The Narrative Maps of Sarmiento, Zavala, and Pérez Rosales
This chapter analyzes three narratives written by Mexican and Latin American travelers in the U.S. in the early nineteenth century. Mexican politician Lorenzo de Zavala's Viaje a los Estados Unidos del Norte de América (1834), Argentine Domingo Sarmiento's Viajespor … América 1845–1847, and Chilean Vicente Pérez Rosales' “Algo Sobre California” (1850) all demonstrate a hemispheric racial ideology in which the U.S. views Latin America as a juvenile other to be drawn under the mantle of U.S. protection. In creating a vision of the U.S. for Mexican and Latin American consumption, these writers must mediate the internal contradictions of their own nationalisms while struggling with increasing U.S. hemispheric dominance. Reading Zavala simultaneously with his Latin American contemporaries establishes a broader referential context for his Viaje and also for the formation of Chicana/o literature.
Keywords: Lorenzo de Zavala, Domingo Sarmiento, Vicente Pérez Rosales, racial ideology, Latin America, Chicana/o literature