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Crides have only intermittently turned their attention to the radically innovative La casa de cartón (1928) by the Peruvian Martín Adán in the academic impulse to re-evaluate the Spanish American hterary canon after a frenzy of Boom and Post-Boom criticism. One possible reason for this relative lack of attention is a tendency by critics to obfuscate the contribution of Adán's only "novel" to the Spanish American literary canon by considering it the work of a writer who rejects social concerns or criticizes the social, without proposing an alternative based on action.' This presumed renunciation occurred at a time when some Peruvian intellectuals experienced an awakening to injustices in their societies, especially with regard to the exclusión of indigenous cultures from national discourse. The most famous examples of such an awareness in the Perú of the 1920s were Cesar Vallejo's socially committed poetry and chronicles or José Carlos Mariátegui's essays, which turned to nationalist forms of Marxism and indigenismo to address social problems. Perhaps due to the criticai tendency to see Adán as the polar opposite of Vallejo and Mariátegui, both of whom remain widely read in Perú's intellectual circles, most of the criticism to date has situated La casa de cartón within what Julio Vélez has called the "insular" (1067-68), as opposed to the collective face of Peruvian modernity, which strove for a national expression of cul- tural identity. Similarly, critics have identified Adán's text with what Hugo Verani, among others, has deemed the "vanguardia estética," which reflected a more intellectual attempt to deconstruct through European experimental forms the faith in rationaUty and progress that accompanies capitalist expansión, presumably rather than projecting concerns with the social milieu (Introducción 12).'
Copyright © 2008 the Author.
Spitz, M. (2008). A Reconsideration of Martín Adán: The Case of La casa de cartón. Mester, 37(1). Retrieved from https://escholarship.org/uc/item/8kf986b7