Chicana/o literature’s multi-spatiotemporal projections and impacts; or back to the future

Authored by: Frederick Luis Aldama

Routledge Handbook of Chicana/o Studies

Print publication date:  August  2018
Online publication date:  August  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138847873
eBook ISBN: 9781315726366
Adobe ISBN:


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To understand our vitally alive and ever-morphing contemporary field of Chicana/o letters, we must first take a look at origins. The history of Chicana/o literature is characterized by a constant flow of projection and impact. By this I mean that its series of transformative impacts within American letters (and world literature generally) results from its authors recreating content from the building blocks of reality that make up the past and present – all while writing for ideal readers who come to exist materially in the future. We see this already in the early narratives of the conquest by European Spaniards who sought to chronicle a proximate and distant past that projects forward the making of a dynamic, contemporary Chicana/o letters in a future yet unknown to them – a future we live today. As Francisco A. Lomelí succinctly sums up of the early periods of literary production, “the texts created their own context – one in the process of becoming a genuinely syncretic fusion of the New World and the Old” (Lomelí 2012b, p. 295). For Lomelí, the formation of Chicano/a letters results from the authoring of texts searching for future contexts and contexts in search of texts. This is to say, the wide variety of Chicana/o literary phenomena that impact us today is a consequence of a long history of authorial creations that result from multiple projections in and across space and time.

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