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By Israel Reyes

Puerto Rican writers from the island and mainland have lengthy used numerous comedian genres and kinds to confirm an self sufficient nationwide identification and withstand cultural hegemony and assimilation. using self-reflexive humor has allowed those writers to provide “eccentric texts” that mirror not just all alone textuality but additionally on their position as an intervention within the literary discourse on nationwide id. Reyes analyzes the works of Nemesio Canales, Luis Rafael Sánchez, Ana Lydia Vega, and Pedro Pietri to argue that their works resituate the parameters of nationwide identification through blurring the strains among the topic and item of humor, the interior and out of doors of the textual content, and the right here and there of the diasporic Puerto Rican nation.
Framing his dialogue within the context of Latin American, Latino, and Caribbean traditions, Reyes argues that humor and the eccentric textual content reimagine Puerto Rican nationwide id from the point of view of incongruity. He demonstrates how, via self-reflexive humor, those writers disclose the numerous incongruities in Puerto Rican nationwide id but additionally discover the connection among writer and reader. While demonstrating the genre’s personal instabilities, Reyes argues, humor in Puerto Rican literature negotiates incongruity and enables a countrywide id to emerge from a number of facilities of articulation.  

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Additional info for Humor and the Eccentric Text in Puerto Rican Literature

Sample text

The avenue down which Miguel walks also marks the text’s attention to exteriority and the open space in which the subject loses his singularity, becoming indistinguishable from the masses surrounding him.

Susan Kirkpatrick, in Las Románticas: Women Writers and Subjectivity in Spain, 1835–1850, argues that Larra’s objective distance comes to the surface of his text in the form of a painful feeling of isolation (100). Larra’s romanticism situates the individual in a state of constant conflict with society. He exposes the ridiculous in others but takes his position as an aloof, inviolable satirist very seriously. This satirical objectivity contrasts with a self-deprecating humor. The eminent Spanish scholar Julio Casares argues that humor does not regard society from a distance, and when the satirist stops to think that he is of the same ilk (“de la misma carne”) as his victims, that he too could one day succumb to the very circumstances he ridicules, only then will he loosen the whip of his wit (“el látigo se le afloja”) and see himself as the possible object of someone else’s ridicule (45).

Nemesio Canales’s success as a satirical journalist in Puerto Rico began with a series of articles he wrote for the Ponce newspaper El Día from 1911 to 1914 (Romeu 1985, 111). Collected and published as Paliques in 1915, these essays were the first indication that Canales’s self-deprecating humor distinguished him from his Puerto Rican compatriots and Spanish predecessors. 5 Canales elaborates a comic metaphor in which his own duty to write this column is compared to the trials of Cain, the sinful and murderous son of humanity’s first father.

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