Building Puerto Rico’s anti-colonial literary canon: Nilita Vientós Gastón’s venture with Asomante
© 2019, Hunter College Center for Puerto Rican Studies. All rights reserved. After thirty years under US colonial rule, Puerto Rican intellectuals of the 1930s generation used literature to proclaim a Hispanic heritage and position themselves against US imperialism in their nation-building efforts. One of these thinkers was Nilita Vientós Gastón, lawyer and gestora cultural, who served as editor-in-chief of the Puerto Rican journal Asomante (1945-70). I argue that Asomante is crucial to understanding not only the role of literary journals in canon formation, but also to identifying cultural aspects of an anti-colonial nation-building project in Puerto Rico. In doing so, I draw from canon formation and cultural nationalism debates to highlight how Vientós Gastón launched Asomante as an alternative “Ministry of Culture.” I discuss how her editorial strategies—tracing genealogies, creating foreign connections with writers and other journals, instituting a venue for contemporary literary criticism, forming anthologies, and establishing a publishing house—constructed the island’s anti-colonial literary canon.
González-Conty, Enrique, "Building Puerto Rico’s anti-colonial literary canon: Nilita Vientós Gastón’s venture with Asomante" (2019). Faculty Articles Indexed in Scopus. 160.