Dominican literature and Dominicanness from a European perspective
Faculty of Arts. Linguistics and Literature
Reception: Texts, Readers, Audiences, History
, p. 29-44
University of Antwerp
This article seeks to answer the question of how peripheral literature is perceived in Europe. The case study concentrates on the European view of Dominican literature and analyses the publication (mostly in translation) and reception (interviews and reviews) of narrative prose in Spanish and English by authors of Dominican origin in Spain, France, Germany, Belgium and Holland since 2000. The study reveals that Dominican literature is not a clearly defined category from a European perspective. Besides identifying a number of stereotypical markers, such as merengue or trujillato, European reviewers tend to locate the Dominicanness which informs this literature within broader categories: Caribbeanness, Latinoness or Latinamericanness, and emphasize machismo and magical realism. Consequently, this article calls into question the relation between language and nation, challenging the concept of Spanish American literature as a whole. It poses general questions about center and periphery in the context of the World Republic of Letters.