The premature death of Ricardo Sánchez in 1995 marked the passing of an almost legendary figure in Chicano literature and in the Chicano political movement. A troubadour of Chicano Movement poetry, he established an anti-aesthetic that became the norm. Sánchez's autobiographical poetry forges a link between genres of the past and present and establishes him as the first great tragic figure of contemporary Chicano literature.In a body of work that spanned spatial, temporal, and cultural boundaries, Sánchez dealt with issues of power and of linguistic and cultural barriers between Anglo, Native American, and Mexican American peoples in the United States.While he lived, critics showed reluctance to engage Sánchez's work fully, perhaps in part because of his reputation as a confrontational, even outrageous individual. Focusing on Canto y grito mi liberación and Hechizospells, Miguel R. López examines Sánchez's work and places him in the context of the past, present, and future of Chicano literature. López explains clearly the relation of time and space in Sánchez's prolific work and shows him as a writer committed to his craft as well as to his political stance.In the end, the portrait that emerges is of a poet whose work was linguistically and thematically complex and one who was more passionate, controversial, and forthright in his expression than any other contemporary Chicano writer.
What Readers Are Saying:
“The poetry of Ricardo Sánchez is here examined with a clinical eye in order to bring out its deep meaning and reveal its multiple values. For the first time the principal works of a major movimiento poet are evaluated in the context of his turbulent spacetime taking into consideration the author’s tragic life. The result is a tour de force seldom equaled in Chicano/a criticism concerned with the study of a single poet.”--Luis Leal, University of California-Santa Barbara
“The poetry of Ricardo Sánchez is here examined with a clinical eye in order to bring out its deep meaning and reveal its multiple values. For the first time the principal works of a major movimiento poet are evaluated in the context of his turbulent spacetime taking into consideration the author’s tragic life. The result is a tour de force seldom equaled in Chicano/a criticism concerned with the study of a single poet.” --Luis Leal, University of California-Santa Barbara
“Miguel López has written a landmark work on Ricardo Sánchez, whom I have long considered the Poet Laureate of Aztlan.” --Philip D. Ortego, author, Backgrounds of Mexican American Literature
“Miguel R. López’s Chicano Timespace is a brilliant and penetrating analysis of one of the founders of contemporary Chicano/a literature, Ricardo Sánchez. In a stunning tour de force, López dissects Sánchez’s poetics of entelechy, Chicano discursive timespace, the desmadrazgo of the defiant Pachuco, and the tragic aspect of the Human Condition. López reconceptualizes early Chicano Movement poetics and reinscribes them in our present critical discourse. In re-visioning and revising Sánchez’s poetics, López makes a significant contribution to Chicano/a literary history and expands the parameters of this literature’s canon.” --Maria Herrera-Sobek, Luis Leal Endowed Chair
“Including an extensive bibliography and stimulating footnotes, this critical introduction to an interesting poet is a good acquisition for Chicano studies collections.” --Choice
“. . . will be a welcome text to scholars . . . Chicano Timespace is valuable as a major study of one of the most important Chicana(o) poets. Along with the recent reissue of Raul Salinas’s poems by Arte Publico Press, it also makes a significant contribution to the emerging field of pinto (Chicana(o) prisoner) studies.” --American Literature