En híbrida mezcolanza: Exile and Cultural Anxiety in Alirio Díaz Guerra's Lucas Guevara

Jeffrey Browitt
2005 PORTAL: Journal of Multidisciplinary International Studies  
In 1914, Lucas Guevara, a novel by the Colombian exile and writer, Alirio Díaz Guerra, was first published in New York. It remained forgotten until Nicolás Kanellos, the Director of the 'Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage Project', uncovered a copy of this first edition in a New York public library in 1976. The novel has since been claimed as the earliest about Latin American immigration to the United States written in Spanish. This fact alone merits its study. The novel is also
more » ... ue in that typically it is literature by Puerto Ricans, Mexicans and Cubans, and not a Colombian, that is most associated with the Latin American migrant experience. The novel was published for a second time in 2001 by Arte Público Press in Houston, Texas. This second edition comes complete with a critical-biographical introduction by Kanellos and Imra Liz Hernández, which presents the novel as the precursor of a developing genre of a certain type of Latin American immigrant literature centred on the naïve migrant (el verde) who arrives in the United States inspired by the opportunities which the metropolis supposedly affords, but who nevertheless suffers a series of misfortunes because of the inability to adapt to or withstand the hostility of the new culture. The price to be paid for this failure to adapt is to return home, or to remain and die. 1 Díaz Guerra portrays just such a hapless figure in
doi:10.5130/portal.v2i1.84 fatcat:s2w26hprrzcfhjr76n55r2r7ha