Valencia, Norman. The Rhetorics of Power and the Names of the Father in Latin American Literature. Iberoamericana-Vervuert, 2017.
Abstract: After the fall of the Berlin Wall, and with the return of democracy to most of its countries, Latin America awaited the end of one of its key historical figures: the authoritarian and paternalistic leader. With the 21st century, however, the "father of the nation" returned like a specter to the continent's public sphere. In an attempt to think about the history and the contemporary relevance of this figure, this text provides a political reading of the father in some of the most representative Latin American authors of the 20th century: Graciliano Ramos (Brazil), Juan Rulfo (Mexico), Joao Guimaraes Rosa (Brazil) and Jose Lezama Lima (Cuba). With a theoretical framework that combines psychoanalysis with thinkers like Jacques Derrida, Carl Schmitt, Walter Benjamin, Theodor W. Adorno and Jacques Rancière, my book focuses on the father as a rhetorical locus for the representation of some of Latin America's key historical problems, including the paternalistic nature of its modernization, the permanent return of totalitarian leaders to its public sphere, and the ambiguous role it played in the global expansion of capitalism throughout the 20th century. Additionally, the book discusses the need for more comparative approaches between Latin America's Spanish and Portuguese traditions, in order to produce a better understanding of the continent's history and culture.
Valencia, Norman. “Think Less and Publish More.” Review of Enemies of Promise: Publishing, Perishing, and the Eclipse of Scholarship, by Lindsay Waters. Revista Contraportada, vol. 1, issue 1, 2017, pp. 116-123.