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Autobiographical Writing in Latin America: Folds of the Self By Sergio R. Franco ...

Chapter 1:  The Emergence of Autobiographical Discourse in Spanish America
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Autobiographical Writing in Latin America:

Chapter 1

The Emergence of
Autobiographical Discourse
in Spanish America

Autobiography has never been foreign to Spanish American literature. In fact, its first appearances can be found in colonial texts like Comentarios Reales (1609), by Inca Garcilaso de la Vega (the first “classic” of Spanish American literature) or in the accounts of nuns, such as the Respuesta a sor Filotea de la Cruz (1691) by Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, or the Relación autobiográfica by the Poor Clare nun Úrsula Suárez. If in Inca Garcilaso the renaissance mentality is hybridized through forms of communitarian subjectivation, these monastic narratives are writings that, despite being approved and encouraged by the Church as complementary to confession, turned out to be shot through with feminine agencies and in which forms of subjectivity alien to the spirit of the Counter-Reformation flourished. With the emergence of new republics, the dismemberment of the Empire, and the feebleness of the colonial institutions with which the colonial letrado legitimized himself, writing operated as a homogenizing machine for the new citizen, supporting a kind of liberal creed that demanded