Rolando Hinojosa and the American Dream (Texas Writers by Joyce Glover Lee

By Joyce Glover Lee

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Hinojosa refers to the Chicano Movement's literary aspect, saying that although it "passed itself off as a people's literature," it is "actually a child of us, the academicians who make up one of the last privileged classes in our land" ("Chicano Literature" 41). Again, Hinojosa's comment seems peripheral to the inspiring rhetoric of other Chicanos, including the claim of El Plan Espiritual de Aztlán that "we are a bronze people with a bronze culture" (Montenegro 18). Arnulfo D.  . symbolically captures the historical past and signals a brighter future for the people of Aztlan.

It is precisely these connections between author and protagonists that force Hinojosa to confront in his fiction the pervasiveness of American myth with all its attendant ironies and contradictions. Page 5 Hinojosa's characters, like Hinojosa himself, have a sense of the past. And within the world of the Death Trip Series the very word ''past" is imbued with romance, glory, and, more important, possibility: possibility lost, unlikely to be regained. "Past" fuses nostalgia and melancholy with, ironically, a desperate need to act, to be in some way.

As one historian has expressed it, after the Spanish Conquest of the sixteenth century, Spanish "ethnocentrism and excessive Christian zeal reduced all things Indian to a level of shame" (Meyer and Sherman 3). At least a remnant of this attitude lingered well into the twentieth century. ) Marilyn Montenegro asserts that until recent years Mexican Americans as well as Anglos used the term ''Spanish" for Mexican Americans who were successful within Anglo society and "Mexican" for those who were not.

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