Identidades sin frontera: rupturas y continuidades en la narrativa de la Onda y la narrativa chicana
This project focuses on how the novels of the so called Literatura de la Onda and Chicano narratives of the sixties and seventies challenged the legacy of Mexican revolutionary nationalist discourse through the voice of young rebels and misfits. I argue that the rather contentious attitude of Onda novels on the one hand, and of Chicano fiction on the other bring to the fore a search for identity that is articulated as an opposition between post-revolutionary values typically held by father figures, and the revolt of the young protagonists. The novels by Mexican Onda writers, such as José Agustín and Parménides García Saldaña, raise identity issues that have been a constant source of anxiety in the nationalist discourse of Latin America since the nineteenth century. Among these, one of the most important is the impact of US culture in Mexican cultural identity. At the same time, Chicano narratives portray the struggle of adolescents who live between traditional Mexican values and North American ones as seen in works such as Alejandro Morales’ Barrio on the Edge, and José Antonio Villarreal’s Pocho. Drawing on Julia Kristeva’s theory of the abject, I show how the abject position of adolescents towards their origins undermines a sense of total rebelliousness that creates its own “space” within the narration. It is in this place where tradition and rebellion collide. Such collision gives way to the anguished quest of identity, and this quest is one that transgresses both cultural and national boundaries.