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La construcción y el papel de la identidad vasca en la literatura vasco americana
AuthorSedano, Nagore Sedano
World Languages and Literatures
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The last quarter of the twentieth century celebrated the advancement of multiculturalism in several scholarly fields. As Western criticism left behind its penchant for ethnocentric and binary opposition hermeneutics, so did the literary production we associate with the Basque American Diaspora. The present study aims to shed light on a contemporary shift in Basque Diaspora writings by viewing them through a comparative lens that juxtaposes the literary discourses of the second generation of Basque American authors with those of subsequent generations. Second generation writers spoke of the struggle to create a Basque American hybrid that would blend and, in part, resist the American melting pot ethos of the 1950s. In contrast to this generation's approach to resolving identity conflicts, the third and fourth generation of Basque American authors, living in a more ethnically diverse milieu, incorporate much more complex identity interactions into their dialectics. Admittedly, the present research contrasts the work of these generations by applying theoretical apparatuses--for example, transculturalism--that may be better suited to understanding the later than the earlier generations. This potential bias is counter-weighted both by an awareness of its presence and by taking full account of the extent to which the literary output of the third and fourth generations rests upon the foundational work of its predecessors. In sum, this study seeks to highlight the development of identity dynamics in Basque Diaspora literature and to contribute to future research in this rapidly evolving field.