Introduction: Theories of the Ghost in a Transhispanic Context

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Book Chapter

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Bucknell University Press


Nuestros muertos quieren ser parte de nuestra conversaci6n, no nos permiten olvidar, nos dicen que las comunidades que formamos en vida son parte tambien de las comunidades ausentes. -Cristina Rivera Garza, in Monica Maristain 1

[Our dead want to be part of our conversation, they do not allow us to forget, they tell us that the communities that are no longer present are also part of the communities we create in life.]

The commonplace phrase, "the ghosts of the past," evokes remoteness, something intangible that nevertheless is ever present, a sort of historical sublime. 2 As the Mexican novelist Cristina Rivera Garza reminds us in the epigraph above, ghosts and the talking dead constitute a historical relationship to a past that cannot be forgotten. They do not allow us to forget. The ubiquitous nature of the ghost in the present also constitutes an anachronism that seems to demand something of the future. The dead tell us that the communities that are no longer present-the historically and physically absent ones--are also part of the communities we create in life. Their presence is dialectic, yearning to be part of the conversations of the living, and imperative, a demand for uncovering what seems absent.

Chapter of

Espectros: Ghostly Hauntings in Contemporary Transhispanic Narratives


Alberto Ribas-Casasayas
Amanda L. Petersen


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