In This Review

The Space In-Between: Essays on Latin American Culture
The Space In-Between: Essays on Latin American Culture
By Silviano Santiago
Duke University Press, 2002, 187 pp

A cosmopolitan figure who is as much at ease with European and American literature as he is with Brazilian classics, Santiago is sensitive to the changes in U.S. political and literary currents and the effects of those changes on Latin American culture. In this book, Santiago explores the tension between the dependency and originality of Latin American cultural expression, integrating the Brazilian experience in this broader pattern. His prose is largely free of the obscure terms of postmodern discourse, yet he writes from within this tradition to provide a handy primer on what Latin Americans are thinking about their culture. Santiago looks at some of the decisive moments in what he calls the evolution of the "space in between": the way in which a strong national tradition deals with hegemonic forces that press on it, from U.S. pop culture to the Cold War to Marxism. A remarkable series of insights on the complex play between traditional theories of national cultural identities and the odd realignments and fragmentation taking place as a consequence of globalization.