AuthorSotelo, Susan B.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractRecent detective novels (1985-2001) of five Chicano authors, Rudolfo Anaya, Lucha Corpi, Rolando Hinojosa, Michael Nava and Manuel Ramos are analyzed in relationship to Anglo-American and British detective genres, Chicano literature and eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Romanticism. The analysis focuses on Rudolfo Anaya's Shaman Winter, Lucha Corpi's Cactus Blood, Rolando Hinojosa's Partners in Crime, Michael Nava's Rag and Bone and Manuel Ramos' The Ballad of Rocky Ruiz. Chicano detective fiction draws from Anglo-American and British detective genre formulas and can be distinguished from the Anglo-American and British detective fiction genres because of the nature of its departures from detective genre formulas. In addition to the detective genre, Chicano authors refer to various eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Romantic literatures. Chicano detective fiction is aware of popular interests in the United States: an interest in ethnic literatures, a popular interest in origin, and the popularity of the crime story or detective story in non-fiction news and fictional narratives of television and film. The five novelists utilize these contemporary popular trends in the United States in order to reach a larger readership than would otherwise be possible if any one of the three were ignored. Anglo-American and British detective fiction assumes a homogeneous readership: national and/or ethnic-racial. Chicano detective fiction does not assume that its readers are Chicano and for this reason elaborates on the origin and the community of the detective in order to facilitate the reader's identification with the investigator. Chicano detective novels integrate, under the guise of detective fiction, the stories of an ethnic experience and the origin of an ethnicity. The quest of Chicano detectives is to establish a stable environment and a stable identity, but the dialectic that ensues between the detective and his environment cannot be resolved conclusively. Their visions of stability originate from various sources that range from a homogeneous North-American ideology to a Chicano alter-ideology. Each individual novel suggests a space where the detective, his community and the nation state can entertain the romantic illusion of productive cooperation beneficial to the Chicano community.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Spanish and Portuguese