THE ART OF CREOLE EXPRESSION IN ARGENTINA

ANA CRISTINA CARA-WALKER, University of Pennsylvania

Abstract

This essay undertakes the study of creolization in Argentina and of its verbal expressive forms. It examines and challenges the parameters of what is "criollo" and "creole," as it pertains to personal and national identity, to language, and to literature and verbal art. By looking at Argentina's social history in detail this essay attempts to interpret the predicament of, and the alternatives by individuals and groups without "official" power, who must define their identity vis a vis different and often rivaling cultures. Among those discussed are gauchos, Afro-Argentines, compadritos, immigrants, and Portenos. In light of this sociocultural "negotiation" the discussion moves away from "Herderian" conceptions of the world which assume distinct, individual language-and-culture units. The notion of "creole" languages, therefore, turns into a discussion of "creole talk", of creole discourse, where observations about ways of speaking are put forth, rather than formal linguistic definitions. Similarly, "creole literature" is contextually defined, and encompasses folk, erudite, oral, and written texts. This view of literature forces the reader to take account of such verbal art, and to consider the social, cultural, and historical factors which either "explain" a work's "non-standard" character, or reveal far greater subtleties underneath its "standard" appearance. Among the languages/literatures treated are gaucho talk and gauchesque literature, Black expressive forms, Cocoliche manifestations, Lunfardo verbal art, and J. L. Borges' Para las seis cuerdas.

Subject Area

Folklore

Recommended Citation

CARA-WALKER, ANA CRISTINA, "THE ART OF CREOLE EXPRESSION IN ARGENTINA" (1983). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI8326276.
https://repository.upenn.edu/dissertations/AAI8326276

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