By Ricardo Abarca Arias - International Relations degree student
Latin American literature has been characterized by a historical path with important events such as the colonization in the Americas and the genocide of hundreds of indigenous groups in almost all the regions. Therefore, the novels depending on the historical time and context surrounded defined how the expressionism was developing in certain areas such as the Caribbean with the Afro-Hispanic culture and the rest of Hispanic American groups. Several novels are great examples of how Europeans portray their discoveries and their culture in the following generations, which can update show signs of influence in the Latin American literary works. In the most recent times, expressionism has been representing the battle of integrating for Latinos in the United States mostly, and the influence of French and English culture in the Caribbean.
The Hispanic American literature and expressionism in the past years has been focusing mainly in the search of an identity for mixed groups such as Chicanos. Their works can be mostly known as corridos in the 19th century, that would transform in the following century into a more heroic poetry that wanted to represent the honor and respect that mean to be Hispanic American in times of change and social repression for racial matters. The expressionism, by the time, is mainly characterized by the fact that being able to communicate and express in two or more languages gives a wider possibility of attracting more readers and therefore to transmit the intentions in bigger amounts. One of the main purposes is the need for survival inside a society that is by itself segregated and minorities have to struggle to be consider as part of the society per se.
In the case of the Afro-Hispanic culture, their influence has been mainly European, as they suffered from direct intervention of the French, Dutch, Spanish and English update as is the case of the Jamaican society to be represented by the English monarchy. Therefore, even though they have had influence of other cultures, in contrast to the Hispanic Americans, their literary works and expressionism is more defined, and can even be considered as representative of the region with a strong cultural identity perception. In this region, a neo-expressionism is what can be found on major basis: being represented by the beauty of the human nature, a portrait by human bodies, intense colors, fruits, and unusual angles.
Therefore, we can understand how the Latin American novel has been present mainly on the Hispanic American expression against the common representation of Afro-Hispanic art that is focused more on paintings and monochromatic ways of portraying their reality. Expressionists are known because of their will of making the other know about their daily struggles, adventures and social tensions in a way that catches attention, and respectively, both expressionistic ways of doing it have their focuses, and we can learn to appreciate them instead of contrasting them, because at the end, as Latinos, we all interconnected and we share the same historical tensions and collective anxiety that has been left behind to appreciate and admire.
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