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SephardismSpanish Jewish History and the Modern Literary Imagination$
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Yael Halevi-Wise

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780804777469

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804777469.001.0001

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Sephardim and Neo-Sephardim in Latin American Literature

Sephardim and Neo-Sephardim in Latin American Literature

(p.129) Five Sephardim and Neo-Sephardim in Latin American Literature

Edna Aizenberg

Stanford University Press

As an imaginary construct that recalls villainies and dreams, Sepharad is relevant to contemporary Latin America. In particular, the Sephardic metaphor has contributed to the growth of Latin American Jewish literary discourse from its very beginnings. This chapter explores the metaphor of Sepharad by considering three interrelated concepts: Sephardic reality, Sephardic mythology, and neo-sephardism. It then turns to a case study that illustrates the complexities of literary sephardism. Since colonial times, Sephardim have been producing Spanish literature in Latin America. Sephardim were the earliest Jewish settlers and the earliest Jewish writers who belonged to the Marrano diaspora that emigrated to Spain's New World dependencies. Since then, they have become part of the Latin American literary fabric. This chapter also looks at one of Sepharad's recreations, Marcos Aguinis's 1991 novel La gesta del marrano (The Epic of the Marrano), which chronicles the life of a Chilean-Argentine Sephardic martyr, Dr. Francisco Maldonado da Silva.

Keywords:   Sepharad, Sephardim, Latin America, Spain, Sephardic reality, Sephardic mythology, neo-sephardism, Spanish literature, Marcos Aguinis, La gesta del marrano

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