Recovering Lost Footprints, Volume 2

Contemporary Maya Narratives

By Arturo Arias

Subjects: Literature, Literary Criticism, Latin American Studies, Indigenous Studies
Hardcover : 9781438472591, 392 pages, December 2018
Paperback : 9781438472584, 392 pages, July 2019

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Table of contents


Part I. Peninsular Mayas

1. How Peninsular Narrative Happened

2. Jorge Cocom Pech, Javier Gómez Navarrete, and Isaac Carrillo Can: Three Generations of Writers Reconfiguring Peninsular Maya Cosmovision

3. A Prolific Woman Novelist Takes Center Stage: Marisol Ceh Moo

Part II. Emerging Narratives in Chiapas

4. Chiapanecan Indigenous Writers Begin to Tell Stories

5. How It All Began in Chiapanecan Narrativities

6. Josías López Gómez: A Prolific Narrator


Works Cited

Analyzes contemporary Yucatecan and Chiapanecan Maya narratives.


Recovering Lost Footprints, Volume 2 is an in-depth analysis of the sociohistorical conflict impacting Indigenous communities in Latin America. Continuing the project he began in volume 1, Arturo Arias analyzes contemporary Peninsular and Chiapanecan Maya narratives. He examines the works of Yucatecan writers Jorge Cocom Pech, Javier Gómez Navarrete, Isaac Carrillo Can, and Marisol Ceh Moo. For Chiapas, Arias looks at the works of Tseltal novelist Diego Méndez Guzmán, Tsotsil short-story writer Nicolás Huet Bautista, and Tseltal narrative writer Josías López Gómez. Arias problematizes the nature of Western modernity and the crisis of Western models of development in the present. By way of his analysis, he suggests that we are facing a historical impasse because we have neglected native knowledges that offer alternative codes of ethics and beingness that emerge from Indigenous cosmovisions. The text skillfully contributes to and strengthens debates between US-centered and Latin American cultural studies theorists, as well as the hemispheric expansion of Native American and Indigenous Studies. Recovering Lost Footprints, Volume 2 is inspired more by the past as it impinges upon a continuing, constantly expanding present. Arias's reading of Maya literatures forces us to reconsider the space-time structure of Western thinking. Indeed, this book is intriguing precisely because it views literature from an Indigenous perspective, evidencing how that social space is full of multiple contrasting experiences and historical processes.

Arturo Arias is John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Professor in the Humanities at the University of California, Merced and the author of Recovering Lost Footprints, Volume 1: Contemporary Maya Narratives, also published by SUNY Press.


"By drawing attention to the articulation between the contemporary literary production and its relationship to Mayan cosmovision in a broad sense, and focusing on the different traditions preserved through diverse languages and customs, this rich, comprehensive overview offers glimpses of a very different worldview. " — Cynthia Margarita Tompkins, author of Affectual Erasure: Representations of Indigenous Peoples in Argentine Cinema