that the reader has a clear picture of
what both English-speaking and Spanish-speaking worlds are, have been and
are becoming. Of the contributors, three are native speakers of English and
nine of Spanish, another factor militating against systemic equilibrium
since three-quarters of the authors have had the disadvantage of not
writing in their native language. The spirit of intercultural dialogue
underlying the project as a whole is, however, never in doubt.

Subjects discussed in the various essays include: childhood in Lorca and
Dylan Thomas; J.M. Barrie’s ‘Peter Pan’ and Ana María Matute/Esther
Tusquets; Lourdes Ortiz and Irish rewritings of the myth of Eve;
Perspectives on Caribbean Gender Relations in Narratives by Velma Pollard,
Hazel D. Campbell and Micheline Dusseck; North American Native
Autobiographies and Latin American Testimonios; and the films of Pedro
Almodóvar and Woody Allen.

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