Assuming the Light
The Parisian Literary Apprenticeship of Miguel Angel Asturias

Stephen Henighan

Legenda (General Series)

Legenda

1 December 1999  •  228pp

ISBN: 1-900755-19-X (paperback)  •  RRP £75, $99, €85

SpanishFiction


Miguel Angel Asturias (1899-1974), the first Spanish-American prose writer to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, is both a pivotal and a representative figure in the development of the twentieth-century Spanish-American novel. Asturias's literary apprenticeship in the Paris of the 1920s and 1930s is arguably the most crucial and least understood period of his career. In forging his definitions of Guatemalan cultural identity and Spanish-American modernity from a French vantage point, Asturias made literary innovations and generated cultural paradoxes which have proved central to subsequent generations of writers. This study of Asturias's early academic writings, journalism and short fiction, and of his first major novel, El señor presidente, provides a prehistory of the contemporary Spanish-American novel.

Stephen Henighan is Assistant Professor of Spanish at the University of Guelph, Ontario. His publications include scholarly articles on a variety of Spanish-American writers, and on Salman Rushdie, postcolonial theory and English-Canadian and French-Canadian literature. He is the author of two novels and two books of short stories.

Reviews:

  • ‘The combination of close textual analysis of Asturias's own work, both fictional and journalistic, with that of other discourses, including the work of his contemporaries as well as his critics, is, in my view, one of the many strengths of Assuming the Light. Frequently provocative and meticulously researched, this book will be of interest therefore not only to Asturias specialists but also more generally to scholars engaged in Latin American cultural studies, particularly those interested in questions of cultural identity.’ — Claire Lindsay, Modern Language Review 97.3, 2002, 742-3 (full text online)
  • ‘Lucid, sophisticated, beautifully written, it provides a valuable and thought-provoking introduction to the writer's extraordinary sojourn in Paris... Stephen Henighan seems destined to make an outstanding contribution to Asturias studies.’ — Gerald Martin, Bulletin of Hispanic Studies 79, 2002
  • ‘Valuable, problematic insights for those conversant with Asturias's work and its criticism.’ — Paul Jordan, Bulletin of Spanish Studies LXXIX, 2002, 826-8

Bibliography entry:

Henighan, Stephen, Assuming the Light: The Parisian Literary Apprenticeship of Miguel Angel Asturias (Cambridge: Legenda, 1999)

First footnote reference: 35 Stephen Henighan, Assuming the Light: The Parisian Literary Apprenticeship of Miguel Angel Asturias (Cambridge: Legenda, 1999), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Henighan, p. 47.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

Bibliography entry:

Henighan, Stephen. 1999. Assuming the Light: The Parisian Literary Apprenticeship of Miguel Angel Asturias (Cambridge: Legenda)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Henighan 1999: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Henighan 1999: 21.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)


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