№6 2019

УДК / UDK: 82-94

Author: Zhanna M. Ivanova de Mendoza
About the author:

Zhanna M. Ivanova de Mendoza (Teacher of Spanish, State Boarding School “Intellectual”, Moscow)

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The global trend towards decentralization of discourse and the shifting focus from the centre to the periphery has revealed itself in the late XXth century Latin American literature in the form of testimonio, a hybrid genre which combines nonfiction documentary material with artistic recreation. The first book written in this genre was Biography of a Runaway Slave by a Cuban writer Miguel Barnet. Many more works appeared in the following decades (1970–80s) including some of the best-known examples of this genre such as Let Me Speak: Testimony of Domitila, A Woman of the Bolivian Mines by M. Viezzer, I, Rigoberta Menchu by E. Burgos as well as guerrilla chronicles by O. Cabezas and S. Ramirez. In the most general terms, testimonio can be defined as a nonfictional first-person account of oppression. Just like the writers of the Boom, the authors of testimonial literature have developed their own artistic method – nuevo verismo. This term was coined in 1978 by a prominent Columbian writer and critic Carlos Rincón. Nuevo verismo changes the way we view documentary in quite a dramatic way. With its factuality and truthfulness of the material, it becomes a powerful artistic device which defines the way in which this material is presented. The purpose of the paper is to examine this new method and highlight its characteristic features. A special attention is paid to the composition of the testimonio, its narrative structure and stylistic devices.

Keywords: Latin America, XXth century Latin American literature, nonfiction, testimony, nuevo verismo, M. Barnet, R. Menchu, E. Poniatowska.

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