A translational turn: Latinx literature into the mainstream
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The cover of Marta E. Sánchez’s monograph A Translational Turn: Latinx Literature into the Mainstream features a detail from Alfredo Ramos Martínez’s 1942 painting Mixtecas Primitivas: it shows three abstracted female faces, turning toward each other as if engaged in a lively conversation. Sánchez interprets these women as three manifestations of Malintzín Tenepal, or La Malinche, the much-maligned and often misunderstood indigenous interpreter for Hernán Cortés. The cover thus effectively visualizes the importance of translation at the very origins of Latinx literary history.
A Translational Turn is an important and timely book. In 2005, Héctor Tobar emphasized the growing importance of current Spanish-language publications in the United States in Translation Nation, and Kirsten Silva Gruesz and Laura Lomas have discussed the long-standing presence of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Latin American writing in Spanish in, and its impact on, the United States in Ambassadors of Culture...