- Pasó por Aquí Series on the Nuevomexicano Literary Heritage
- literary criticism
- Impresiones de un Surumato en Nuevo México by Manuel Sariñana
Impresiones de un Surumato en Nuevo México by Manuel Sariñana
A Bilingual Edition of the Original 1908 Picaresque Novella
Edited and translated by Phillip B. Gonzales
Published by: University of New Mexico Press
- 9780826365613 | December 2023
Manuel Sariñana came to the New Mexico territory from Mexico to work as a Spanish-language journalist. While covering politics, he wrote and published Impresiones de un Surumato en Nuevo México as a picaresque work, a common genre in Mexico that uses satire to narrate a drama based on concrete social issues in the author’s immediate vicinity. In his preface, Sariñana makes his intent clear: to address the unseemly manner in which New Mexico’s Democratic Party attempts to gain leverage in elections. But, in a caricature of two immigrant peons, he surreptitiously takes to task how nuevomexicanos look down on people from Mexico.
Gonzales provides a critical introduction, an interpretation of Sariñana’s piece, and a historical framework to contextualize the author’s experiences and the events alluded to in the novella. The result brings this important work of fiction and its sociopolitical background to a new generation of readers.
Phillip B. “Felipe” Gonzales is a professor of sociology emeritus at the University of New Mexico. He has authored and edited several books, including Política: Nuevomexicanos and American Political Incorporation, 1821–1910.
“This book shifts our understanding of the vibrant world of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century nuevomexicano letters through recovering the literary contributions of Manuel Sariñana, a Mexican immigrant whose writing provides a unique perspective on the shifting political and cultural concerns of a territory in transition.”—Anita Huizar-Hernández, author of Forging Arizona: A History of the Peralta Land Grant and Racial Identity in the West
“This work recovers an important literary and social-political novella from 1908 that merits wider dissemination and analysis. It effectively unearths a critical portrait of New Mexican politics, its central ideas, the key historical characters, and the shifting allegiances found in such an environment. The pícaro protagonist here holds the key to unravelling the narration as well as the politics of its era.”—Francisco A. Lomelí, coeditor of Aztlán: Essays on the Chicano Homeland