New World Regionalism: Literature in the Americas


149 pages
Contains Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-8020-0568-3
DDC 809'.9332




Reviewed by John Walker

John Walker is a professor of Spanish studies at Queen’s University.


At a time when regionalism is a dirty word, given the excesses committed
in its name throughout the world, it is a brave critic who would attempt
to present the advantages, if only literary and cultural, of this
overworked concept. Since regionalism implies forces other than
geographical, Jordan does well to tackle this problem through other
manifestations, political, cultural, and psychological.

As the title of this book suggests, Jordan’s study deals with the
definition and development of regional fiction in both North and South
America from the early 1800s as it applies to Third-World South America,
the United States, and post-colonial Canada. In five roughly uniform
chapters, this slim study deals with, and contrasts, the different
responses to romantic ideology and New World settlement; the growth of
19th-century popular regional literature in the United States; modernist
poetics and regional differences; the poetics of place; and postmodern

Although there is no conclusion, an eight-page bibliography and eight
pages of notes round out this interesting study, which is not perforce
comprehensive in its treatment of the Americas. Brazil, Mexico, the
United States, and Canada figure prominently, but there is no space for
the other 20 Latin American republics, or for Quebec. And thus we come
full circle to the political implications of this abused term.


Jordan, David., “New World Regionalism: Literature in the Americas,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 18, 2024,