Abstract

Critics have recently taken up Ernst Bloch's notion of the “contemporaneity of the non-contemporaneous” to theorize world literature and global modernism. This article builds on these developments by comparing Ernst Bloch's work to that of the Peruvian Marxist and essayist José Carlos Mariátegui. I demonstrate how the concern with the question of contemporaneity in the periphery informs Mariátegui's discussion of the avant-garde, arguing that the framework of contemporaneity surpasses that of modernization for thinking through the tasks taken up by peripheral modernism. I then use this framework to interpret Carlos Oquendo de Amat's experimental 5 metros de poemas as a poetic form that conceives of Peruvian national space-time as constituted by the tension between city and countryside and mediated by global capitalism.

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