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Chicano NationsThe Hemispheric Origins of Mexican American Literature$
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Marissa K. Lopez

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780814752616

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814752616.001.0001

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Racialized Bodies and the Limits of the Abstract

Racialized Bodies and the Limits of the Abstract

María Mena and Daniel Venegas

(p.93) 3 Racialized Bodies and the Limits of the Abstract
Chicano Nations

Marissa K. López

NYU Press

This chapter focuses on María Mena and Daniel Venegas, two authors whose writings cover the Mexican Revolution. Their writing reflects two distinct, diasporic Mexican communities that eventually became part of a Chicana/o collectivity in the United States. The tensions of class, race, gender, and nation manifested in their works are heightened in comparison with each other and are foundational to intracommunal Chicana/o conflicts. Mena's and Venegas' writings embrace and refute otherness; both try to define and embody an idealized Mexico while simultaneously criticizing the logic of an idealized nationality. Their writing is a window into the moment when Chicana/o literature incorporates the idea of its own race. The political conflict evident in reading them against each other is one of the establishing political tensions of Chicana/o literature: between the materiality and the abstraction of race.

Keywords:   María Mena, Daniel Venegas, Mexican Revolution, Chicana/o collectivity, idealized nationality, race, Chicana/o literature

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