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Testimonio

On the Politics of Truth

2004
Author:

John Beverley

Testimonio

A revealing perspective on the controversial literature of witnessing

These four germinal essays by John Beverley sparked the widespread debate surrounding testimonio—the Latin American narrative of witnessing—that culminated with David Stoll’s attack on Rigoberta Menchú’s celebrated text. Beverley’s extensive new introduction examines the issues that this literature raises, tracing the development of testimonio from its emergence during the Cold War to the rise of a globalized economy.

In Testimonio, John Beverley exhibits an enormous breadth of knowledge and offers us the opportunity to immerse ourselves more fully and critically with subalternity and testimonio in a post-9/11 world, in which the questions of identity politics and solidarity have become blurred.

Arturo Arias, editor of The Rigoberta Menchú Controversy

These four germinal essays by John Beverley sparked the widespread discussion and debate surrounding testimonio—the socially and politically charged Latin American narrative of witnessing—that culminated with David Stoll’s highly publicized attack on Rigoberta Menchú’s celebrated testimonial text. Challenging Hardt and Negri’s Empire, Beverley’s extensive new introduction examines the broader historical, political, and ethical issues that this literature raises, tracing the development of testimonio from its emergence in the Cold War era to the rise of a globalized economy and U.S. political hegemony.

Informed by postcolonial studies and the current debate over multiculturalism and identity politics, Testimonio reaches across disciplinary boundaries to show how this particular literature at once represents and enacts new forms of agency on the part of previously repressed social subjects, as well as its potential as a new form of “alliance politics” between those subjects and artists, scientists, teachers, and intellectuals in a variety of local, national, and international contexts.


Testimonio

John Beverley is professor and chair in the Department of Hispanic Languages and Literatures at the University of Pittsburgh. His books include Subalternity and Representation, The Postmodernism Debate in Latin America, and Against Literature.

Testimonio

In Testimonio, John Beverley exhibits an enormous breadth of knowledge and offers us the opportunity to immerse ourselves more fully and critically with subalternity and testimonio in a post-9/11 world, in which the questions of identity politics and solidarity have become blurred.

Arturo Arias, editor of The Rigoberta Menchú Controversy

Testimonio is an exceptionally important contribution to contemporary Latin American literature, politics, and culture.

Amy Kaminsky, author of After Exile: Writing the Latin American Diaspora

Testimonial writing is a relatively new genre that has has an enormous impact on the definition and meaning of literature in Latin America during the past several decades, and John Beverley is one of its clearest and most succinct proponents.

Canadian Literature

Testimonio presents multicultural heterogeneity as being ‘internal to the identity of people’ and has to be articulated against that ‘which it is not.’ Beverly's book is not an isolated instance of the use of the literary archive with which to examine larger cross-cultural and/or multicultural issues.

Year’s Work in Critical & Cultural Theory