Ark. (September 9, 2021) — Hendrix faculty member Dr. José Vilahomat,
Professor of Spanish, has published a new book titled Satire
and Minor Genres: Notes on Contemporary Latin American Literature.
“Borges tells us that from Edgar Allan Poe we derive the fact
of ‘considering literature as an operation of the mind, not of the spirit,’” Vilahomat
said. “Today, I would add, it is considered as an operation of instinct; a
pretended instinct, a satirical one.”
About the publication
Satire and Minor Genres is the
result of two decades of research. It includes lectures and articles published
in academic journals and is geared toward readers who are Latin-Americanist
researchers and literary critics.
Through the theory of Menippean satire and the commonsense
tradition, the book analyzes how literary subgenres such as crime fiction,
science fiction, dystopia, picaresque, and the new historic novel find new
hybrid ways of expression and representation. This eclectic aesthetic
reinvented or recreated by Latin American writers boast deliberate activism,
and epistemological purpose to find individual truth amidst the present
constructs that obfuscate the mind.
“Detective fiction is a kind of response to the picaresque in
a bourgeois society ordered according to the laws of private property,”
The book traces the classical origins, evolution, and regional
and aesthetic variants of literary genres, with numerous textual analyzes,
regional symmetries, philosophical disquisitions, and identity validation
strategies. It discusses the theoretical canon and includes writers such as the
Chilean Roberto Bolaño, the Cubans Daína Chaviano and Leonardo Padura, and the
Mexicans Homero Aridjis and Enrique Serna, who return to Latin American letters
that status of innovators that Modernism and the boom once
had. With masterful academic rigor, the new optimism is revealed, delving into
the clarity that literature offers, aligned with equalities of genders, races,
ecological systems, and democratic principles.
About Dr. Vilahomat
Dr. José Ramón Vilahomat joined the Hendrix College faculty
in 2002. He has taught courses on Modernism, the Latin American boom,
and seminars on Borges and Lezama. He specializes in new trends in current
literature. His other publications include Fiction of rationality, Memory
as a mythical operator in the polar aesthetics of Borges and Lezama,
various academic articles, and poetry books.
Vilahomat was born in Sancti Spiritus, Cuba. His family
settled in a suburb of Havana in 1962 where he lived until the age of 27.
In 1978, Vilahomat studied Physics in the School of Physics and Mathematics at
the University of Havana, where he worked for eight years as a Planar
Technician, building solar cells and other non-conventional sources of energy
in the Solid State Department. He combined his years in the lab with a new
career in Philology, which was more in line with his love for poetry and
creative writing. Vilahomat graduated in 1992 with a degree in Philology with a
specialization on Cuban literature with a thesis on the Cuban writer Ezequiel
After defecting from Cuba in 1994, he finished a Master of
Arts and a Ph.D. in Spanish, both at Florida International University. Some of
Vilahomat’s work experience includes being a librarian at the cultural
institution “Casa de las Americas” in Havana, a professional printer at
Associated Photo in Miami, a paraprofessional of profound-mentally handicapped
students, a high school teacher, a translator, an editor, and a
photojournalist. Vilahomat enjoys the ambiance and integrated
nature of the liberal arts at Hendrix College and sees a
well-rounded education and experiential learning as a vital component
of society. His own life reflects this with his love of family,
people, nature, outdoors, traveling, reading, and water sports.
About Hendrix College
A private liberal arts college in Conway, Arkansas, Hendrix College
consistently earns recognition as one of the country’s leading liberal arts
institutions, and is featured in Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools
That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges. Its academic quality and
rigor, innovation, and value have established Hendrix as a fixture in numerous
college guides, lists, and rankings. Founded in 1876, Hendrix has been
affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. To learn more, visit www.hendrix.edu.