domingo, 9 de octubre de 2016

Puerto Rican Culture and Literature. 19th, 20th and 21st Centuries. Literatura Puertorriqueña

Puerto Rican Literature and Society.
From the XIX to XXI Century
Modernism and Postmodernism

Luis Felipe Díaz, Ph.D.
Department of Hispanic Studies
University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras

Nineteenth Century. Beginnings and Development
of Literary and Cultural Discourse.

(Under Construction...)

Movements seeking to change the world often begin by rewriting history, thereby enabling people to reimagine the future. Whether you want workers to go on a general strike, women to take possession of their bodies, or oppressed minorities to demand political rights —the first step is to recall their history. The new history will explain that 'our present situation in neither natural or eternal. Things were different once. Only a string of chance events created the unjust world we know today. If we act wisely, we can change the world, and create a much better one.' This is why marxists recount the history of capitalism; why feminist study the formation of patriarchal societies; and why African-Americans commemorate the horror of the slave trade. The aim not to perpetuate the past, but rather to be liberate from it. (Yuval Noah Harari, "Homo Deus. A Brief history of Tomorrow" New York: Harper, 2016: 60).

The lettered culture in Puerto Rico reached more depth and intensity as it began getting deeper into the nineteenth century long Romantic period. For most critics, these cutural times are characterized for the subjective expressions, the sentimental and passionate gestures, the popular customs favoring modern history notions, giving particular attention to social problems, defining more and more a struggle against oppression (that ended, in part, by abolishing slavery and opening to the class struggle), rejecting religious dogmatism, and searching for national and patriotic ideals. Much of these cultural tendencies were a radical and deeper culmination of the ideological views and literary currents that began to take form intellectually in the 18th century’s Enlightenment (Ilustration, Neoclassicism). This is as it was adopted from Europe as well as from Latin America. (Of course much of this happened in an underground undertaking and against the official culture and its dominium). 
     In particular, Romanticism involved also a revolt towards the reactionary ideologies and conservative governmental politics inherited from the eighteenth century’s “Despotic Illustration” and the Ancient Regime, so attached to the conservative side of the Neoclassic movement in general. It is true that the best of the Ilustration consolidated the modern and progressive ideas (Kantian, for example), and that its ideologies and governments in general reinforced the activities of less dynamic and democratic institutions. The social revolution did not evolve as it was expected because new aggressions towards the liberation of the people began to take unexpected tendencies (Napoleon in Europe is a good example; and in Latin America, the oligarchical regimes). In a subaltern context, in such a little and military country like Puerto Rico, events become more extreme and anomalous with the Spanish imperial dominance during the 19th century. The aggressions toward the pro-Puerto Rican social needs and demands were enormous but they (the needs and demands) began little by little to show up inevitably and,  the inhabitants reacted to it.
     Nevertheless, and interrelated with all these aspects, Puerto Ricans began to create their own symbolic and imaginary response towards the social subaltern reality, and they created a national discourse for their homeland ("Patria"). The most progressive inhabitants of the Island (by the 18th century's ending) began to talk about the "ones from out there" (Spain) and the "ones from here" ("los de la banda d'allá y los de la banda d'acá"). It was the beginning of creating a national and particular cultural identity in its geographical and ethnic sense. A real impetus of a symbolic and real sense of space and time was created (the beginnings of a nation).  Cautious activities allowed that by the end of the 19th Century Puerto Ricans created a literary culture very rich in its symbolic (even legal) meaning. The invasion taken by the United States government in 1898 brought changes to all these mentioned cultural struggle and achievements, but the base for the national identity of the Islanders was already firmly established by the 1900. It has endured up to our present moments (in a strong symbolic-imaginary form) in an Island that belongs-to, but is not part of United States! By this time (1898), Puerto Ricans had all needed to become a legal-international Nation, but the road to achieve it has been intercepted (along the 20th century) by continual colonialism and subalternity directed mainly by the United States  government.
The cultural events developed slowly around the 19th Century's beginnings in the Island, and maintained some similarities in response to the mainland (Spain) cultural expressions. For these reason the previous cultural practices should be considered under a colonial and subaltern context in Puerto Rico. —In Hegelian terms: the one (the "other") who does not know his slave condition follows obediently the Master, or what is called: the "Other". It takes time to become conscious about it—. The particular transformations should be noticed in order to identify any change from what was going on in Europe and to see if it had to do with the new identity of the subaltern “national” being that was emerging slowly in the Island. It should be kept in mind that even by the middle of the nineteenth century we can still find some conservative Neoclassical structures and attitudes imposed to the colonial culture by the Spanish Crown in Puerto Rico. The natives needed time to transform their socio-cultural reality into a metaphorical and different socio-semiosis that could give them ample and particular relevance in the meaning of their presence in history, having the national independence in mind. Subaltern reality was there in the social context, and it demanded the awareness of its inhabitants to construct a symbolic and independent identity and place such reality into literary and textual terms. Slowly, native praxis (actions, events) gained the cultural fluidity needed for literary (metaphorical) expressions, and that could give firmness to the national feelings and the necessary force to create an autonomous consciousness and sense of a pertinent time and space that established the claimed identity: Puerto Ricans.
By the middle of the nineteenth century, the social conditions that emerged allowed the flourishing of a literature that could be considered Puerto Rican and not an imitation of what was related to Spain, as it had previously occurred. Important guidance allowing this process of cultural and literary independence were: increased newspaper activity due to the appearance of the local press in 1806, the augmentation of a lettered sector of a criollo culture[1] with a political mentality every time more autonomous and conscious of itself, and the development of an economy of haciendas[2] (plantations) —keeping in mind that slavery (oppression) was its social base of production. It is also important to notice the proliferation of small towns on the Island in addition to cultural and social exchanges and dynamics, which were becoming more modern every time. Modernity has to be understood in a subaltern agricultural and rural context and not in the European modalities for the advanced industrial societies and cultures. However, everything occurred under the processes of a colonial subjection and subaltern society, whose main function was to serve as a Spanish military bastion (military vigilance fortification). The Island was refrained of acquiring free economical development given Spain's incapacity to create a capitalist progressive and developmental program even for itself. The Island was obtaining what the Spanish could give (¡very little!). But by the first half of the nineteenth century, locally, the production of sugar cane had developed acceptably, and by the second half of the century coffee exportations had expanded considerably, becoming popular in European consumption (including some other products). For some historians the advancement for economical projects were in its favorable pathway for future development and for the island's autonomy. In the 19th century a Puerto Rican bourgeoisie society was growing, with the intervention of this social class so necessary for the claims of independence and autonomous economic development. This was the social class with the capability of organizing, the technology, the agencies and the monetary traffic to confront the colonial enemy. (The play El Grito de Lares by Luis Lloren's Torres displays this event in its imaginary-rhetorical sense (much later in the year 1911, but making reference to the 1868 revolutionary movement calle El Grito de Lares).
Since the 1840s, the minimal advancement of Islanders living conditions, with a proto-national counsciousness, along with an incipient desire for emancipation from Spain, would increase the educated modern individuals (the "letrados") capacities to detect and represent the socio-historical events of the Island’s culture at a modern communicational level. This can be wiewed first in a literary form with the employment of metaphors and symbols that reached intensity as a developed colonial society with a desire for modernization and the sense of freedom that had increased. Economical productivity and social development was limited by the inertia imposed by the reppresive colonial military status, but the Island’s autochtonous dynamics unfolded a relative sense of civic cultural progress. This occurred mainly with the lettered community and artists whose cultural gaze was directed towards the internal aspects as well as the desire in employing the external modernization advancement for the Puerto Rican native ("criollo") culture. Along with the development of the more active and dynamic press, which would bring ideas from around the world, many young students started obtaining scholarships to travel, mainly to Spain, in order to, undertake the university studies, the ones they did not have on the Island. Some of the best disciples in Puerto Rico would compete for scholarships given by the Sociedad Económica de Amigos del País[3] (sponsored by the Island"s commercial organizations, with its Illustrated/Romantic and modern mentality).
Manuel A. Alonso (1822-1889) took part of these opportunities which allowed him to edit books like El Álbum Puertorriqueño (1844) and El Gíbaro (1949). In them, he shows how by the middle of the nineteenth century, we can find discourses of cultural maturity, and, as well, the emergence of a literary representation that began coining what became known as the Puerto Rican “reality” and cultural identity. The existence of a culture of artists and educated young people revealed in these times a significant social consciousness, and also the knowing of particular colonial problems in their context, and the capacity to portray it in literary terms and symbols. This was the first generation of Puerto Rican writers in history, and they were very aware and proud about their fulfillment. As cultural elites, they were ready to give metaphorical sense to the patriotic sentiment (a patriarchal one) to what will be known as the "Romantic discourse" of the nineteenth century. Alonso’s work, for example, gathers in his “costumbrismo” (costumes) discourse, the cultural identity and the people’s particular way of being. In it he also, graciously, gives relevance to what was known as the Puerto Rican “jíbaro”[4] (peasants mainly from the mountains) in his endeavors in the hacienda, by means of some "costumbristas" poems ("aguinaldos"), short stories (legends), and essays. Above all, Alonso gives special attention in his book to the specific political and educational problems of the colonial society of his time, not only in the folkloric and “costumbrista” sense, but he does it with a conflictive perspective (hidden codes of viewing complex understanding of the colonial existence). He achieves this way of encoding culture mainly in his essays (with somewhat complex debates) and the short stories (with some plots, in times when these views were not even well reached in Spain and the rest of Latin America). The 19th century's modern Realism had not reached yet its capacity for representing social development with an advanced perspective (like happened later). In Europe, on the contrary, Realism was as its best, and the proliferation of the novels in that time shows the best examples (Madame Bovary (1857) by Gustavo Flaubert, 1821-1880).
Alonso gave the cultural vision and discourse of the national peasant (his/her tradition and ethos) which has been followed until recently in Puerto Rican history (for almost a whole century, until the 1950 and 1960s). These metaphorical structures grasped the main patterns of literary representations and also of cultural criticism that we can encounter in the historical tradition (which will be discussed later). They became the models for literary representations of “reality” in an artistic form that the Island’s lettered men and women will follow (with some archetypical characters and situations). We can define this as the beginnings of what will be known as Puertorricaness (patriotic feelings). The psycho-social process of constructing and representing the Island’s cultural “reality” in the national literature is what I want to follow and discuss in the simple details as possible in this essay. It will be firstly done by analyzing the nineteenth century modernism, up to the so-called “postmodernism” of today.
By the second half of the nineteenth century, the classic conditions of colonial suppression became increasingly more severe (as imposed by Spain) and as a paranoic reaction to the liberation movements in the rest of Latin America. Lets have in mind Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, Argentina and their independence revolutions and how the national emotional expressions spread across the American Continent. But even though these colonial obstacles, the cultural advancement slowly reached by the socio-economical context of small towns on the Island and the haciendas improved significantly for the well functioning of the society. This symbolic grasping of the struggle gave substance to the Puerto Rican discourse of resistance and desire of freedom. "El Grito de Lares" (1868) was an attempt of a revolutionary movement, which failed, but it had a tremendous symbolic meaning until recently.
In 1806 the Island’s first official newspaper appeared, and it was called Gaceta de Puerto Rico, enduring until 1902. Other publications of this sort followed at the beginning of the nineteenth century; some were conservative and others more liberal as time passed. At the beginning of the century (1812-1814 and 1820-1823), during Spain’s Constitutional and liberal periods, some independent newspapers emerged: Diario Económico de Puerto Rico (1914), El Cigarrón (1914), El Investigador (1820), among others. This tells us how the city life voices, with a socio-economic standing, were increasing and becoming every time more complex and open to more modern ideas and social believes and ideologies that were advancing the liberal discourses (the Modernism) in some other countries.
Almost all the 19th century was the period of Romanticism (until the 80s, more or less), and it had taken some time to reach its full meaning. For the Island’s literary people it was difficult to abandon the ideas of the old Neoclassic style of the end of eighteenth century and especially the conservative mentality and ideology accompanying it (beyond the illustrated philosophical ideas of modernization). The Ilustration period’s criteria of advancement in history, achieved mainly by the hard work of the people, did not seem enough for the rich hacendados of those times. A lot of classists representational prejudices developed against the Puerto Rican peasants. These peasant workers were in strong demand by the dominant social classes (the Hacienda owners and welthy merchants and bankers) who had the need of cheap labor. The ending of the Illustrated period’s mentality and the beginning of the Romanticist worldview did get somewhat mingled in these times in Puerto Rico because of their inevitable modern structural visions in accordance with the times of economic advancement at the same time pulled by bankers and land owners.[5] The Ilustration period was in general (mainly in Europe) more rationalistic, but the Romantic writers in the Island (who had allied with the people and de regular citizen) become every time, during the ninetheenth century, more expressive of their sentimental (subjective and passionate) approach towards native culture. They were the ones who developed nationalist cultural ideas in its formal and imaginary sense (in accordance to the European modern way of thinking) which gave latter great meaning to the Puerto Rican advancement in history.
Modernization was taken up with enthusiasm by liberal sectors with their literary expressions’ and with great Romantic views elevating to a high symbolic standing the  peasants and the islands beautiful nature portrayal. However, it should be pointed out how with this particular creative rhythm, literary discourse responded with more or less ironic dissidence to the oppressive colonial power of the Spanish government in the Island. In this colonial context, the liberal press was under continual colonial surveillance. From this point, a somewhat defiant literary reaction would take shape in response to the colonial enforcement, but in an oblique and simulated way. This was beyond the repressive context established by the official institutions with all sorts of punishments and vigilant structures and official agencies. The (canonical) Literature that we recognize today is in general the one that became the enemy of the colonial regime.
In 1822, the newspaper called El Investigador, published a poem entitled “Coplas del jíbaro” by an unknown poet called Miguel Cabrera. It was written employing the jíbaro’s dialect, and it can be understood as an indirect criticism of the liberal Spanish Constitution of 1812. Conservative people and vigilant institutions criticized the “Coplas”.[6] The humor in the poem allows us to suspect the intentions of the author were to draw attention to the new Constitution of a colonial State, which continued favoring the powerful agents instead of the subaltern and poor islander. At the same time, the verses had the intention of exposing the characteristics of the subaltern “ingenuity” (as a subject) in accepting the new citizens ways and imposed regulations. Everything said in the poem should be interpreted considering the dissembling irony involved.
We can conclude that the poem reveals the intention of the lettered criollo to symbolically represent the subaltern “other” (land workers, countryman, and the jíbaro) as an icon of discursive importance and cultural relevance through the depiction of the “proto-national” desire and hidden intentions. In this way the image of “jaibería” (the subaltern’s sly ways) started to be represented as an expression of an “ambiguous discourse”, as part of the complex identity of the subordinated peasant in his response to the imperial powers and the liberal writer identification with the particular situation of the oppressed people (a sense of hidden pro-nationalism was involved).
After the journalistic development in the first four decades of the nineteenth century, some criollo writers, mainly poets, exposed the experiences and the will in finding styles of how they felt as liberal islanders and every time placed themselves more and more in a Caribbean colonial context. By 1812, some liberal actions of individuals and voices of desire for freedom, and also liberal independent newspapers, had emerged and continued their difficult but enthusiastic cultural responses along the nineteenth century. Some literary collaborations, of course, would be anonymous.
From an economical and social context, historians and critics recognized the landowners (the “hacendados”) as the social class provider, and as a real and symbolic center for a possible national activity and iconicity. Their educated followers and admirers were the ones capable of articulating the base and support of the particular world vision of a criollo culture and its customs. The economical base developed by the hacendados gave meaning to the social structure, which had a powerful folkloric identity of African, Indian and mainly southern Spanish (Andalusian and Canarian) ancestry. Under this context, criollo colonial writers looked for a definition of their cultural and political identity in a literary response in an autonomous fashion. Of course, they took for granted white-European racial, class and social identity and centeredness, and portrayed the jíbaro as an "otherness", and especially people who were black and mulato. To achieve a proto-national symbol, they had to keep some style of the peasantry and “otherness”[7] to identify with their discursive expressions, which were also part of the objective demands of modern criollo bourgeoisie and the Romantic style of the epoch. Lets not forget there is a social class problem within the development of Puerto Rican culture. The typical Puerto Rican is a mulatto, and the rich and those times the dominating native tended to be white and racist (... even today). 
There are some bourgeoisie discourses during this time critics have considered very reactionary because of their classist distance from popular culture. It is important to consider the “hacendados”, as a social class with liberal bourgeoisie tendencies that had a compromising dependence on superior colonial spheres, like rich moneylenders (“prestamistas”). These were mostly foreigners not interested in anything close to liberal, national or autonomous ideologies or literary expressions. In this sense, the identification of the “hacendado” with the peasants as a national symbol was ambiguous and it never showed as a social class willing to get involved in anticolonial activities. This was unlike other Latin American countries that had been liberated themselves from Spain since the beginning of the nineteenth century. The Island’s independence had structural, colonial and subaltern obstacles since the very begginings of these times.
Literature, as a discursive force, will be capable of textualizing and spreading what was understood as a cultural mandate (a myth): a somewhat romantic libertarian sense of the criollo “costumbrista”[8] culture giving visibility to the autochthonous style and cultural values with an idealist and utopian feeling. Literature, in that sense, would become a refuge for a sector of young educated generation of artists and cultural thinkers. Their desire for liberation was refrained and ambiguous in its social concreteness and in the praxis it could reach because they were not backed by a bourgeois class with independent objective and national interests (people with money). By the 1840s, young writers had to be very cautious denouncing the colonial power, and they felt identified with the workers of the haciendas as a political icon. According to our modern literature and cultural critics, this is why writers had to develop very peculiar discourse practices of ironic and indirect —laconic simulations— ways of expressing themselves.
Nevertheless, lettered men and artists unknowingly continued creating a national mentality as a copy of European romantic expectations. (Language works beyond individual mentalities and capabilities). Inspired by the ideas of nineteenth century nationalism, many Puerto Rican artists and thinkers began responding with reformist and liberal mindsets, and others with radical and separatists measures. These two mentalities, the liberal and the radical, will characterize literary ideological tendencies, the first being the most noticeable. Although, the radicals have been praised by the canon, in general, as the best writers. The Puerto Rican canonical tradition tends to be radical.
On the other hand, if we follow today's post-colonial[9] ideas, we can argue how the feeling of patriotic and national identity comes out as a conceptual imitation (copy) of the way the European colonizer is viewed. In that sense, being a liberal was full of imperial contradictions and objective ambiguities as part of their times and context. In general, Puerto Rican idealists and radical politicians and ideologues desired to do away with their role as subordinate, and in reality they desired to occupy the official structure governing them (as I mentioned this will be discussed later, and should be best understood of part of our present post-colonial ideas and theories). For this reason Puerto Rican writers and intellectuals’ (mainly of white race) could have as much prejudice, elitism and oppression against those who occupied the position of the “other” or of a subordinate: black people, sick jibaros, and the supposedly lazy workers (“jornaleros”). The identification of the hacendados and the intellectuals, with the peasants, could be seen as idealist (something which is seen different from today's postcolonial mentality). The traditional historian and literary critic of the last half of the twentieth century will not see it this way. He or she will admire a harmonious achievement of national identity by foundational writers in the ideal arcade and imaginary hacienda. Usually the traditional critic will not see the contradictions ( the dialectic thought) in history.
Presently, historians of Puerto Rican literature, like Francisco Manrique Cabrera in Historia de la literatura puertorriqueña (1957) and Josefina Rivera de Alvarez, in La literatura puertorriqueña. Su proceso en el tiempo (1982) have privileged and justified the ideological mentality and actions of the anticolonial struggle. This is a posture, which had been exclusively valued, until recently —in the 1970 and 1980’s. However, they did not emphatically denounce the important aspects of the injustices towards the vulnerable workers, black people and women in a systematic and significant way. By the end of the twentieth century, nevertheless, we are beginning to denounce the contradictions and arbitrariness of the literary discourse of the nineteenth century and its hidden prejudices in evaluating the popular expressions and the way of interpreting culture. Attention is being given to the negative way women were portrayed, along with racial and class prejudices, and also to what can be considered hidden gay abjections. The anti-colonial traditional critics will not take into account conscious epistemological and hermeneutical effects that the post-colonial will denounce later during the beginning of the twenty first century. This is important to keep it in mind for the future interpretations, but the one done already by the scholars should be valued as "objectively" as possible. (Let's not forget interpretations have always a subjective perspective).
Keeping with the reasons mentioned above, which are important for us today, my purpose in this essay is to look more deeply and critically into the fundamental cultural and ideological conceptions employed by traditional canonical criticism. This is because this canonical discourse does not question the national ideals in class, gender or racial meanings. It also kept prejudiced criteria (in the semiotic and meaningful sense) favorable to the bourgeoisie mentality, the white race and the Sandro-normative demands, not having in proper mind the pertinence of the popular culture and the expressions of “otherness” and "difererence" in general. This happened most paradoxically given the popular base and foundations in a racially hybrid culture like the one we find in  Puerto Rico. This is why we should be careful with the European point of view that we have internalized along the two centuries and which we have not yet discussed properly. Many contemporary critics do not take gender and racial prejudices into serious consideration. It is necessary to be cautious because some intellectuals of the nineteenth century, like Alejandro Tapia y Rivera, nevertheless, were somewhat conscious of the situation and took it into account in their cultural discourse in its deep structure.
It has not been until the end of the twentieth century that literary criticism has altered the demands of the canonical patriarchal discourse and initiated a new critical approach like the one I am suggesting here. We need to have in mind a literature that claims a vast sense of liberty, which recognizes how that liberty responds to ideal constructs of traditional and canonical groups aspiring to dominate the colony for their interests and not necessarily for reaching justice and a sense of dignity for the oppressed people (especially for blacks and women). We have to keep an ironic distance from the colonialized as well as the colonizer as a dominant or subordinate subject in the Island. They both have their particular ideological interests and are not necessarily looking for humanist ideals, actions and/or for a more democratic society. We are more conscious of these aspects today but still have problems obtaining our desires of freedom in a wider and more democratic sense.

Two important figures of the first half of the nineteenth century have to be singled out for their particular way of symbolizing the Puerto Rican cultural identity: María Bibiana Benítez (1783-1873), mainly for her ode “La ninfa de Puerto Rico” (1832), and Santiago Vidarte (1828-1848) for his famous poem “Insomnio” (1846). Benítez praises the imperial power and employs the language of an idyllic neoclassic pathway in its deep classical meaning. The poem situates itself in the national subordinate imaginary, with a sense of territorial possession that can wants surreptitiously to de-construct (criticise) the arrogant imperial power. In reality the poem is claiming the festivity of the the Other (the Colonial) when the desire is to leave underneath a shadow of denial and refusal. Of course this is achieved by utilizing a subtle ideological distance and irony. By his part, Santiago Vidarte exposes the allegory of a subject that travels in a ship with her beloved, in search for the Eden-like motherland (the soil that Benitez in her ode puts to the “disposition” of the monarch). By the end of the poem, with its romantic views, the poet shows the moment of arrival of his character’s, discovering that everything has been a dream. This establishes the anxious desire for a national imaginary yet unrealistic and too ideal. The allegory depicting a travel towards the motherland (or from it) will be successively continued as a leit motif by later writers like José Gautier Benítez, Eugenio María de Hostos, José de Diego, Luis Llórens Torres and Luis Palés Matos. In their lyrics they will continue exposing the image of a need to arrive to an idyllic place; and from there, create and defend the hacienda and the national interest and ideals of the “national Puerto Rican family”.
            By 1843 an important generational issue regarding identity appears, and was valued until recently. Aguinaldo Puertorriqueño, proclaimed to be a book of “indigenous” and romantic inspiration. However, by understanding some criollo lettered men of the times we see how they were incapable of accomplishing a genuine sentiment of defense substantially as what was viewed as the ideal of criollo puertorricaness. This aspect is mentioned in the next journal, El Album Puertorriqueño (1844). The Cancionero de Borinquen (1846) followes this desires of presenting their constructions of national proudness. The first text of 1844 is composed by a group of students residing in Barcelona who, animated by the desire to respond to the conservatism of the initial Aguinaldo, gives particular relevance to the importance of the popular criollo identity. According to the students, they wanted to show respect and gratitude towards their parents (they adopt the patriarchal myth) by following the idea of “the Great Puerto Rican Family” tradition[10]. They also wanted to express their love towards the motherland and demonstrate a desire for a common destiny. With this insistence in definig identity they demonstrate the first national signs of a modern teleology and a sense of a common destiny of a people-nation.
Above all of them, Manuel Alonso in particular, uses liberal ideas and achieves prominence with the publishing of El Gíbaro, a “costumbrismo” book that follows romantic traditions used in the Spanish literary field in general (giving folkloric images of the common national people). In the Prologue, we see that El Gíbaro became successful given the censorship and intervention of the colonial power to stop the entrance of the book in the Island. Some liberal authorities were very helpful in supporting Alonso in his effort, and the book finally was very welcomed in the Island.
In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, literary criticism has followed the cultural Puerto Rican aspirations and the socio-cultural and national projects since its begginings. Alonso is an initial metaphorical creator of what has been called the “great Puerto Rican Family” (racially, white, of course), with its allegories of happy communities that labor in farms and cities without significant conflicts (we can infer this explicitdly and implicitdly as we read). His stories and essays give an idyllic vision of the advancement of a culture that, as we will see later, becomes perturbed and betrayed in its historical development by a sense of failure and death as seen in the portrait El Velorio, painted by Francisco Oller (1994), and the novel La charca (1996), written by Manuel Zeno Gandía. Both works of art show a profound sense of conflict and pessimism regarding the present achievements and the future of the imaginary nation (Puerto Ricans did not achieved their independence efforts). The Romantic idealism of happiness turnes into pessimism as the second half of the century develops .
El Gíbaro is a classic work composed of thirteen essays, which frame customs of city and country life. It also contains eight rimes in which Alonso transcribes the spoken language of country people and their festive traditions. In general, the book contains the world vision of the criollo (the natives from the Island) and the hacienda social class and bourgeoisie values. In it, he also follows the desire of exalting the poor and very subaltern jibaro as a subject capable of being educated to undertake work in the national hacienda (the black race is not taken in consideration yet as a symbol of cultural importance in this book[11]). The image of the jibaro in the book is that of the working subject that follows the ways of the patriarchal hacienda regarding been an obedient worker and passive subject.  The book in general tends to be very festive in its rimes and very liberal and critical in its essays, reason why is been preised by its time and the tradition. It is a classic romantic book (with some tendency towards idealist realism).
Alonso will continue the creative cultural criticism and literary artistic enthusiasm with a second El Gíbaro (1882). In the short story-essay of this book, called “Perico Paciencia” (1865), a priest with patriarchal mentality ask the contries son’s (to the jíbaros in general but to Perico Paciencia in particular), to have the necessary patience and to repress the rebellious desires against the established rich people of the town. Perico is in love with the mayor’s daughter, and he has helped to arrange a city party. But when everything is ready, he is denied to participate in the celebration because of his poor origins and background. Upon consulting the priest on this matter, he is given to understand how he should be patient and quietly work hard to become rich and obtain the hand of his beloved. In this way, Paciencia can aspire to be accepted in his prejudiced society. He is, finally, allowed to have a relationship with the mayor’s daughter because he has worked enough to become rich. We have here a clear national allegory showing (in our interpretation) that the reformist and liberal restrains are different from the pro-independence radicalism of the political leader Ramón Emeterio Betances who, for example, asked for a confrontational struggle with the colonial powers. The closest to a national revolution was an 1868 insurrection called El Grito de Lares, which failed as a “revolt” but is still celebrated today.
In the historical field, the Grito de Lares (1868) and the abolition of slavery (1873) in Puerto Rico represent capital events in the strife taken by the most radical patriots in trying to reach the national independence and the petitioning of a more just and free society. This was in accordance with the most advanced societal ideas of the times. The abolition of slavery was accomplished, but there were not available the objective conditions for a decisive emancipatory strike in the national sense. The hacienda social class, by the second half of the nineteenth century, had a patriotic and liberationist sentiment, but at the same time they maintained  conservative and weak reformist actions, as it is denoted in El Gíbaro II, specifically as we discussed with the case of Perico Paciencia. It was a social class with a dependency on foreign commerce agents, the ones with the capital for the initial decision-making in society. This is why the hacendados were subordinated to the ample colonial and political powers of rich bankers and foreigners from Spain on the Island.
Nevertheless, art has the potential to be somewhat  autonomous in its imaginary, above the social demands and determinisms. Writers in general get very enthusiastic when elevating patriotic values and advocating radical and liberal modernity. José Gautier Benítez (1848-1880), Alejandro Tapia y Rivera (1826-1882) and Eugenio María de Hostos (1839-1903) were three important figures in the national struggle for emancipatory ideas and actions in those times. From Gautier Benítez we have Poesías (1880), a book that shows a great romantic feeling in its themes about the motherland, love, death, nature, and God (as Rivera de Alvarez points out). These were topics of the romantic times; just as they were in the European field with its liberal and national motives. Benitez's poems “Ausencia,” “Regreso” and “Canto a Puerto Rico” offer great patriotic feeling and the ideal of construction of the imaginary nation, but without explicit revolutionary signs. There is a sense of great nostalgia for what cannot be reached, which is not only a romantic motive, but also a nationalist frustration. In most patriotic poems there we can be found an allegory of a romantic hero (individual) who travels on a symbolic ship to the island of Puerto Rico, expecting to find the great Puerto Rican National Family and the wealthy hacienda surrounded by exuberant nature as a promise of God. In general, the poems have been an emblematic guide for generations to come and readers in general that have followed that type of imagery until recently. The Island as a Signifier of absent desire is symbolized in a similar manner, with a female lover-companion to be reached. It also follows the allegory of the traveler in search of the signifier of patriotism, already initiated by Santiago Vidarte in his poem “Insomnio”. This is a poem created around 1845, and Alonso presents a criticism of it in his mentioned first book. In its beautiful verses, Vidarte depicts a subject, who after feeling sick as a foreigner in Spain, escapes during the night to the island, and arrives in it in a beautiful morning with his beloved by his side. But at the end of the poem the lyric voice recognizes everything is a dream. Vidarte died few years later after composing this foundational poem.
In the social context of the last middle of the nineteenth century, the expansion of the subject’s poetic feelings in the colonial country continues to be each time deeper and more troublesome. On the one hand, the socio-political context is characterized by a refrained and slow reformism, but with the ideological ruptures backed by the literature of late Romanticism of the middle nineteenth's century. Important agents of these literary romantic ruptures and imagery of independence symbols and emotions are the prose of Ramón Emeterio Betances, the poems of Pachín Marín and of Lola Rodríguez de Tio (that will be discussed later).
The theatre and novelist writer, Alejandro Tapía y Rivera (1826-1882) has a very proliferous creative and outstanding production. He gave to our culture the dramatic essay “Roberto D’ Evereux” (1848), the biographic-drama Fernando de Pallisy (1848), the historical novel La palma del cacique (1862, the dense and complex poem La sataniada, the important drama La cuerterona (1876) and the essays Confesiones sobre estética y literatura (1881). In the novel Póstumo el transmigrado (1882) we find ethical dialogues satirically presented to criticize the political views of his times in a universal sense. Tapia y Rivera was also the creator of the curious journal La Azucena (1874-1877) and he was a valuable historian with his Biblioteca histórica de Puerto Rico (1854). His literature demonstrates a world of lettered islanders who aspired to demonstrate their abundant sense of culture and deep reflexive thoughts in regard to local and universal problems and conflicts. His posthumous Mis memorias (1928) expresses, by the second half of the nineteenth century, how the work of these intellectuals and artists was targeted under a powerful colonial repression and a governmental censorship that served as an obstacle to the development of the Puerto Rican culture. Nevertheless, Tapia y Rivera’s works show how the colonial intelligentsia —the "Lettered City", as the Uruguayan critic, Angel Rama, would say— was aware of the most progressive ideas of the times and it had its ironic ways of depicting and confronting the colonial power. Along with many other scholars and artists, the struggle for the abolition of slavery —that Tapia defended so much— was finally obtained in 1873, and it shows the advancedment in social rights and the firmness of an deep artistic conscience. Even the most demanding critics and scholars from Spain, like Ramón Menéndez y Pelayo and Gili Gaya, called attention to Tapia’s literature, under the context of the best Latin American and European productions. Tapia died in 1882 reading, at the Ateneo Puertorriqueño in San Juan, a complex lecture about philosophy and aesthetics. Today, along with Hostos, is one of the most admired Puerto Ricans of the 19th century.
Another impressive intellectual figure of the last half of the nineteenth century is the patriot Eugenio María de Hostos (1839-1903). He is not so much a writer of fiction, but dedicated himself more to educational essays, while being an outstanding leader (and writer) in juridical, ethical and cultural thought in general. Hostos  is the creator of the impressive eouvre entitled La peregrinación de Bayoán (1863), a novel-diary of Antillean, American and universal consciousness, of deep lyrical expressions and dramatic reflexions. The novel’s hero, Bayoán, is like an Antillean Hamlet in his anxieties in claiming the ideal of The Antilles Federation and also in defense of Pan-Americanism in general; almost in an unreachable-romantic way. It also presents the allegory of a romantic hero traveling through the Caribbean islands where he encounters his beloved, but sick girlfriend, Marien. Metaphorically, she represents a symbol of the delicate national and Caribbean Eros, who places Bayoán at the crossroad of choosing either his personal happiness, with his beloved, or dedicating his life to political struggle, alone in its sacrifice for his political cause. Finally, because of her illness, he has to travel to Spain in search of the “Tree of Science” to cure the beloved Marien, who stands as a high inspirational symbol. She nevertheless dies, signifying the impossible metaphysical aspirations of the poet. Still, the hero decides to continue his lonesome travel to the Americas in search of the ideal liberation to confront the evil social forces (illnesses) that has oppressed  the Continent discovered by Columbus, but to be free.
As an essayist, Hostos confronts the social conflicts of his time with a rational and romantic sense in Tratado moral (1888) and Diario 1866-89, among other texts.  Furthermore, he does it with a realist world-view and Positivists ideas, without been a materialist socialist or Marxist. In these essayistic practices, he argues about an ethical modern thought (somehow metaphysical and idealist) that still has pertinence for some scholars even by the second half of the twentieth century. They sustain that society is very much in need of permanent modern values, like Hostos demands in his books, especially in the educational and sociological field. Nevertheless, in postmodern times, Hostos’ ideas of reasonable ethics for the modern and imaginary nation can considered to be classic pieces of old concepts having no real effect on the actual social consumption dominated by opportunism of techno-mediatic and anti-reflexive cultures kidnapped by depredatory post-capitalism. For some serious intellectuals, Hostos’ life and way of thinking still gives an inspirational iconography for those who still appreciate cultural affirmative action and absolute values of justice along with the search for a libeal and rational truth. For postmodernists, “truth”, now very different from Hostos’s thinking, is taken as a metaphor and a cultural construction with a subjective and relative meaning.
As the second half of the nineteenth century advances, the Puerto Rican culture will have writers and thinkers very aware of Positivist ideas and debates coming from France, Spain and England. The influence of Positivism and Naturalism from the French novelist Emile Zola and the Spanish Benito Pérez Galdós, among other narrators of the epoch, are very influential by this time in the Island as well as in Latin America. As in Europe, Darwinian ideas triggered the development of sociological thought and influenced Puerto Rican intellectuals who were looking for answers to the “sickness” and negative racial inheritance of the people and the culture as a whole. For this reason, Puerto Rican novelists followed the biological and social determinism way of thinking, to see what was affecting the individuals (especially the working "jibaros") in their behavior in society. Without putting aside the prejudices these ideas had, Naturalist writers responded firmly, indeed, against the persecutions and instabilities of the colonial power and constantly denounced the extreme misery and illnesses of the poor people. But they, nevertheless, sustained the classist thoughts that insisted that the social illness and the pessimistic determinism inclined to considered the peasant-working population as weak and given to vagrancy. Even though there is great advance in social ideas, art in general was still dominated by elitist European ideologies and did not reached, in general, subaltern and clear anti-social class thinking in a colony were most artist were poor or close to it.
Realism and Naturalism will be the aesthetics of those times of the ending of the 19th century, and will “scientifically” reaffirm the reformist, liberal and patriarchal mentality and metaphorical view that bagan somewhat with Manuel Alonso in El gíbaro. It is important to point out here the work of Salvador Brau (1842-1912), a literary man, journalist and a historian. In his novel La pecadora (1997), he denounces, with a Naturalist view, the misery of the peasant population. In his essay “La campesina”, he shows with an acute naturalist perspective, the problems of Puerto Rican women in rural areas. Additionally, Manuel Fernández Juncos (1846-1928), creator of the famous journal El Buscapié (1977-1833), uses a deep liberal and ironic perspective to show his great capacity for criticism in a colonial context each time more complex and shaken by the conservative sociological and political problems and debates dominating the end of the colonial century. Nevertheless, most of the artistic texts of this period reflect a literary discourse viewing the social problems in what thinkers consider, the inertia and weakness of the subaltern[12] peasant: to take affirmative action. From a modern perspective, beyond the criticism in these times, although production in the hacienda and the bourgeoisie interests were the main tools of the dominant social actants (social agents), there is no reason as to why the subaltern population had to respond to modern demands and the desire of groups to get rich, and in control and domain in the colony. Present sociology allow us to see how the peasants would have been reluctant to obey the calls to work made by the powerful hacendado owners and the administrators of the colonial system that primarily worked for them. The effort of servile work was not well paid in a colonial system given to extreme exploitation of poor people. We can see that in the present context this has not changed significantly (consider, for example, the working situation in Wall Mart and KFC).
One of the writers during the end of nineteenth century Puerto Rican society, in all its psycho-social understanding and expressions, was Manuel Zeno Gandía (1855—1930). His first two important novels are Garduña (1896) and La charca (1894). In both novels he covers what he called “chronicles of a sick world” (“crónicas de un mundo enfermo”), which makes reference to the criollo society in general and follows the French realist narrators of his time (like French Emile Zolá). Zeno Gandía wants the reader of his novels to see the incapability of hacienda leadership to take command of a national destiny. This is why he denounces so much the supposed vagrancy of the people in general. In addition to this, he gives relevance to the imagery of social, mental and physical illness, the abused women and vulnerability and the material and spiritual misery of people in general. In his most renowned novel, La charca, the protagonist and his narrator, after recognizing probable saving solutions to political and economical problems of the colonial system (going over the "charca" dominating the culture), ends up paradoxically adopting the ideas they had initially criticized. In the end, he still believes in the incapability of people to intervene in social conflicts because of their mental and physical incapacities and negative biological inheritances (the ideas of the Establishment, the Power and its knowings). And the “hero” of the novel, called Juan del Salto, ends up too, as we see at the end of the plot, traveling (escaping) to Spain, when he finds difficulty in commanding realistically his initially own proclaimed social redemption in the homeland. The author sees with irony the dominant social hacendado of his time, the one who the protagonist represents as some king of anti-hero. The art definitively detaches from the conservative social commands.
Zeno Gandía’s first novel, Garduña, is radical in its criticism of rich people in the colony, but nevertheless the author treats the hacienda with privileged mythical presence. He sees the classic landowners replaced by immoral new rich people like Garduña, who is the anti-hero of the novel. This novel was written before La charca but published later. In his following two novels El negocio, (1922) and Redentores (1925), Zeno Gandía portrays the corrupt commercial world and its political intrigues under the colonial rule at the beginning of the twentieth century. In Redentores, he captures the political archetype of the colonial politician who abandons the idea of independence and becomes allied to the colonizer in order to opportunistically survive in a world of complex political and economical systems giving privilege to the Americanized way of life. In this sense, the novelist is not far in foreseeing the near future of the reformist and neocolonial government of Luis Muñoz Marín of few decades later. The 19th century close with a Puerto Rican society of high complexity and with a group of liberals ready to demand the independence from Spain.

The Invaded Country and the Cultural Transitions at the Beginning of the Twentieth Century.

The 19th century closes with the crucial event of the United States’ invasion in 1898. Many intellectuals would appeal and take refuge in the Carta Autonómica,[13] which since previous years, the Puerto Ricans had requested and finally obtained from Spain. However, the new invader had no respect for this document when they took the Island as a war buskin (booting) and part of their political and economical expansion throughout the Caribbean. The weak Puerto Rican bourgeoisie of nineteenth century inheritance was displaced by the powerful new economy of the empire and the national hacendados, once in charge, would acquire a new subaltern status. The national owners had to submit to dealings with the North American "absentee bourgeoisie" and their financial endeavors, based mainly in the sugar cane production, when the Island had an economy based in coffee plantation. The new banking economy comes to modulate an Island directed by the old economic paradigms of Spain.
An aggressive process of modernization and transculturation was imposed on the Island by the invaders. By 1930, lettered islanders, regardless of their particular ideological tendencies, were prepared and willing to confront the colonial invader’s ideas and actions. Nevertheless, they were not able to react, to the material-economical development in a new social context of the capitalism of that era. The American’s severe colonial assaults with its antidemocratic actions on the Island’s territory was of different ideological sort in relation to the ones the radical and authonomous Puerto Rican politicians confronted when dealing the Spanish colonials before the invasion. But the political situation demanded an imperial submissiveness that was confronted with an ancient and coherent society of a proud Spanish past and cultural inheritance. It gave the Islanders the force to fight the aggression. This cultural strength also allowed the lettered and literary people to became particularly tied to the nationalist thought during the first three decades of the twentieth century. Assimilation like the Americans were expecting, with their Manifest Destiny, was not possible in such a strong Hispanic cultural sphere, much ancient and deep than the invader in itself had. The Puerto Rican people had created a subconscious and  ideological imaginary which had no space for the infiltration of core American way of life. The politics could be manipulated but it was not the same with the intrinsic symbolic culture.
 But we should also mention there are many socio-economical structures that grew effectively in the Island—like public education, health welfare, workers organizations and unions, and the beginnings of women’s liberation. It should not be denied that all of them propitiated a more democratic and advanced society in Puerto Rico. The Spanish past was a very classist and elitist one but the new one had its openings towards some democratic elements. This new paradigms allowed the islanders to achieve a progressive social transformation more in accordance with the characteristics of modernity of the first half of the twentieth century. It was a situation which began mixed feelings and expectations from the typical islanders regarding the Americans, and suspition among the lettered individuals regarding the transcultural changes involved. The principal lettered people began creating their own imaginary Republic.
In general, in this political context, literary expression took a defensive position of nationalist anti-interventionism. This position was compromised ideologically to the radical liberation ideas of the nineteenth century, adopted within the Spanish mentality. We know this particular past ideology (that had reached legally its authonomy in 1897) saw itself without a political concrete culmination given the unexpected invasion of 1898. The unforeseen event did not allow to continue the liberal an even reformist struggle that had taked so much energy from the pro-national leaders in the last two decades of the ninetenth century. That is probably why, regardless of the advancements in social and economical modernization that the invader brought, that literary groups in general rejected the American intervention, and continued tied to an idyllic past related to the “Costumbrismo” and in some way to the Avant-Garde. It was for them not so coherent to abandon a cultural current with autochthonous content and national reaffirmation, which had taken so much ideological and aesthetic effort (and protected by the Hispanic consciousness).
This resistance to accept American modernization had its effects. The obsessive anticolonial struggle that took place during the “Generación del 30” (term which will be better understood later on) imposed a national allegory on the lettered intelligentsia. of such historical  period. This nationalist demand and force was so intense and absorbent that it limited the wide and diversified register of visions and perspectives that the literary expression could offer beyond the “limited” and radical ideology these groups followed. Not even Cuban literature and that of the rest of subaltern Latin American showed an obsession over national identity as Puerto Ricans demonstrated with great passion these times. It would not be until the 1970s that writers became willing to take a decisively rupture and ideological change against the dramatic mandate of the almost fanatic nationalism dominating art and thought in a nineteenth century style and mentality. This has been indeed close to a postmodern position taken by some recent thinkers, like myself (as I will explain later).
Since the beginning of these patriotic defense procesess, because of the actions taken by the Generación del 30, national lettered discourses remained anchored and obsessed with offering continuity and loyalty to the old nationalist tradition. This attitude gave writers little opportunity to recognize the new possibilities and negotiations offered by neocolonial modernity, taking place in a new social model and of fordist[14] ideas the Americans brought. There was an aggressive commercial and mediatic market promoted by the Imperial Other, which was attractive to the general audience and the working class in general. The regular citizen did not show exactly a pro-nationalist sentiment, and at the same time s/he was not so willing to assimilate the American culture. These are ambiguities of a subaltern mentality Puerto Ricans have developed since the begginings of their colonial submitions in history. Who knows when Puerto Rican will be in command of their own destiny (perhaps the independent nations are no so free to achieve so either).
In general, literature of the 1930 cultural changes was not capable of viewing with ironic distance and tri-dimensional complexity (even the novel, as a dialectic genre) the process of colonial modernization with its different ideological negotiations. (This does not mean the novelist had to accept them but s/he should  represent it at least with ironic distance and detachment). However, the general public was willing to accept and adopt, in part, and in a particular subaltern way, this neocolonial ideology imposed by the colonizer’s modernity. Even after 1940, when it was clear that popular culture was becoming fascinated with pro-USA assimilist media discourses, literature continued with its nationalistic obsession and detachment from the popular culture of the masses, with a nostalgia for the old hacienda and Spaniard patriarchal ways of viewing society. Nevertheless, workers were entering into fordist capitalism, which offered new ways of exploiting wealth (but also, and slowly, began the organization of the working people). The canonical literary writers of these times felt in general detached from the regular citizen with modern and americanized mentality, mainly enforced and fashioned by the media (radio, the press, cinema (see Eliseo Colón).
Beyond the perspective of national defense of most well educated national men and women, some liberal and conservative politicians and the public in general (by the 1940s) began to accept the trans-cultural “invitation” that was transforming the country into a commercial and financial display-window —which was not as appealing to writers’ national gaze. The tendency (theoretically)  has been to think that literature automatically reflects the mentality of people when in reality this is not necessarily the case. Many citizens accepted, with some irony and sinuosity (the subaltern way), the appealing offerings of imperialism, and they simultaneously developed ways of welcoming and rejecting (at the same time) complex negotiations with the Imperial Other (but maintaining their language and core culture). On the other hand, literature, in general, would pose a strong rejection to the social neocolonial context that was visibly and symbolically dominating part of a socio-economical structural development with no coherent end. Writers liked to impose their images of nationalist demands in their writing and ignored the fact that there was a different ideological behavior in the socio-cultural context of the masses.  These modern group, not so academically oriented, had "simple" (sometimes naive) colonial mental constructions (this was the new growing citizenship of the ending of 20th century modernity, as we previously said) far away from the interests and ideology of the lettered people, and this included high professionals). The Department of Education during the period proceding the 1940s used the cultivated literature of the patriotic creators mentioned before in this essay, but there was a strong interference of the popular media culture in the way in these times. The interest of the dominate groups in society (the dominant ideology) began to use and manipulate (especially by means of media culture) the regular citizen and his mental constructions.
But lets go back in time again to understand this much better. By the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries, in the literary aspect, and following the great Nicaraguan poet Rubén Darío (1867-1916), the international movements known as Symbolism, Parnasianism and Modernism, had a rich capitalist development on the Island just as in other countries of Latin America as well. These were literary and cultural periods which paid attention to a more advanced society with a growing sense of modernity, moving closer towards industrial and bourgeois societies ways of thinking. This happened even though industrialism took its time to enter in Latin American and in Puerto Rico in particular, during the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth. Literature kept abandoning realist techniques of the past and began representing different and more appealing modern ways, to a society each time filled with more readers and with more complex views as it entered into the mentality of the Industrial Revolution. This had particular expressions in Latin America and in Puerto Rico, where we find agricultural countries that have to adapt to these movements brought from industrialized countries such as the ones in Europe and the United States. The social advancement towards modernity in Puerto Rico is seen in its literary development regardless of the nationalist restraint previously explained. This classic nationalism reacted very much against the modernizing orientation, brought in to the Island by Americans and their Fordist mentality. It was a little ahead in time, by the middle of the twentieth century, that this holdings would change significantly.
By the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th, Pachín Marín (1863-1896) and Lola Rodríguez de Tio (1843-1924) are writers of an imaginary formation of Romantic and modernist movements. They were very conscious of the transitional ideas of the new epoch and are very related ideologically to the Cuban, José Martí (1853-1895) and his thought.[15] Marín and De Tio inherited a Romantic and Symbolist poetic language along with patriotic impulses, which allowed them to offer new symbols and imagery of anticolonial confrontation at the beginning of the 20th century. Pachín Marín was a national poet who with Romances (1892), and later poems, went beyond the exalted and passionate Romantic Movement with a very laconic and clear poetic language. He is the author of the famous national poem “El ruiseñor” and the curious verses of “El trapo” which refers to the national flag with respect and irony. He died heroically in the Cuban revolution in 1897, and for that action he has been admired by the following generation of writers (until recently, when he has been forgotten by followers of literature, in general).
By her part, Rodríguez de Tio, gave the lettered Caribbean community Mis Cantares (1876), Claros y nieblas (1885) and Mi libro de Cuba (1893). She offers very unique Caribbean thoughts and style and is also the author of the revolutionary national anthem, “La Borinqueña”. Some critics even see in her the beginning of feminist writing in the Caribbean, due to her way of approaching national symbols and the tendency to create a new poetry that does not use androcentric images and mental patterns of thought. She has been an inspiration for the feminist movement recently.
José de Diego (1867-1918) was a militant man of strong anti-imperial arguments and pivotal patriot actions, very admired during the first decades of the twentieth century. With a very eclectic poetry, he gives a transition from the Romantic and the Symbolic imagination of the nineteenth century ending, to the new Modernist movement, but it was in the formal but not the elitist (Rubendarian Modernism) sense of this movement. He was a men of democratic ideals and ethic. This “Caballero of the Raza,” as he was called by his time, was a strong and passionate follower of the pro-independence ideals, following Ramón Emeterio Betances and Eugenio María de Hostos. He was a firm state-man immersed  in governmental activities in a more modernized context and in the threshold of the two centuries and its ideologies. De Diego was also very aware and skillful regarding the handling of modern colonial intrigues of the official powers (the imperial Other). His death deprived the political culture of many significant struggles for the Island ideological benefit given he new very well the USA imperialism and its ways.
He left behind books of poems like Pomarrosas (1904), Jovillos (1916), Cantos de rebeldía (1916) and Cantos de pitirre (1950), for the Puerto Rican literary tradition in which he adopts in general a Modernist tendency (not in the precious, Darian escapist sense). De Diego achieves, with new and modern originality, a “criollista” transparent language, and creates new poetic contents, ranging from themes of general myths to a personal Eros, both combined with metaphors of Death and the desired destiny of his motherland. Very few poets of his era could manage this particular and dramatic way of creating verses. “Patria” and “En la brecha” were very recognizable poems for the traditional memory of the twentieth century readers. These poems codify his profile as a classic defender of national ideals in the lyrical imaginary, even after his death. Much later, the educational political system adopted by the neocolonial political elite —already in power by the 1950s—, employed many of the cultural imaginary of dramatic liberation which De Diego as a social and cultural fighter represented. Nevertheless, once the Island becomes immersed in assimilated politics and ideologies of the 1980s, this brilliant national lettered man will loose his firm position in the Puerto Rican imaginary, and the poems he left to tradition will cease to be appealing to colonial instructors and will begin disappearing from the educational field on the Island. Young students and general audience have already forgotten him and his period almost completely.
Important Modernist, follower of the French Parnassians poetic movement, was José de Jesús Domínguez, (1843-1898). In 1886, he published (two years before Azul by Rubén Darío) “Las hurries blancas”, a long poem that we can consider under the Modernist characteristics in Latin America. This long poem anticipated some aspects of the Ruben Dario’s movement.
Puerto Rican poets that can be called “Modernistas” in all its rigorous definitions, are Jesús de María Lago (1873-1927) with “La princesa de Ita-Lu” (1904) and Cofre de Sándalo (1927); Arístides Moll Boscana (1885-1964), with Mi misa rosa (1899-1905); José de Jesús Esteves (1881-1918), with Crisálidas (1909) y Rosal de amor (1917); Antonio Pérez Pierret (1885-1937), with his only book of poems, Bronces (1914); Antonio Nicolás Blanco (1887-1945), with El jardín de Pierrot (1914) and Alas perdidas (1914); and José I. de Diego Padró, with La última lámpara de los dioses (1921).
By the end of 1910, many poets reacted to so-called Postmodernist verses and began preparing for the reaction against traditional Modernist poetry. The Postmodernist used the owl as a sign of wisdom and “ugliness”, against the artificial beauty of the swan the Modernist employed. Immediatly following this cultural process, the Postmodernist literary transition allows poets like Palés Matos to prepare for the avant-gardist movement of the 1920s and the militancy of the “Generación del 30” that came after. The national romantic-criollista stream of rural and folkloric imagery will be also present and visible during this period, and will endure with its diverse facets and changes in Puerto Rican literature until the 1960s with the journal Guajana.
The national militancy that will gain advocacy and followers from the 1930s onward, following the radical separatist ideology of Pedro Albizu Campos in the socio-historical arena, required writers to leave behind the elitist Modernism and their aristocratic imagery. It also became somehow cautious with the avant-gardist literature of the 1920s and its modernist tendencies. For this reason, during the 1930s, “criollismo”, as a literary tendency and style, will be greatly defended, even though artists understood the need to modernize literature, maintaining autochthonous and national symbols of bucolic and rural traditions and historical remembrance. Writers became very aware of the need to appeal and approach the reader with a city-like identity, but who also held a memory of country and peasant imagery of romantic nationalist imaginary.
            Luisa Capetillo (1879-1922) is an important syndicalist and feminist writer from the beginning of the twentieth century. She is like a big parenthesis in all this process, showing a taste for extreme radicalism and eccentricity along with clear discourses of militant and anarchists ways of expressing herself. Probably this is why she was not very well understood in her time and even in posterity. Capetillo expressed herself in peculiar texts, short essays, narratives and plays like Ensayos libertarios (1909), La humanidad del futuro (1910), Mi opinión sobre las libertades, derechos y deberes de la mujer (1911) and Influencia de las ideas modernas (1916). Both in theater and in essays, Capetillo was a follower of socialists and anarchist utopias, like that of Leo Tolstoy, and she initiatiated the modern-radical ideas about women and humanity’s utopia freedom in general. The content of her works tend to be very idealistic, with arguments and plot endings in rational and understanding ways, lacking dialectics and contradictions of representing reality. She likes to imply there are happy benefits for all people if good faith and good will are followed.
In her personal life, sometimes Capetillo would appear as a cross dresser (dressed as a man) in some public activities, which brought her some legal and social problems. This intriguing and intellectual personality, represents a big parenthesis and surprise in the history of our literature. For critics she is very actractively different and still appealing and lovable in the literary works she has left to Puerto Rico’s cultural heritage.
            By the beginning of the century, three journals, contributed to the island’s literary development: Revista de las Antillas, El Carnaval and Puerto Rico ilustrado. They are very important in modernizing the national literature and in putting the island’s writers in contact with international literary and cultural currents. Two poets of relevance deserve to be mentioned: Virgilio Dávila (1869-1943) and Luis Lloréns Torres (1878-1944). The latter was the director of the prestigious Revista de las Antillas (1913-1914) and the creator of the literary movement “Pancalismo” (everything is beauty) and “Panedismo” (everything is a verse). These movements are a prelude to the avant-gardist movement and new literary modernity of innovative and dynamic city styles, which were fashionable since the 1920s. Lloréns Torres was also the continuator and modernizer of the nineteenth century “criollismo” tradition, which was imposed for many decades to come. According to some critics, he offered the most important contemporary poetry in Puerto Rican literature: América (1898), Al pie del Alhambra (1899), Sonetos sinfónicos (1914), and Alturas de América (1940). Lloréns Torres also composed the drama El grito de Lares (1911), which reminded audiences of the idealized patriotic acts of 1868, a revolutionary time in Puerto Rico, which people who were pro-independence have valued and remembered for so long. In these books, he presents literary models of transparent and direct anticolonial imagery convenient to the ideological and metaphorical dissidence of the twentieth century artists and intellectuals. Two of his most famous poems, “Canción de las Antillas” and “Valle de Collores” are proclaimed pieces of art used by the imaginary and dramatic emotionalism of the Puerto Rican patriotic and lyrical audience until the 1960s. He left many inspirational models for his contemporaries and lastly for those who were followers of the desired national myth and imaginary of liberationist hope of victory against colonial invaders.
            Also recognized in these aspects is Virgilio Dávila with his gentle poetry books, like Patria (1903), Viviendo y amando (1912), Pueblito de antes (1917), Aromas del terruño (1916) and Un libro para mis nietos (1928). His poems are more inclined towards the ideals of national people’s unity and love in the imaginary motherland, rather than to the abjections or negative emotions against the rival invader. In its lyrics he presents new metaphors enhancing the natural beauty of the Island, and of natives in a happy relationship giving unity to the “great Puerto Rican family” ideal. This is why his poems have been so appealing, especially to children.
José P. H. Hernández (1892-1922) with his Coplas de la vereda (1919), El último combate (1921) and Cantos de la sierra (1925) is seen as a valuable poet of this eclectic and uncertain period of the first century decades. He is the creator of the famous “A unos ojos astrales”, a poem with very universal, beautiful and high quality verses even for most demanding readers and critics. José Antonio Davila (1899-1941) is the author of the very acclaimed book of poems, Vendimia (1940), used in secondary schools with great proudness until recently.
All of these poets and their works created the bases for a patriotic scriptural spirit that would last in until the 60s and the 70s. They supplied the most creative metaphors and symbols of the century and its artistry can be matched with the best in Latin American literature. These are the poets who first encountered the imperial forces in their ideological effort to alienate the islanders from themselves, enforcing an education in the English language and Anglo-American culture (having Puerto Ricans in general resisting the linguistic and cultural changes imposed by their "implicit" imperialism). Through their writings, these almost epic literary personalities were the initiators of the creative language and discourse that would give the tools (the symbols and the cultural imaginary) that necessarily opposed from the enormous USA colonial power. The imaginary and symbolic idealism of patriotic culture also gave the national identity of the Puerto Rican literature for their future defense of national culture even thought the Island did not reached its independence and began having rivals of the own natives who were in favor of the American impositions and infiltrations in the national culture. This Federal amerind power uses its instrument of repression which included death to the opposers (like Albizu Campos)
José Nemesio Canales (1878-1923) is also a brilliant and important prose writer and narrator of this difficult period we are referring to. He pronounced himself against the dogmatism and the social and moral prejudices of his times, even from his own anti-national pairs, by means of his famous essays published as Paliques (1913), which first appeared in El Dia Newspaper in Ponce (an important and proud city in the south of the Island). He wrote two short novels, Hacia un lejano sol and Mi voluntad se ha muerto (1921). His irony makes him one of the cleverest and most powerful critics of his culture.
Another hard working and valuable writer is Miguel Meléndez Muñoz (1884)-1966). He was a prose and narrative writer who followed the neo-realist “criollismo”, avoiding the too metonymic avant-gardist language of his time. He has distinguished himself for his articles in Retazos (1905), his novel Yugo (1913), his essays Estado social del campesino puertorriqueño (1916), and Cuentos del Cedro (1936) and Cuentos de la Carretera Central (1941). With a deep social sensibility towards the criollo peasants problems and struggle to survive, Meléndez is a recognized writer both at popular and Athenian lettered levels as well.
In this period, we encounter many writers who have been either too liberal or extremely radical, and who showed a great fear of loosing what they considered their deep and unchangeable native and criollo identity. We find, mainly in the lettered world, subjects which can feel free in their vernacular language and primary culture, and who feel that a complete and stable being and desire should not be changed absolutely, as if it were something natural and not cultural. That’s why more Americanized and modernized people in the country would provoke paranoid and suspicious feelings and expressions of abjection and distrust in most nationalist writers. This tension also included the rejection of people closely related and familiar to city life and its new subjectivities and behaviors so diferent from counter-side oriented people. The popular and more Americanized population had the tendency to adopt a colonial and political-modernity, which accepted and tolerated ideological relativeness and colonial-subaltern silences and negotiations. This new psycho-social situation gives the artists and national writers the force for a social struggle against what was considered foreign and invasive. There was also rejection of the somewhat defiant outside symbols; and we can say this was including what could be considered valuable to the enrichment and advancement of culture in general. The technological culture developing in the Island gave favorable views to the American culture.
But against our globalized an cosmopolitan mentality of today, we should understand the national defensive feelings and movements under a proper context. They were precisely the aspect giving innovative and particular meaning and attractiveness to literature and its powerful cultural perspectives developed throughout a little more than the half of the twentieth century. The national literature and culture gave its best aesthetics views to the society and it kept the spirit of being Puerto Rican to its highest standard.  Currently, younger cultural critics unjustifiably ignore the writings of this period for its nationalist content and form. This rejection is not only for this literature’s ideological contents but also for its formal and aesthetic character. Today’s writers prefer to look ahead towards an international and heterogeneous media aesthetics, avoiding national culture in its homogeneous and authoritative nationalism. Following the contemporary critic Juan Gelpí, they considered this nationalists culture to paternalistic.

The Avant-Gardist Movement of the 1920s  and the Generation of the 1930s.

After 1898 invasion, during the first decades of the century, given in part to the economical and political context, the absent North American bourgeoisie took the best lands and welt resources of the island. But it not able to completely impose their Anglo cultural idiosyncracy on the native Puertorricans. This was due, in part, to their minimal personal presence and because of the islanders’ conscious and subconscious unwillingness to significantly assimilate the ways of being and the ethos of the “ex-centric "outsider, the “Yankee” or “gringo” invader. Liberal politicians and radical lettered groups handled concepts and world visions in continuity and response to the “uses and customs” of the past Hispanic culture, to the strong and ancient sense of criollismo and its motherland appealing, to the romantic view and patriotic imagery of nineteenth century prolonging and memorable orientation. Hispanic tradition was very different from the Anglo American customs and ethos, not assimilated because of its ethno-cultural strong differences and lines of origine and precedence, si different. These behaviours were very notizable especially in the lettered field. Nevertheless, the typical colonial citizen did not exactly felt threatened by the invader’s core political actions and felt comfortable and secure with the presence of the USA economy and military modernity. This gave a big contrast with the Old Spanish colonial ideologies, so obsolete. But the Puerto Rican literature kept more closely related with the European and Latin American literary tradition than the North American one. One thing was cultural protection and another one political and ideological intervention which allowed some negotiations in other to give flow to the economical sphere.
After the First World War, we see the eruption of a literary and cultural movement typical of Hispanic tradition in its thought and aesthetics. I am referring to the Hispanic and Latin American modernization of artistic forms and ways of exposing symbols and the handling of language in general. In Puerto Rico, as in other places, the critics talked about the Vangardism. Specifically in the Island they made reference to literary and cultural movements like “ismos” of the 1920s: Diepalismo, Euforismo, Noísmo and Atalayismo. Before that, during the transition from 1911 to 1920, after the poets insisted in searching for aesthetic beauty throught the literary movement called Modernism (the elegant swan is their sign), the artists changed to the “ugliness” sign of the owl as a disarticulator symbol of elegance. The literary movement had changes to what as called, postmodernism (1911-1918). The Modernist poets praised preciousness and the former ones prefered wisdom and knowledge. The final achievements, at the end of the mentioned decade, seem to give a particular definition to lyrics and perspectives of the twentieth century cultural-artistic forms. We have to keep in mind that Modernism and Postmodernism were movements inspired in cosmopolitism. The “criollismo” of rural, naturist and folkloric imaginary also continued flourishing, with its transformations and adaptations during these fast changing times from the 1910s to the ending of such decade. At the beginning of the 1920s, poetic proposals became very aggressive and defiant in their Manifestos, but as the decade passed, poets and cultural artists seemed to be preparing the discursive expressions, especially the last Atalayistas of 1928, who gave impulse to the foundations of the next generational writing. During the next decade in Puerto Rico, this process will bring the so called “Generación del 30”. This is a promotional group of artists, primarily insisting in giving special defense and continuity to the Spanish inheritance and its discursive insistant presence in Puerto Rico. Special attention was given during these times to the Generation of 98 and the Generation of 27 from Spain. In contrast the popular culture began having and showing its strong influence from the United States media, evident by the 1930s in Puerto Rico. Literary critics and historians have not analyzed properly these unequal cultural expressions, for a better undestaning of our cultural diversity and ideological complexity and contradictions. All this should be the subaltern ideology ample and its ways with creating diverse agencies within cultural performances. Culture should not be seen only from the lettered and literary perspective.
Unlike the avant-garde, Generation of 1930's writers were not as inclined to the play of language, the using of experimental literary signs and aggressive textual manifestos. It is true the “Generación del 30” maintained in part the futuristic views of the 1920s, with its strong consciousness in innovating language and the formal structural discursive aspects of the literary phenomena. But they were not inclined toward the extreme formalism of avant-gardists language uses and theories, as we notice when comparing their Manifestos and the theorizing about culture and literary matters which they supported. This new generation or promotion of writers were more inclined in presenting frontal struggle and defence of their Hispanic tradition, while confronting the North American invader with blunt language, and denounce their views and cultural and imperial aggressions. They strongly opposed the use of English as a first language and rejected the imposition of the invaders ways of interpreting history and culture in general,. Latin American thinkers like José Martí (1853-1895), from Cuba, and José E. Rodó (1871-1917) from Uruguay, and Spanish thinkers like Miguel de Unamuno (1864-1936) and José Ortega y Gasset (1883-1955), were emulated and admired. This is while important North American thinkers, in general, remained unknown. We do find some exceptions with some specially admired writers like Walt Whitman and Edgar Allan Poe.
During the 1930s, national independence became an obsession for the majority of the lettered people. This political ideal leads them not only to establish a frontal fight against the invader but also its materialist modernity.  This advancing towards modernity was seen coming from the USA or “Yankees” imperialists. This is perhaps given to the fact that this modernity, for the elitist intellectual and artist, was beginning to trap the attention of the masses and the general public by means of the triumphant industrialized propaganda and dynamics in financial marketing. The new type of modern and popular American ideology was very aggressive and visible on the Island to the amazement of the intellectuals who were very conservative in these matters. The comercial and its consumerism were not seen compatible with art, in the artistic view. The new American social implementation also gave employment to many people and created a new middle class willing to assimilate the American ways. It it important to have in mind how the “imperial” invader’s new ideological media processes were taking place in Latin America as a whole as well. Latin American intellectualls began a paradigmatic resistance of cultural radical perspectives, new anti imperialistic views. Avant-gardist poets like Pablo Neruda (1904-1973, in Chile) and Cesar Vallejo (1892-1938, in Perú) are importan in these reactions. Modernists of the previous generation, including Puerto Ricans in general, had followed the ideological perspectives of José Enrique Rodó (1871-1917) with his anti-American Arielism ( which was idealistic and elitist, by the way). The Arielism had a more philosophical manner rather than a realistic political stand because the socio-economical structures in general did not respond to these radical and liberal ideals (it was the beginning of the Century). Also it should have in mind in the cultural complexities of how, little by little, some Puerto Rican as political and liberal leaders will start assimilating the American “democratic” rhetoric and discourse, while abandoning some of their Hispanic cultural and ideological heritage. Here we have the beginning of the pro-statehood people in Puerto Rico. Nevertheless, they were far away from translating their ideology into literary and clever metaphorical ways. Culture in the hands of intellectuals was becoming more leftist, nationalist and marxist.
Nevertheless, we have to keep in mind that the poetic discourse of lettered artists was taking its expression in accordance to a long historic tradition of a scholarly artistic language. On the other hand, popular culture began to take its new city-like expressions from the radio, cinema and in the form of non-intellectual and light journalism. This opened the door to what we call today the “mass culture.” In the 30s, the Spanish philosopher Ortega y Gasset had ample influence in Latin America with his elitist but clever ideas and his rejection of popular culture, with his influential book The Revolt of the Masses (1930). The beginning of the 1930s was a time of double perspectives in socio-cultural developments: on one side, we have the learned lettered sector, and on the other, the new mass and popular culture with their means of creating and entertainment. The prominence of modern means, like radio and cinema, were important in these changes, and allowed the popular voices to be heard and commercialized. In the future the intellectual artistic expressions will have to to adopt to these new processes. 
The discourse of the masses was trans-formed by media and techno-economical sectors that were dominated by bank marketing and colonial and imperial propaganda coming from the United States. It began taking prominence after the First World War (the fordist culture of workers in Europe and USA). As the result of this there is the influential lettered groups reacting and adopting ethical and ironic distance from the ideology originating from modernity’s view and cultural performance of the invader. The new imperial communicative action imposed on the masses began even to enter the private spheres of regular citizens’ actions, employing the “instrumental reasoning” of the capitalist economy in its industrial stage and city-life dominium. This included new devices like radios, films, newspapers and popular journals. The changes went in detriment to the learned “criollismo” in literature and also to the country’s peasant (jíbaro) life styles, which had been characteristic of the general Puerto Rican population. Puerto Rico continued as an agricultural sugar cane society but also started becoming somewhat industrialized in production areas were this product, among others, was processed and commercialized (in Guayama, Arecibo, Ponce, and Mayagüez). Literature, for its part, was still taking its inspiration from traditional country life with imagery not so related to industrialism. But the new modern and instrumental world in the long run began infiltrating the literary world, bringing in a new and different modern discourse. Canonical Puerto Rican literature and old cultural views took a long time to accept changes and to get adapted to the city-like modernity and its commercial sphere and dynamics. Nationalist mentality, by its part, negatively rejected this process, mainly because it was brought by North Americans imperialism and imperial intervention. It should be acknowledged that the popular culture was not only coming from USA but also from the Latin American cultures that were not necessarily colonialised, like Mexico, Cuba and Argentina. In reality, the popular culture adopted by the Puerto Rican audience was not the "American way of life". This takes us to consider that the socio-cultural situation was rather hybrid and complex.
The growth of mass media culture and its proposal as a way of life would be more and more decisive in the construction of popular consciousness and imagery as the middle of the century advanced. Lettered artists, on the other side, were reluctant to participate or be part of such a process. We could say this was happening in a general culture in the modern world, and it occurred in Puerto Rico in particular, during the avant-gardism of the 1920s and the “Generacion del 30”, before the Second World War. We can argue that this is one of the reasons why the national discourse inclined itself towards elitist pessimism and took a political distancing from the less learned population's discourse. This populist sector had the tendency to be timidly liberal, reformist or inclined towards conservatism. Popular culture was not willing or capable of rejecting frontally the colonial interventions from modern USA. However, these popular groups on the Island grew in democratic and geographical importance and had more presence and voice, mainly and decisively later, during the industrialized world of the 1950s in Puerto Rico. For example, musical groups, like Los Panchos, Cortijo and the Gran Combo, can show the emergence of a strong and creative popular culture. The Generation of the 70s will later rescue, and will accept these popular expressions and ways of creting and it incorporated them to their literature. That use it as a protest against the past literary promotions of the century.
Nevertheless, there are some very distinctive writers besides these generalizations. Somewhat distant from the Hispanophile elitism of the “Generación del 30” (the Pedrerian followers) we find the very proclaimed poet, Luis Palés Matos (1898-1959). He is known mainly as a writer of black oriented literature, even though he was not was not a member of that race, but his poetry was important in racial issues and consciousness (he was aware of black writers from the New York area). Black poetry in its content and form becomes part of this poet Vangardism and radical ideology. One of his most famous and avant-gardist books is Tuntún de pasa y grifería (1937), by which he contributes to an impressive creation of myth-oriented poetry of great value to achieve a literary refined literary culture. In this poetry he is also the creator of the fictional-poetic character, Filí-Melé, which holds deep value for critics and future writers in the country. As a writer Palés Matos is mainly famous for been capable of presenting the black culture and ethos as a significant “other”, giving it a national importance and attractiveness (a serious anthropological) semantics. In general, until Pales Matos, the canonic criticism and its literature significantly ignored the symbolic importance of being black and and been part of a hybrid Caribbean culture. This was a contradiction (racial alienation) in a general mulatto culture like ours. (Nevertheless there are some exceptions like Luisa Capetillo, and others).
In the last poem of the mentioned famous book, in “Mulata Antilla”, Palés portrays the archetypical voyage with the beloved “mulata” as a symbol of a national Eros. She was created to be seen in a mythically poetic and profound meaning, unlike nineteenth century tradition that followed a white feminine lyrical subject, which the poets of the following periods followed. In this mentioned poem, Palés is inspired by the idea of going on a trip —not to Spain or to the Universal archetype, like previous poets portrayed—but through the Caribbean Sea, in a metaphorical traveling, using imagery never seen before in Puerto Rican literature. The poet travels as a captain accompanied with a Mulata throughout  the Caribbean sea, showing the authentic meaning of the racial culture's core. Contrary to the white Hispanophile culture and the traditional poetic “neo-criollism” of the beginning of the century, Palés identified his lyrics with the cultural marginality of racial and cultural negritude and its Antillean identity. Today he is one of the most well-known and accepted poets of all times at a contemporary international level, especially in subaltern related studies.
Concha Meléndez (1895- 1993) and Federico de Onis (1895-1966), two of the most important critics and scholars of the “Generation del 30,” considered Evaristo Rivera Chevremont (1896-1976) to be one of the major poets of this time. According to the top critic and academician (Josefina Rivera de Alvarez), this great poet “has a sonorous palace in Puerto Rico and his own house in the Latin American, Hispanic and universal letters”. He was a prolific writer who created “pure”, avant-gardist poetry and who used social content in his abundant and admirable lyrical productions as well. We just have to mention: El templo de los alabastros (1919), Pajarera (1929), Tierra y sombra (1930), Color (1938), Tonos y Formas (1943), Anclas de oro (1945), Barro (1945), Verbo (1947) and Creación (1951). Along with Luis Lloréns Torres and Juan Antonio Corretjer, Rivera Chevremont is a highly respected poet with large productivity immersed in somewhat clacisist and erudite versification of his time. Nevertheless, the two other poets mentioned have lasted longer than Rivera Chevremont in the country’s historical memory because they created with more emphasis the patriotic and national myth with lyrical forms, which are less classic and more understanding regarding the popular taste, and sentimental and patriotic expectations.
In 1929, the journal, Indice initiated a new literary epoch, different from the previous formal avant-gardist time. Collaborators in this journal were young artists and critics, who along with the master, Antonio S. Pedreira (1899-1939) created the important “Generación del 30.”  The ideas of these groups of intellectuals will endure until the 1960, and even today some people will still quote them.
In the economical field important events impacted the culture significantly. The Wall Street stock market crash in 1929, the sugar cane production crisis and the too colonial main economical project in the Island handled by the United States absentee bourgeoisie, had ideologically mobilized and alarmed a new generation of writers. A group of young artists and intellectuals became aware of taking more command of the social and political development on the Island. With a direct and frank confrontational thinking they found a new impulse to articulate, redefine and elaborate a sense of struggle and action for a new national orientation. It was from the ideals of national independence they gave a new turn to national culture and political thought in general. With a very hegemonic reaction against United States colonial past and present policies, they were capable of giving a definite turn to the Puerto Rican cultural ideology. These are the writers who asked, “what are we and where do we go as Puerto Ricans, globally considered” (as Pedreira said).
Seminal in this crucial ideological questioning will be the book Insularismo (1934) written by Antonio S. Pedreira. He invites, what could be called here the “national Puerto Rican subject” to go beyond its insularism with its negative immersion almost compulsively in adversed national aspects, and without the necessary desire to listen to some other considerations. Pedreira instead proposed to the Puertorricans the adoption of a more modern and universal mentality, open to some other voices from the outside. But he was insistant in keeping in mind that the legacy of the Spanish inheritance should not be displaced and that people had to be cautious with what he (Pedreira) named the “mediocracy” of the North American culture. He saw this culture obfuscated in a  “horizontal” thought that he considered limited and adversed in all its profound sense. This claim and opinion became part of the autonomist and liberal ideology after the 1930s. Some group of liberals and autonomist agreed with Pedreira that the old insular mentality as well as the mediocracy of the new North American civilization, with its quantifying (materialist, horizontal) intervention, could be the new Puerto Rican enemies. It was important for him that the North American culture was materialistic, horizontal and qualitative (following the Arielian thinking of the influential Uruguayan José Enrique Rodó). The Spaniards, on the favorable contrary, were considered more vertical and qualitative in their old European thinking tradition. In these ideas he followed mainly the Spanish philosopher José Ortega y Gasset (1883-1955), who proclaimed an anti-mass culture mentality in the new industrial society of the 1930s. Most of these ideological predicaments go along, of course, with prejudices of Pedreira, influenced by Ortega’s thought (in the first half of the 1930s), and it exhibits ambiguities, profound contradictions and lack of understanding in what was about to come in capitalist society. Later in the 1990's influential critics like Juan Gelpí will be very critical of these ideas that dominated almost the whole 20th century with its paternalist discursive impositions.
Additionally, Pedriera also asks for a culture willing not ignore the substantiality of the Spanish insular culture and scholar tradition, but which can also adopt, accept and be aware of the development of a universal European culture. Nevertheless, paradoxically, he asks not to abandon the strong North American body (as a metaphor) and the materialist civilization (not culture) that it had to offer. However, Pedriera thinks this acceptance should be done having Puerto Rico’s independence always in mind.
It is also important to mention Tomás Blanco (1897-1975), essayist, historian and cultural thinker, author of the important and most read book Prontuario histórico de Puerto Rico (1935), El prejuicio racial en Puerto Rico (1935) and Los cinco sentidos (1955). These books were very well accepted until the 1970s, for their equilibrium in cultural and socio-historical criteria that avoided Pedreira’s positivists prejudices. Pedreira was more inclined toward the metaphorical (dilettante) discourse; Tomás Blanco, nevertheless was a better-trained historian and sociologist, and less as an essayist in the conservative and modernist fashion.
In literary criticism and academically, Concha Meléndez (1904-1989), Margot Arce de Vázquez (1904-1990), and María Teresa Babín (1910-1989) were very distinguished scholars. With their work and highly educated textual productions they claimed and obtained distinctive visibility as most capable studious in an academic context  dominated by men and their “subconscious” sense of excluding women. Meléndez, Arce de Vázquez and Babín presented, to the academia and culture in general, impressive texts with critical thinking, showing abilities of lettered women at its best, and demonstrated an intellectual command of the highest capabilities in the Latin Americanists tradition. Without rejecting modernistic advantages of the early twentieth century, they proclaimed and defended autochthonous cultural values in an idealistic sense even though their radicalism in some other aspects. It is worth mentioning that as female thinkers, they are still very admired and treasured in postmodern times inclined indeed to defend subaltern feminist subjectivity.
Rubén del Rosario (1907-1995) was a valuable linguist who modernized these type of studies, and created works that are quoted even today. Francisco Manrique Cabrera (1908-1980) was also important as an avant-gardist poet who knew very well the Generation of 27 tradition from Spain. He was a dedicated educator with socialist ideas and a literary and cultural historian who, like many thinkers of his time, mixed nationalism and socialist ideas. In postmodern times, he has been somewhat ignored and forgotten for his nationalist and conservative ideological views.
José Ferrer Canales (1913-2005) was also a great essayist and Americanist who stood firm in his teachings of the Cuban thinker, José Martí. He also followed the ideas of the important “procer” (founding father or national hero) of national intellectual standing, Eugenio María de Hostos, with his Hispanic Pan Americanism. He very well followed the respected and admired neo-Kantian and a very ethical thinker and leader, Hostos. For Ferrer Canales, Hostos continued to be a strongly motivating and inspiring force useful in the teachings and national thought, until the end of the twentieth century. For him, Hostos has to be viewed from the complex Romanticism to erudite Positivism and Pan Americanism, as a mature thinker, honorably remembered by most of the Generación del 30 thinkers. Ferrer Canales inherited the most vehement and patriotic ideas of historical follow-up, and gave a refreshing continuation to the thought of Hostos. Neither Hostos or Canales are relevant today to the social activists. They are somehow skeptical about the fact that Canales was a black person who never addressed this matter.
Francisco Manrique Cabrera (mentioned above) wrote the first Historia de la literatura puertorriqueña in 1956. This text was a magnificent scholarly achievement, which contributed in a paradigmatic bibliographic way to classify and codify literary discourse in its historical and aesthetic value and development until his (Cabrera's) own intellectual promotion, the “Generación del 30”. This erudite effort helped to guide and inspire the national thinkers who followed him, especially the educators for the next three or four decades. However, this book has already lost its importance, even though it has given to historians important structural criteria in the handling of literary memory and evaluations of texts within time periodization of literature and culture in Puerto Rico. He follows the Spanish and Latin American scholarship in evaluating literary culture and not so much the anglo-American tradition that was entering within the Puerto Rican university's historiography of the times. Because of his strong and conservative nineteenth century nationalist criteria underneath his critical discourse, postmodern times have displaced him to an unfair oblivion. Recently, this book have been published in a new attractive edition by his Foundation.
Unfortunately, dedication to research in Puerto Rican cultural and intellectual production that characterized the essayist of the “Generación del 30” and contributed so much to the creation of cultural identity and symbols that we still use today to consolidate our own identity, have recently been relegated and placed aside. This leads to a very uncertain future and takes away the need to give continuity to national intellectual and artistic heritage and for the capacity of studious in academia to maintain historical and intellectual cohesiveness of culture in our mediocre wikipedia times. These intellectuals of the ‘Generación del 30’gave us, through their writings, the educational skills needed to see and maintain the importance of identity; something that in a segregated posthuman world today can be of great importance, but  it has been lost. This is particularly true for a subaltern culture like ours, which not only faces the colonial rival of the United States Federal government but also transcapitalism and globalization of today.
Enrique Laguerre (1906-2005) is the "Generación del 30"  most outstanding novelist and his serious work as a thinker and as a lettered man will last until the end of the twentieth century. His brilliant begginings as a writer is evident in his novel La Llamarada (1935) and continues with Solar Montoya (1941), 30 de febrero (1943) La Resaca (1949) La ceiba en el tiesto (1970), Cauce sin río (1962) El fuego y su aire (1970, and Los amos benévolos (1976). His first novel (La llamarada) is also the most well developed piece of narrative in the mimetic and formal (diegetic) sense. It portrays the socio-ideological problems of the sugar cane society and its corrupt business in the 1930s decade. The decisions made by the hero at the end of the narrative's argument are very idealistic and unexpected but it cannot be denied the narrator exposes very skillfully the turbulent and social conflicts and ambiguities of his protagonist (who achieves symbolic standing as a very conscious subject of his context). In general, we can say Laguerre’s novels reflect the social conflicts of countrymen and city subjects of various decades, as he uses the best and most advanced narrative techniques of the times (from the 1930s to the 1970s)  to communicate so. But most of his novels lack the discursive irony and the historical dialectics needed to sustain themselves as an attractive aesthetic texts. Furthermore, they do not achieve the structural and social cohesion we can find in (for example) Alejo Carpentier’s novels in Cuba since the 1940s and some other important narratives in Latin America. Laguerre’s novels do not have the components that communicate with a narrative autonomous voice, and the ironic detachment necessary to be read in its fictional and metaphorical demands. This is, independently of the real social problems he wants to portray; most of his novels are too neo-realistic; even thought this has an enormous, important  value and stylistic effort. Perhaps, all his ample fictional production should be newly evaluated with present narratological theories to put it in its proper perspective as narrative production. Traditional criticism has not been the best tool to evaluate this hard working and acute writer who should be seen with the more distanced and narratological evaluations which can brings us the semiotic and cultural theory of today.
In interesting contrast with La Llamarada there is En Babia (1940), written by De Diego Padró (1896-1974). This complex novel deals with the very subjective, almost neurotic and schizophrenic problems that the New York City socio-cultural environment can bring to its (anti)hero, who shows great sense of solitude and decadence, that this modern context can bring. But it is an unnecessarily extensive novel, which is incapable of capturing the attention of the average intellectual reader, like Laguerre’s novels did. En Babia has been somehow excluded from the canon because of its uncanny content and anomalous voluminous form. Lately, new critical perspectives and interestingly new narratological and poststructural theories have been applied to De Diego’s texts.  He is is not considered as a great writer, but his narratological abilities should be reconsidered under new theoretical perspectives. The novelist production of Modernism in Puerto Rico has not been as attractive as the short stories.
A very well known and appreciated short story writer and dramatist is Emilio S. Belaval (1903-1072). He is especially known for Los cuentos de la universidad (1935), Cuentos para fomentar el turismo (1946) and Cuentos de la Plaza Fuerte (1963). As one of the best narrators in the Caribbean area, he can be considered at the artistic level of Juan Bosch (1909-2001) and Alejo Carpentier (1904-1980), two of the best narrators from the Dominican Republic and Cuba, respectively.
Cuentos para fomentar el turismo is one of the best books written by Belaval, with one of the best neo-realist short stories of his time: “El niño morado de Mosona Quintana”. With an witty irony and broad symbolism this short narrative represents the situation of an old female peasant from the poor rural areas deep within the Island. The story depicts the impoverishment and misery of the main character (Monsona Quintana) and her conflicts, while paradoxically it is narrated with great metaphorical beauty. It presents crudely the dramatic death of her latest son (of the many she had), but the most beloved one. At the end of the story, while the people of the small town is burying Monsona's dead infant, we are told about a narrator showing the countryside beauty to a group of tourists. But this same narrator handles his creativity with the complexity of literary irony (not so much displayed in Puerto Rican narrative writings in general, unfortunately). In many of his rhetorical expositions, the author shows a great textual and aesthetic discourse, accompanied with the depiction of colonial reality in an innovative form in contrast to the traditional “costumbrista” literary storytelling. Above all, he has the discursive capacity to denounce the new colonial process that took place in Puerto Rico throughout the 1930s. We find in his works a very anticolonial consciousness and a pro-independence militancy reinforced by a strong socialist sense that goes side by side with a very cautious sense of nationalism. This gives him the authority to write books dealing with social history and racial issues, which maintain much relevance for today's mentality.
During the 1930s and 1940s, the theater was also very dense in its reaction to the imperial aggression the national culture suffered. In this respect, the Ateneo Puertorriqueño leads with the Sociedad Dramática del Teatro Popular (Areyto).  Existential plays, like La muerte (1953), written by Emilio S. Belaval, bring new meanings to literary expressions. Also Manuel Méndez Ballester (1909-2002) can create important dramas, in which criollism is mixed with classic styles, like in El clamor de los surcos (1938) and Tiempo muerto (1940). The last one is a drama that depicts a poor family in times when there are no jobs in the sugar cane production, called the "dead period". The sick father, in the play, has to give up his doughter in order to get a job. She is raped by the man in charge of the industry production-center, event that calls for the revenge taken by the brother of the victim. The final situation is full of bloody and persecution sceneries, and the mother (archetype of defense of the national family) ends up alone in the most somber and tragic end. Tiempo muerto is an example of the sophistication the drama, in the formal-literary sense, has reached in Puerto Rico by these times. The symbols of a compulsion of death and the impossibility to find the proper Eros (Love) in the 'Puerto Rican Family' continues as a motive like in the classic novel La charca (1894), written in the previous century. This image can be seen also along side with the times Existentialist philosophy, exposed mainly by Jean Paul Sartre (in France). This existentialist philosophers will have a great deal of acceptance by the national writers in their denouncing of colonialism and alienation in Puerto Rico.  Ballester's writings should be read and evaluated with a universal mentality of lost and despair regarding to the humankind in the modern world. In reality these were remarkable writers if we think in all the obstacles they had in a colonial context of the middle of the century and the post-second-war imperialism.
These dramas have attracted the attention of directors and actors throughout the twentieth century, and are still shown in theaters and television today (Channel 6). This is not only due to its content but also because of its well-defined theatrical forms. Fernando Sierra M. Berdecía (1903)-1962) was also in particular a dramatist who handled modern techniques and applied them in Esta noche juega el joker (1938). In this play the creator depicts migratory subjects and the formation of new identities, employing  modern chronotopes. El desmonte (1938) by Gonzalo Arocho del Toro (1898-1976) is an interesting literary work. Some of these plays will follow the “costumbrismo” style and world view, but some other ones will pay more attention to the modern ideas in identities, costums, city characters and their new behaviour, and migration (to New York).
But in most plays written and performed between 1930s to the 1950s, the imperative was to obey the call for the national defense (following the nationalist Pedro Albizu Campos, 1891-1965). This nationalist ideology defines in great measure the theatrical discourse until the 1970s in the Island. Later, from the 1980s onward, the epic portrayals and allegories of defense of high poetic ideals of this type of theater become very incompatible with postmodern times and its colonial-postcapitalist structures. This is a new socio-cultural period, which begins to keep an ideological distance from the deep national symbols originated by dramatic creators I just mentioned. The popular audience seems now to be more interested in cinema an TV (Youtube) and its ways of depicting a different type of society. The literary texts have to struggle with the semiotics of these new postmodern times, with its  new cognitive and paradigmatic advantages (and disadventages as well).
During the last two decades of our century, the lost of faith in classic 1930s discourses have debilitated the theatre, a genre that  depends so much on dramatic poetics deeply integrated to foundational and totalizing allegories coming from old national and anti-colonial feelings and struggles. Epic and allegorical defenses of high poetic ideals have been transformed and even eliminated because of the incompatibilities they bring to postmodern times so anti-modernist in its ideology. Into consideration has to be taken a postmodern epoch, lighter and in-different in its approach to aspects of art in the classic-modern sense. The Puerto Rican literature is waiting for the new Postmodern critics (or whatever you may want to call them) capable of explaining these situations in their new contexts.
By the 1980s this is already notable by the dominion of performative dramas and media narratives consciously superficial, and interested in keeping distance from the classic past deep symbolisms. The change is not only due to the transformation in national emotions, which are necessary for the theatre, but for the general worldview in all genres, including poetry and the novel. Nevertheless, theatrical ideology and world visions created and inspired by artistic minds since the 1930s, has left us with the best dramatic pieces of the twentieth century. However, its been implied before, theatre is the genre that has suffered greatly the cultural changes, due to private and public spheres transformations performed and imposed by mass media, informatics and different means of representations which seems to have interest in different aspects of art and culture representation and interpretation. (Even the concept of history has chance nowadays). Postmodernists are more inclined to use the metaphors extracted from virtual imagery of new techno electronic and cybernetic devises and its functions in society. Even with this situation, as we will expose later in this work, our theater goes through optimistic developments and changes and its audience still assisting and supporting the most oustanding performances of this classic form of art. It seems to be that the genre is adjusting to new times of the 21st century. It depends on it!

From 1940 Rural “Neo-Criollismo” to Urban Literature of the 1950s and 1960s

Nationalist and patriotic tendencies in art reached its limits from the 1930s to the 1960s. This happened mainly because the political response to the aggressive context, principally economical and military, imposed by imperial activities taken by the United States toward Puerto Rico. Voices of this vast literary period of resistance and identity empowerment are (to mention e few): Juan Antonio Corretjer (1908-1985), Francisco Manrique Cabrera (1908-1978), Clemente Soto Vélez (1905-1993), and Luis Hernández Aquino (1907-1988). Corretjer is known as the “national neocriollista poet” of Puerto Rico, due to his personal political militancy and the patriotic sentiment shown in Agüeybana (1932), Amor de Puerto Rico (1937), El leñero (1936) Yerba bruja (1957), Distancias (1957), etc. His “Alabanza en la Torre de Ciales” can be considered an epic hymn, which became an iconic inspiration for many anticolonial artists since the 1930s and that endures until today among patriotic people, although not only nationalists but of many ideologies.
Francisco Matos Paoli (1915-2000) is equally prolific as a national poet, mainly with his books Hablante del eco and Teoría del olvido (both in 1944), Canto a Puerto Rico (1947) and Canto a la locura (1962). This last one was written while he was a federal prisoner due to his political “subversive” activities as a nationalist. Despite its sinuosity, most authorized contemporary critics in the country, like the actual scholar, Mercedes López Baralt, glorifies the high value of this long poem. Matos Paoli’s search for liberty goes beyond simple politics and reaches ontological and mythic levels. He was considered for a Nobel Prize. Recently the scholar Carlos R. Alberto Fragoso (from the UPR) has published an Anthology of critical essays regarding this important national poet (En busca de Francisco Matos Paoli, San Juan: Callejón 2015).
Some other poets during the 1940s and 1950s became very elevated and metaphysical in a literary movement known as Transcendentalism. The most renounced poets of this period are: Félix Franco Oppenheimer (1912-2004), Francisco Lluch Mora (1924-2006), Jorge Luis Morales (1930-1997), and José Emilio González (1918-1990). Christian symbols are abundantly employed in their poems to portray a sense of patriotic martyrdom, suffering and spiritual transcendence. Some critics believe these writers were obsessed in reaching absurd metaphysical limits and a forgotten formal modernism in updated art. But their poetry is part of a historical and cultural process not only in Puerto Rico but in some other countries as well.
Participation in female discourses achieves a very singular presence in the literary and lettered national scene since the 1930s, especially with poets like Clara Lair (1908-1974) and Julia de Burgos (1914-1974), among many others. Arras de cristal (1937) and Trópico amargo, and Más allá del poniente (1950) are important books of Lair. Julia de Burgos wrote Poemas exactos a mí misma (1937), Poemas en veinte surcos (1938), and Canción de verdad sencilla (1929). “Río Grande de Loiza” has been one of Julia 's poems proudly recited by Puerto Ricans across the time and even today because of its deep national, aesthetic and mythic meanings. Her poetry tend to evoke the traditional patriotic reaction of the invaded motherland (metaphor of the national body and feelings), but also it pays attention to the particular sensuality of women as she values the energy and the pleasure of the female body (as the Motherland) in a new symbolic sense. Her search for feminism can be compared with the new writers who followed the feminist view in the ideological and philosophical sense (Virginia Wolf in England and María Luisa Bombal in Chile, for example). Burgos also emphasizes mythical claims as a lyrical feminist, employing water and land archetypes never before elaborated in the national poetry with strong emotional and lyrical strenth. Her lyrical tone and skillful handling of symbolism is of the highest quality in poetic discourse; one of the main reasons why she has become so notable and singularly relevant. We know that Burgos (like many feminist today) criticizes the canonic androcentric literature to be more cerebral and conceptual than sensual and corporeal (like the feminist one she follows in her poetry). With this particularity, her verses offer the most attractive and paradigmatic examples of female literature of the first half of the twentieth century. For the first time in national literature, women’s participation in poetic culture and national discourses have grown with a very distinctive style and reception. Traditionally men and their ways of thinking and feeling tended to dominate mainly literary culture with minimal feminist intervention. In this respect, Julia de Burgos represents perhaps the most important change in the andro-centrism (one sided masculinity) of our colonial literary culture. With her poetry the national readers find their deepest otherness.
Another important aspect in the lyrical works of this modernized period, which is not mentioned as much, but it is still studied, are the works of Soledad Lloréns Torres (1880-1968), Carmen Alicia Cadilla (1908-1994), Carmelina Vizcarrondo (1906-1983), Amelia Ceide (1908-1987), Carmen Marrero (n. 1907) Magda López (n. 1900), Olga Ramírez de Orellano (n. 1911-), Haydée Ramírez de Orellano (n. 1912), Nivia Vicéns (1914-1998), Amelia Agostini (1886-1986), Laura Gallego (1924-2007), and Violeta López Suria (1926-1994). All of these women initiated a coherent group of the feminist poetic discourse in Puerto Rico. Some decades later, female members of the “Generación del 70” continued their efforts to express different voices and emotions into a world that was already city oriented. Where and when women could claim more opportunities to express themselves, is something that escalated and became different, and gave the beggining of complex definitions of femininity, and started claiming independence from a culture dominated by chauvinist obsessions. The feminine literary production began to see with significance their difference from a one-dimensionally andro-normative world reinforced and guided by canonical historical tradition. In this sense, historical times begin to favorably change for women’s literary presence and participation in our culture. This will happen also with the gay participation in literature and culture since the 1990s. This does not mean that there is also a dignifying heterosexual discourse which has grown with the new gender conscious  ideas. The lyrical discourse in general of the last seven decades (female, male or gay, and with so many participants) can be favorably compared with the best creations of Latin America.  We have to include the literary production of Puerto Ricans from the USA.
 By the 1950s Puerto Rico starts to enter into a new process of industrialization. Some liberal and conservative colonial-dominant sectors take advantage of the situation and tend to procure mainly their own particular wealth. Most of them are followers of the liberal politician Luis Muñoz Marín (1898-1980), who was also a poet and very knowledgeable of North American reformists politics. He was also an extremely articulated and convincing politician with strong ties to liberal followers of President Roosevelt in the USA. He was the first governor elected by the people of the island in colonial-State elections (he's government endured from 1948 to 1964). His projected socio-economical transformation of Puerto Rico became a "reality" thanks to his knowledge in how to appeal to the typical poor rural workers, which he appreciated deeply (but having in mind their valuable electoral votes). During his incumbency, most of the governmental budget was assigned to the public primary and secondary education and to the University of Puerto Rico, which became famous around the world. There was a large intellectual development on the Island and the qualitative production of a lettered population and literary artist increased under his liberal colonial context, mainly because of the relative liberty to create and produce. He brought some necessary liberalism and "democracy" in a colonial context and some critics think that thanks to him Puerto Rico was not a victim of tyrannical  and totalitarian governments. (This can be a subject of great discussion).
Puerto Rican middle class and bourgeoisie also began to consolidate their political institutionalized power in this period. They took advantage of the doors opened by the colonial “liberals” and their sly political and economical maneuvers. It was a social class with no sympathies for nationalist interests; they tended to be rather pragmatic and materialist in their claims and expectations. These were big times for the development of the Banco Popular, Fomento Económico (a governmental bank and assessment institution), and sectors interested in industrialization and tourism favoring the American market. The money obtained from the Federal Government aid was a pivotal advantage for the politicians (money given to other States in the Nation, including Puerto Rico, as a non-state). Along with this economical growth came also the ideology for cultural assimilation and consumerism of United States products and its colonial and ideological imaginaries and values (which were interpreted and assimilated in a subaltern way). As mentioned before, the Spanish inheritance was present in all these times as a substantial and strong force, historically and culturally speaking. In their imaginary most Puerto Ricans felt they were part of the American Dream, but along with their valued Spanish inheritance (and specially the Spanish language). This could be seen as a contradiction, but not in a subaltern context were Puerto Rican have been subdued the the imperial power of United States. Puerto Rico is the property United States (without consulting), but it is not part of that nation (as an associated state). In that sense, the USA government keeps Puerto Ricans in a political limbo, without international and legal representation. 
The situation propitiated a fast economical dependence on the USA, welcomed and controlled by a powerful and wealthy group of Puerto Ricans who were mainly followers of the Partido Popular Democrático. But historians tend to agree that this sector had an ambiguous idea of association (the Commonwealth) linked to the rich and prosperous Metropolis. These opportunists groups saw with good ayes the advanced Fordist United States Nation, as an enviable complex production force of an industrialized, liberal and popular nation with a government, worthy of follow-up and emulation (something that the popular sectors accepted in general). This was in spite of the fact that these politically and socially powerful and influential groups on the Island were not ethnically or legally part of their admired Nation. In reality this group of colonials did not know much about the USA social and political complex structure and ethos (for example, most Puerto Rican don't understand the black people's struggle in USA). The main goal for them were of economical and financial interests, and the military colonial need of USA with its imperial plans and expansionists interventions in the Caribbean Islands. Some jurist and political leaders (along with artistic lettered people) were alarmed because they knew what was to come from being a subordinated colony and what the imperialist American interests in Puerto Rico represented in the long run. These critics were not heard, nevertheless, by the alienated masses and the sly colonial politicians. People in general wanted to be part of the American Dream, which was proposed by the followers of Muñoz Marín, who took advantage the popular voters and citizens not so educated (or had significant consciousness) in these matters. At the beginning of his political campaign, this popular leader (Muñoz Marín) promised for the near future the independence of the Island, but later he became one of the worst enemies of this radical ideology. The Nationalist Albizu Campos was particularly persecuted by him (under the orders of the USA Federals, and de CIA). These are facts, found in most serious books, and not interpretations.
Artists and intellectuals, in general, did not participate in the new colonial attractive and material changes and ideology, even with its undeniably modern attractions. They despised the political offerings of the rich and wealthy Islanders and rejected the astute dominant colonial interventions of the USA Federals. On the contrary, artists and lettered groups became, more ideologically identified with leftist anti-imperialist sectors, not only with the ones on the Island but on an international level as well. This reached its peak at the end of the 1960s, when they (the artists and intellectuals) even became identified with civic liberals and leftist activists from the USA (like Herbert Marcuse and Martin Luther King). A strong attachment to international radical movements (Marxists, syndicalist, socialists and communists) grew, and also to subjects like the Mexican American civic leader, Cesar Chaves (1927-1993).
Beyond the colonial issue in Puerto Rico, at an international level, the Second World War (1939-1945) and its somber effects created an Existentialist sense of "being-in-time" in writers and intellectuals, following philosophers like Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) and Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1986). The new dependence (subalternity) created by imperialism in the Island indirectly created a strong leftist movement, and a rejection of the ultra-capitalism (consumerism) that came after the war. The situation urged writers to look for new metaphors and symbols to depict and represent the type of new world that was being rejected for its anti-humanist orientation, and the alienated objectionable social imaginary it offered. For this reason, lettered artists in general tended to regard the avant-gardists mentality, before and after the war conflicts in Europe. They kept memories of the Generation of 27 from Spain and avant-gardists from the 1920s and 1930s in Latin America,  (like Cesar Vallejo, Pablo Neruda, Federico García Lorca). The new literary generation at the middle of the century, also developed an anti-capitalist and anti middle class consciousness which guided them in presenting a new thought and a different literary style.
In a national aspect, the 1930 sense of nostalgia increased, given the slow disappearance of the rural and criollo context (of ample patriotic and symbolic capital). There was also a resistance to the horizons seen ahead and brought by the increasing consuming society and its aggressive financial capitalism. The transitional panorama also motivated the artists and lettered people to reject the new colonial-city that by the 1950s and 1960s became more visible and consolidated as it was replacing rural life and its values. This is an important moment in literary expression. New left-wing writers prepared themselves to fight the incoming industrial and techno-media cultures. Of course, the new agencies of ultra-capitalism and its alienating alignments rejected the  literary nationalist expressions. In these times, writers were not only dealing with the unresolved problem of the 1898 military invasion, but also with the infiltrations of this aggressive economical and political structure and socio-historical stages spreading throughout the material world and the subjective consciousness of a new society in Puerto Rico (and the World).
Middle class and most working class sectors in general accepted reformist ideologies and some adapted to its processes and its media, in a kind of “Viva las Vegas” culture. Most lettered groups, on the other hand, insisted in employing, almost frenetically, the common places of the nationalist sector’s ideology and its older worldview. We find in them an ideology very immersed in its attachments to the old rural and seigniorial imagery and allegories. It was something that happened in general with artistic depictions and ways of representing during the 1930s and 1940s. Somehow, in its deep and hidden meaning, these intellectuals still immersed under a nineteenth century Spaniard type of colonial mentality. It was a type of defense against this second aggression which was more invasive and dangerous It was the imperial capitalism that dominated the world obviously by the second half of the twentieth century. The ideological situation in Puerto Rico became more complex with this new face of imperialism.
While some texts offered a new aesthetic, artistic and discursive creativity, many writings insisted in keeping classic national allegories of the past. Unfortunately, sometimes this insistence would not allow their discourse to achieve the artistic irony nor the detachment necessary for the ideological perspective that could elevate art from its most obvious and clisé socio-cultural way of representing conflicts in reality and the social imaginary. It became a wall not allowing to view the new evolution of a history that could not be stopped because it triggered paradigmatic changes. Some artistic groups were not rapidly effective in properly criticizing, through art, the social structures created by the empresarial and media society that began to dominate the “industrial” society by the closing of the middle of the 20th century. Some writings of this time in Puerto Rico were simply against the colonial establishment in their ideology and did not elaborate the necessary artistic display needed to maintain the ideological and aesthetic distance that good art tends to look forward. This is why there are so many mediocre productions, which have been forgotten or ignored. But in general, according to even the most rigorous critics, there is good art worth mentioning from this difficult period of dramatic changes in an Island that as a potential State had not reached its independence. The USA agencies in Puerto Rico did not allow any progressive and significative changes, and by the 1990 the progressive movements had been completely diminished, intercepting an effective socio-political struggle in the Island. Just like in USA there is not a radical party which could give an alternative voice for a significant movement of change to follow. Intellectuals like Noam Chomsky and Fredric Jameson are not recognized or heard by the typical American who watches CNN. During the 60s and the 70s Puerto Rican media became almost completely dominated by the right wing ideological and colonial perspectives.
This is probably why in postmodern times, by the end of the twentieth century until now, writings of the 1940s were so prone to skepticism and reacting against difficult ideologies from the past, and have been displaced and even ignored. Nevertheless, as mentioned before, it cannot be denied that some writers presented texts of relevant and impressive ideological and artistic value that was very skillful in the national and as well as in a universal sense. Since the “Generación del 30” there has been a great debate regarding to how colonial literature should insist in reaching above all aesthetic and universal levels, and to go beyond insular cultural gravity and "simple" national interest. Debates on how literature should respond to nationalism or to universal ideas where very much discussed in general in newspaper and journals of literary criticism (see the essay of Luis Felipe Díaz in Edgar Martínez Masdeu's Anthology, published by Ateneo Puertorriqueño in 1995).
Later in history, even by the 1970s, the insistence in giving emphasis to national local ideology did not allow some writers to see how political oppression would come, not from a frontal and visible political empire as in the realism and neorealism of the 19th and 20th centuries. Ideological oppression in these modern colonial times originated more more from structural and invisible economical than from explicit political and confrontational ones. There was a North-American non-territorial expansionism as it had not been seen in the past (the new media and hegemonic expressions had much to do wit it, and created new unseen paradigms). After the Second World War there was a new socio-economical expansionism developing not only in the colony but also in the world at large. The cleverest artists had to adopt their art to these changing maneuvers and its defiance against humanity. During the 1970s, the German Marxist, Herbert Marcuse (1898-1979), will be one of the most relevant scholars in explaining these transitional aspects in Eros and Civilization (1955) and One-Dimensional Men (1964). His books were very appreciated by the Puerto Rican new intelligentsia of these mentioned complex colonial debates. Manuel Maldonado Dennis (1934-199? ) was an important historian and sociologist in the expression of these new ideas considered by the Puerto Rican intelligentsia (Puerto Rico: Una interpretación  histórico-social, 1969, and Puerto Rico: Mito y realidad, 1968). The new postmodern sociologists and historians will put aside these important books and thinkers. 
The confrontation and debate kept by socialist artists and intellectuals during the 1960s and 1970s will confront socio-cultural changes that can be called ideological as well as aesthetic. The creators tried to overcome the literature of simple national and colonial reflection and dichotomous (binary) political expressions that had dominated during the 40s and the 50s. They looked for a more experimentalist, ludic and ironic, trans-avant-gardist discourses. It is believed that due to their discourse persuasion and influence, the achievements in new literary forms have lasted until today. There is a new generation of young artists in the present times trying to change the strong paradigms that since the 1970s had been gaining terrain. But there is now a struggle and debate, in the ideological sense, between these two artistic promotions (modernist versus postmodern).
These are new achievements that have taken decades to develop. Since the middle of the 1960s, a new group of writers had to become more adjusted to the city demands with its new horizons, and the viewing of intra-subjectivities were a necessary cultural demand. Their literature adapts these new changes and becomes more aware of the transforming socio-cultural situations and begins abandoning the idealism of Pedrerian times (1930) and the modernist  “costumbrismo” of writers from the 1940s and 1950s. The tendency to confront simplistic insularists ideas of the past, especially during the 1970s, was mainly focused to overcome the old attachments to ancient Positivist prejudices against popular culture. Lets see how this complex historical and artistic process developed in general, with some specific examples of the 1950s.
Abelardo Diaz Alfaro (1919-1999), René Marqués (1919-1979), José Luis González (1926-1996), and Pedro Juan Soto (1928-1979), were new notable writers that emerged during the transitions brought about by these changes of socio-cultural structures. From the end of the 1940s to the 1980s, they confronted the modern ideological maneuvers of the new colonial modernity that, in their eyes, threatened the national integrity valued and preserved since the 1930's Pedrerian worldview. With his book, Terrazo (1949) and two particular short stories, “El Josco” and “Los perros”, Abelardo Díaz Alfaro confronted the American aggression with dramatic and existentialist sensibility. In “El josco” we find the clash between a beautiful black bull representing Puertorricaness, confronting a white North American beast brought to the national farm to supposedly change the embitterment of the race. It is curious that in this story, the author himself is not aware that it is the Puerto Rican owner of the hacienda who voluntarily brings the white bull to displace the black one even though the black bull (of allegorical nationality) has finally won the almost epic confrontation between the two. It can be said that this is related to how the Puerto Rican bourgeoisie gave privilege to, and welcomed the North American forces that deep inside continued the colonization of culture in a suicidal way. Here we have the ideological situation of the national rich social class rejecting the autochthonous, and favoring what is foreign and an invisible rival (the USA). Nevertheless, in its formal structure, the story offers a display of majestic metaphors at the beginning to depict the aesthetic importance of the national bull as a symbol of patriotism. It also presents a clear plot with some suspense and a tragic ending. The situation and the suspense will attract readers with the ideology of independence sustained in its argument. Alfaro’s “Los perros” is also one of the best existentialist short stories written in Latin America, with supreme artistic and humanistic emotion. Although his stories in general present rural decay and decadence, they also keep in mind the modern city reader with great nostalgia for a precious lost past (an arcadia).
In the short story “En el fondo del caño hay un negrito” which appears in En este lado (1954), José Luis González gives what will be the beginning of urban literature of the working class marginality with acute psycho-social insight. In this short story, he depicts the allegorical failure of saving the national black child from death (drawning) that brings the new industrial society that distracts the working Puerto Rican society from its poetic (the child’s narcissism, the seen and acceptance of himself as an "otherness"). The author demonstrates great racial and class consciousness; something that gives him a much better ideological perspective to represent the literary field that needed its own aesthetic modernization and a new symbolic advancement.
Recognized in the areas of social struggle was the somewhat attractive novel Los derrotados (1956) by César Andreu Iglesias (1915-1976). The ending of this narrative can be considered a pamphlet and ideologically biased toward simplistic socialism against radical nationalism. But he is capable of capturing a coherent and complex ideological imagery and explanation of the new ideological problemas of modern and industrial society (but lacking the artistic complexity of González and Marqués, for example).
Spiks (1957), by Pedro Juan Soto had a great impact on the reading public in general. In these short stories, he recognized the suffering of a migratory sector of Boricuas that had left to New York City since the ending of the second world war and the Korean one (in the 50s). Soto was a migrant himself, and for a while he lived in USA. “Los inocentes” is the best story in this book, in its allegorizing the despair of loosing the mental stability of the metaphorical national child (the depiction of the national innocence). It tells us that the possible subject-hero of the culture has lost its consciousness. It also offers metaphorically the sense of enclosing “the innocent” migrant people of the island, thrown to the fearful and inhuman foreign city of New York, viewing the new symbolic limits and horizons of Puerto Rican society and culture. The pessimism and fear of the modern outside world —which belongs more to lettered groups than to migrants themselves— will be surpassed by José Luis González some decades later in his story “La noche que volvimos a ser gente” (1970). It is a story about a character stuck in the New York subway. When he is finally able to get out, he encounters an electric blackout in the whole city, finding later a big celebration in his home because his new child had been born. Finally, the character goes to the roof of his building and notices the brilliant stars, which he sees as symbols of freedom and poetic continuity of the national existence even in the foreign country like USA. This is important because some writers had refused to accept the existence of the Puerto Rican un USA as part of an inevitable reality, and no returning. There are many Puerto Ricans responding to the reality from United States and not from the Island of Puerto Rico. They create a subaltern nation within a nation.
In this narration, the migratory event (coexisting with the Americans) is not portrayed as a nationalist rejection or with a paranoid attitude. The story also shows how the national narration is at the highest form of handling artistic representation and with the acceptance of a future in a new symbolic soil. González can be considered one of the best storytellers of his generation and after. In its artistic neo-realist follow-up, he has been always compared with the magnificent Dominican short story writer, Juan Bosch.
The dramatist, essayist and narrator, Rene Marqués, wrote very important literary works that became quite popular. Regardless his most of the times enclosing nationalism, he is probably one of the greatest readers of North American literature of the period (Eugene O’Neill, Tennessee Williams). La carreta (1951) and Los soles truncos (1958) can be considered the best drama of the twentieth century in Puerto Rico and it is well seen in the rest of Latin America. These plays represent the tragic national destiny and the denial to accept the modern industrialized American world violently brought by new historical and economical processes. La Carreta is a rather popular play which, shows the islanders moving from rural areas to the “barrios” in San Juan (La Perla) and finally to the ghettos in New York City. Los soles truncos is a tragic drama presenting three "aristocratic" women and their descent into poverty until they set their house (and themselves) on fire in the Old Colonial San Juan. But beyond its insistence in ideological matters, the dramas develops high aesthetic goals and brings classic tragic values. A similar ideology and sense of existential despair in colonial living is shown in the novel La víspera del hombre (1959), and also in the short stories of En una ciudad llamada San Juan (1960). Marques’s essay “El puertorriqueño docil” (1960) can be very controversial by by when placing the blame of the USA assimilation process into what he considers the alienated people in Puerto Rico. These are times when writers tend to blame in the mass media (specially the television) the process of assimilation of American culture every time more visible in the Island's popular culture.
In 1959, Marqués publishes a valuable anthology of short stories, Cuentos puertorriqueños de hoy, with an important “Introduction”. He selects for this book what critics (himself) consider the best short narratives of the times. His introduction clarifies the modern transition, literature was going through. His drama, El apartamiento (1961) shows great cultural perspective when he demonstrates dramatically the absurdist tendencies of mechanized and dehumanized modern society, taking place in the 1960s, and which became even more profound later in the future. According to some contemporary critics, his second novel, La Mirada (1976), contains some political anachronisms and references to gender traumas the author seems to handle ambiguously about (gayness). We know today this is not strange because according to people who knew him well, he lived with another man quietly most of his adult life. This is why this novel can be very homophobic (given the fact that by those times gay people had to neurotically maintain themselves in the "closet" in response to a very prejudiced and corrosive society). Nevertheless many readers find this novel fascinating. Now the Puertorican culture is getting prepared to have openly and less traumatic fictions (like the ones of Ramos Otero, Nemir Matos, CarlosVaro, García Ramis)
Francisco Arriví (1915-2007) was a play writer attentive to national problems, and displays them in his work with an existential and universal approach. He is the author of dramas like María Soledad (1947), Bolero y Salsa (1956), and Vegigantes (1958). Most of these literary works are very simple, but very well organized, and portray the behaviors of a hybrid and mulatto culture with precision and passion. Arriví is a writer who tends to reflect with sociological precision the modern colonial times full of racism .
Theatre begins to be more performative and less literary in the Modernist sense. Dramas like Cristal roto en el tiempo (1960), Absurdos de soledad (1963), La trampa (1964) and El impromptu de San Juan (1974) by Myrna Casas (b. 1934) are very innovate in their existentialist and laconic style. Casas is one of the most prolific and serious dramatists of her time, and is still very productive today. Pedro Santaliz (b. 1938) is a play writer very knowledgeable about new and surprising ways of representing cultural and colonial situations, like he does it in Cemí en el palacio (1969). Rosario Quiles’ (b. 1935) plays El juicio de Víctor Campolo (1970) and La movida de Víctor Campolo (1972) are highly proclaimed and had a wide audience. Walter Rodríguez’s (1945-2010) experimental play, La descomposición de César Sánchez (1973) was very impressive in these dynamic modern times. Gerard Paul Marín’s (1922-2011) play, En el principio la noche era serena (1961), is also very well recognized. As dramatists they confronted the sociocultural changes that impacted Puerto Rico from the 1960s to the 1970s with great creative and complex effort. They also show great awareness of the avant-garde movements in Latin America and Europe.
During these periods Puerto Rico was entering into a more dynamic and turbulent colonial modern phase than the one experienced by previous generations. These were cultural times when artists did not have to deal with television and mass media and its new ideas in representing culture like it was happening during the 1970's. A new notion of the existential, the absurd and desolation in the universal sense is also shown in these plays of the 1970s. The dramatists were also very conscious of the artistic equivalents (performative voices rather than literary) presented on an international level in Europe and Latin America. For this  reason they are less insular and more open to experimental (post-avant-gardism) techniques in a more universal fashion. But these young play-writers become more interested in the theatre comming from Latin American, rather than the one from Broadway. The University of Puerto Rico and the Island’s theatres were very open to all kinds of expressions of this genre. These were times when the government offered them in general the economic assistance necessary to function in the proper professional way.
But it should be taken into consideration that non-academic and pop theater flourished and began to claim its space and audience. Some artists and entrepreneurs from television began exploring on very light comedies and characters, like Sunshine’s Café, Luis Vigoreux Productions, Antonio Pantoja, with his gay performances and political satires. These directors took their art to theaters and to the general public in cafes and the popular city carnivals. From the 1930s to the end of the 1970s, according to critics we find the best period in Puerto Rican drama and theatre. For them, as we get closer to our postmodern times, dramatic productions have lost its capacity and symbolic strength for depicting the Puerto Rican cultural ethos. In reality there is a new theatre in need of a different criticism; an activity which has been decaying for different reasons. Times changes, audiences and also the theater as a genre.
In the narrative field, Pedro Juan Soto’s novels Usmail (1959) and Ardiente suelo, fría estación (1961) are extremely well known for their presentation of the anticolonial struggle of this period. Soto was extreamly serious about his profession and his ideology, but his narratives tend to display some deficiency in its narrative structuring and plots. The ideology comes before artistic impression (perhaps thats what he wanted!). But we can notice how the development of the arguments in these narratives begin detaching from conventional and past nationalist allegories. Pedro Juan Soto's narratives were very well accepted, by leftist ideological followers who wanted modern stories in their field of expectations, but keeping the heroic and tragic tellings of the past (the nationalist ones). We notice that these type of narrators have been not able to attract today younger readers, more interested in the media visual arts and its new tellings and performances. The future narrators will have to use narrative techniques and an irony and parody, which the media is not able to handle properly. This is what makes literature's survival in front of the powerful media. But literary audience becomes more narrow each time.
During the 1960s and 70s Emilio Díaz Valcárcel (b. 1929) is more able to write interesting and avant-garde novels like El hombre que trabajó el lunes (1966), Figuraciones del mes de marzo (1972) and Harlem todos los días (1978). Some of these works have won international prizes for their experimentalism with new narrative techniques, attractive plots and surprising styles. We find in his tellings attractive and innovative metaphorical representations of the Puerto Rican world trapped in colonial cities and imprisoned by modernity in a more ideological and alienated sense. He achieves this without being ideologically inclined towards nationalist dichotomies and capable in having an aye for the decadence of old culture and the advance of Mass Modernism. In this sense, Valcárcel is a writer who has left rural problems behind and has given conscious attention to representations of modern urban conflicts on a psychosocial level, and finding the proper new metaphors and allegories for it. With him we have entered in an art more inclined towards the artistic forms of the ending of the twentieth century and it was like that until his recent death (2016). He has been one of our best writers during the last decades and a very respected one. He developed a particular intertextual relations with the novels of the Latin American "boom".
In internal matters, these novels begin to show how Puerto Rican literature starts distancing itself from the dramatic and tragic “criollismo” and the neo-realism that had dominated since the nineteenth century's rural world, and which is emphasized since the 1940’s narrative. In these novels and short stories mentioned we tend to find a portrayal (in some cases with more emphasis than others) of an ironic worldview and experiences of colonial city subjects without the rural prejudices or a nostalgic or tragic national past. These last aspects are left behind and the creators are prepared to look at the city life modernity. These texts also paid attention to new ways and demands in representing socio-historical processes with more perspectivism in the clashing of ideologies, something necessary in what is considered by the critics, good modern literature. (Irony in life and art is what literature tends to be about). Usually many writers historically have taken a pro-independence view, but the obsessiveness given to this ideology did not allow them to adopt the literary irony and perspectives (an heteroglosic sight) of modern art in its best expressions. The best modern literature, in general, since the middle of the twentieth century has tended to pay more metaphorical attention to the events in a complex commercial, colonial and “mass media” city (with new paradoxical perspectives). As the century devolopes with its colonial complexities, literature gives us representations from different points of view (with its heteroglosic and multiple voices and perspectives) and keeps detaching from the nationalist world view and its anxieties and past traumas. But this does not mean that a new nationalism is developing in our contemporary society. The modernity taken by this literary process has already displaced rural mentality and its “neo-criollista” metaphors and nationalistic allegories that come from the 19th century and that reach great strength with the "Generación del 30". But some writers in our actual post-modern society keeps somehow insisting in the need (and responsibility) to keep (to recreate) a nationalist and socialist worldview. Not only literature but the media culture in general keep a detachment from the anglo culture and its commercial empire, given that one third of the population tends to be pro-statehood (since they would like P. R. to become a state of the United States). This is a complex cultural contradiction that many people cannot understand.  This is: why culturaly the people keep national views while in the political they show this desire to be part of a different society? Many people in the Island will adopt a national defense of culture but it does not mean that it represents a political statement as is used to be with the nationalism coming from the 1930s.
We can see now how the last five years of the 1960s brought a very important transitional period in the Puerto Rican society and culture. Its literature became more concerned and critical regarding the financial and media oriented culture as was received from the United States and its capitalist contradictions and the new post-colonialism (a more invisible subaltern ideology). Literature eventually will abandon the previous ways of representing colonialism and begins creating new imagery more concerned with the inaugural subaltern realities, as it was above mentioned.
Migration had been imposed on the Puerto Rican population since 1898. It was however during the 1940s onward the literature of these migrants begins to gain importance. By the 1930s we see writings exposing the experiences of the migrant colonials in relation to the new experience of living in the United States soil. At the beginning of this migratory process, literature follows as a continuation many of the imaginary, allegories and national Puerto Rican symbols. Some Puerto Ricans left the Island and established themselves as subject who became part of the Diaspora, but as time passed a different mentality as artists and intellectuals developed. As time went on, this literature grew and exposed its experience independently of the political and ideological pertinence it had for the lettered islanders. This situation allow the literary expressions of migrants to begin growing with its own content and form, especially from the residents in the "barrios" and ghettos in the New York area during the 1950s and 1960s. The migrant’s literature until today has grown so much that it has its own discourse and cultural process (it would need particular attention in some other essay).
It was by the 1960s and 70s that migrant writings started to show different expressions that corresponded to migrant ethnicity and culture in different ways of struggling through action and art. These texts have started to create its own and independent characteristics, apart from the ones in the Island. Lately (2000- ) there has been a great migration to the Florida area and we can expect a great advancement in literature, mainly because these migrants tends to be highly educated and mostly bilingual and bicultural. These literature will also become part of the Latino culture in the United States, with a different ethos than the one from the Island.
 Going back to the beginning, lets mention Trópico en Manhattan (1951), a novel written by Guillermo Cotto Thorner (1916-1983), which exposes much of the initial migration process with some intensity. Memorias de Bernardo Vega (edited by César Andreu Iglesias in 1979), also reveals initial experiences in New York City and employs a testimonial discourse to understand the inaugural aspects of this new migrant subjectivity in its different ways of being. Writers who showed the different experiences of these migrant colonial subjects grew and expanded their symbolic capacities and ways of communicating through various artistic forms that have been calling the attention of literary and cultural critics constantly.
A group of artists has emerged, who offer singular experiences and ways of exposing the lives of subaltern migrants, in a multicultural context, and that of the so-called “minorities” in the United States. In this aspect we have to single out Piri Thomas’ (1928-2011) Down These Mean Streets, (1964); Nicholasa Mohr’s Nilda, (1974); Nicholas Kanellos (Editor of Revista Chicano-Riqueña from Texas); Miguel Algarín’s (b. 1941) Mongo Affair (1978); and Tato Laviera’s (b. 1951) La Carreta Made a U Turn, (1979). A very well known artist of Newyorican poetry is Pedro Pietri (1944-2004) with his famous Puerto Rican Obituary (1973). Another writer who has made valuable contributions in art and literature is Elizam Escobar (b. 1949), a nationalist imprisoned in the United States and who now works as a free artist in Puerto Rico. David Hernández, Frank Varela, Julio Noboa, Sandra María Estevez, among others, are important and valuable writers forming part of the literary culture from Chicago. La Revista Hostosiana/Hostos Review (Vol. 2, 2005) offers a volume entitled Open Mic/Micrófono abierto, in which the works of new artists are presented. Papiros de papel: Antología de la poesía puertorriqueña en Nueva York (1991), by Pedro López Adorno, gathers the experience of Boricuas from the United States and the poetry from the 1930s period. Revista Chicano-Riqueña, created in 1973 and directed by Nikolas Kanellos, gave importance to the Mexican-American presence within the migratory process and the growing Latino culture in the United States. In 1979, Kanellos created the Arte Público Press, an editorial that has published important eouvres of minorities in the USA. This includes works of Tato Laviera, Sandra Cisneros, Ana Castillo, and Miguel Algarín. Marc Zimmerman is a critic (from Chicago) who has published some essays with complex analysis of the Puerto Rican and Latino literature in the United States. Lately he has published Defending their own (The Culturl Turn of US Puerto Ricans, 2011). His essays demonstrate the great theoretical thinking Latino literature has reached and how this works go beyond  Latin American interests. They are part of a complex culture in paradigmatic changes within the postmodern society.

Literary Modernity by the Middle of the Twentieth Century and the Generation of the 1970s.

By the middle of the twentieth century, Hugo Margenat (1933-1957) transformed the Puerto Rican traditional poetry that dominated until the 1950s. He transcended the works of “criollistas” and Metaphysical Transcendentalists who wrote before him and opened the language to a new lyrical and metaphorical way of expressing subjectivity in relation to the “otherness” in a political and “mystic” sense, using an innovative and modern inner subjectivity that gave a special depth to the Puerto Rican literary discourse. He elaborated a kind of poetry that looks ahead to the future, and created a rupture within the metaphysical lyricism so dominating before him (by the Transcendentalists). He also avoided the typical classic nationalists symbols, while renovating the language of this ideology relate it more with a new modern sensibility.
Margenat also started a political militancy offering a new visibility to the city's language and the new meanings of urban life regarding subjectivity within a more complex ideological and literary context. He was also interested in “compromised social art”, without abandoning the struggle with daily situations and new human labyrinths seen in the modern and colonial industrial society and the anxieties brought by this new kind of society. His work still retains some mystical views, but somewhat different from the still active Trascendentalistas poets of his time. His poetry includes a new personal and deep psychic dimension, something not undertaken to its profound levels in literature during his period.
Poets like Margenat increased the use of ideological protests in works like Lámpara apagada (1954) and Intemperie. (1955). He was well appreciated by poets who were interested in the defense of patriotic values and actions, but who looked for new ways of expressing personal experiences and a different sense of lyrical art within the imaginary (and in many aspects, real) modern colonial nation. There is a certain vanguardism remaining in this poet below his ideological neo-rationalist (marxist neorealism) aesthetic posture.  
The poets of the 1960s literary journals like Guajana, and Mester y Palestra were also very active and creative in these aspects of looking for a new form of art, but keeping their nationalist view from the 1930s. The Guajana poets, in particular, maintained the ideology of the old “criollismo” and in their aggressive literary commitment they were mostly conservatives but were capable of attracting young audiences. They struggled with an innovative aesthetics consciousness belonging and getting closer and closer to the new industrial and mediatic realities of the 1960s. They also showed a strong militancy against imperialism that was very important and necessary for the nationalist tendency that Puerto Rican literature had mantained during the twentieth century.
At the beginning of the 1970s there were some literary changes and ruptures. The important journal called Ventana (1972) brought a more avant-gardist poetry, than the one we find in the previously mentioned journals. Ventana gave attention to innovative textual and discursive ways of handling expressions more in dialogue with what was happening in the Latin American leftist movements. It poets showed a strong faith in the Cuban and Chilean revolution during the beginnings of the decade of the seventies, and in this aspect they followed the previous mention poets of the 60s. This was a new tendency not only in Puerto Rican literature but in the Latin American discourse as well. An interest in the Latin American "boom" and "magic realism" with all its complexity took place. The anti-poetry and the verse of protest began to be visible in the literary scene. But their language, metaphors and literary approach was different from the one in the past. They reach a new level of equating literature with ideology inits most explicit way. Deconstructionism began to somehow show itself in literature, but the writers were not conscious about its ideological and hermeneutical implications. This was given to the spirit of big rupture with the past history and culture (including the one from the conservative independence classic movements). Two more decades were needed to be aware of these aspects (which some creators and critics paradoxically rejected, regarding its presence and its pertinence in the literary scenery). The avant-vangardism of the 70s can be considered the last movement of modernity in Puerto Rico and it rejected vehemently the post-modernist literature (as we will see).
Poets that held strong and dynamic, ideological and artistic views of the 1970s were, for example: Vicente Rodríguez Nietzsche (b. 1942), Andrés Castro Ríos (b. 1942) Edwin Reyes (1944-2001), Manuel Torres Santiago (b. 1940), Marcos Rodríguez Freese (b. 1941), Wenceslao Serra Deliz (b. 1941), Edgardo López Ferrer (b. 1943), Ramón Felipe Medina (b. 1935), Marina Arzola (1938-1976), Iris M. Zavala (b. 1936), Angela María Dávila (1944-2004), Irving Sepúlveda Pacheco (b. 1947), Luis Antonio Rosario Quiles (b. 1936), Víctor Fragoso (1944-1982), and Luz María Umpierre (b. 1947). Many of them were very creative in regard to new imaginaries and the radical ideological militancy of the 1960s and the 70s (radical pro-independence views and marxist socialism). Even today, the great majority of them still very productive and have a firm poetic and militant insistence in their radical perspectives of culture and language.  A different type of postmodern literature is now, at the beginning of the twenty first century, taking over and bringing a new breed of writers. Some of the 1970s creators have died already but in general they tend to be placed into oblivion in these postmodern times we live today so occupied in the technological and post-capitalist future.
We should keep in mind that, in the 1970's decade, writers from Ventana’s times (1967), and after, renovated the language and textual complexities of the new trans avant-gardism as a reaction to the post-war conservatism of the 1950s and the establishment's political reactionary beginnings of the 1960s. They gave form to a more combative and different poetry dealing with events and expectations relevant to particular cultural and social endeavours in the seventies. They also had to deal firmly with socio-cultural structures that had changed drastically in a conservative ideological (patriarchal) context persisting (symbolically inherited) from the past. In reality, they were the first poets to receive direct impact from the media and techno capitalists context that from the 1950s to the 1970s mutated the relations between the conscience of the subject and the post-natural and artificial world built with new structures and devices never seen before in history (the technological and instrumental sphere). For these reasons they took a more ironic and ludic standing in creating a distinctive poetic voice in the textual productions, which were intrinsically tied to Romanticism and Criollismo (the influence which form the Nation was difficult to overcome or leave behind). Furthermore, they organized their discourse with a communicational perspective and the pragmatic effect of a language never seen before. Crónica de tres décadas: Poesía puertorriqueña actual —de los sesenta a los ochenta— (1989), by Rubén González, is a book that offers a very good critical view and an antological selection of poems, of this period being discussed.
In general, the “Generación del 70” writers created a rupture with the patriarchal canon and they changed the tendency of the nationalist elitism in the first half of the century’s literature. This was due in part to the relevance of popular culture, which acquired new visibility and significance not to be ignored. In this respect, we have to mention outstanding journals like Zona de carga y descarga (1972), Penélope y el Nuevo mundo (1972), the already mentioned Ventana, and later Reintegro (1980). We find in them some of the literary innovators that, having a clear idea on how to defy the past cannon, will take command of the lettered scenery or the imaginary “lettered city” that remained. It has to be taken into consideration they have now undergone and confronted great changes during the 1980s and 90s. But already by the middle of the 1980s, this 1970's creators started facing strong resistance and criticism from postmodern thinkers of the end of the century that were beginning to present their texts to the public view. Due to certain epistemologies and perspectives changes these former writers are the ones who bring a period of paradigmatic change. As time goes by, another new socio-cultural structure would appear, bringing perspectives that were not necessarily well viewed with previous 70s artistic conceptions. The following half of the 1980s decade will open its doors to very proliferous young creators with different ideas regarding literary creation and who are part of the fast changing socio-cultural context. It was a new promotion of writers more eclectic and heterogeneous in their way of articulating culture and literature and will begin to abandon the old “narratives” and the modernist poetic way of representing. We should introduce in this perspective the notion of post colonial ideas and deconstructionism (with international theories of J. Derrida, H. Bhabha, G, Spivak, J. Kristeva, E. Said, L. Irigaray, J. Butler).
Two or three decades before this changes, Rosario Ferré (1938-2016) along with the also distinguished poet, Olga Nolla (1938-2001), was the director of the radical, enthusiastic and experimental journal Zona de carga y descarga at the beginning of the 1970s. Together with Manuel Ramos Otero they confronted what they called the old canonical “Vacas Sagradas” (Sacred Cows, referring to the old elite of writers and critics). They were also referring to the professors in the Hispanic Studies Department from the University of Puerto Rico and their old scholarly practices, like the ones which followed Concha Meléndez, Margot Arce de Vazquez, and Francisco Manrique Cabrera (the last one, monetary collaborator, curiously, of these new journals). We find now young writers given to experimentalists and the avant-garde and who were against the established academia and traditional scholars. Strong ties with the Latin American “boom” narrators —like Vargas Llosa (1936- ), García Márquez (1927-2015), and Carlos Fuentes (1928-2012), were developed. They also favored the anti-poetry of the Chilean, Nicanor Parra (1914- ), and to the new sociology of historical and cultural proceses of the Marxist critic, Angel Rama (1926-1983). The attention to the Cuban 20th Century literature became also important (like the one of Alejo Carpentier and Lezama Lima). Angel Rama was the leader somehow of these new movement (he and his talented wife (Marta Traba) were this time living in Puerto Rico as political refugees). The poets bagan to see with some skepticism the Cuban cultural revolution in its cultural policy regarding the case of the poet Padilla (who became imprisoned after he made public his homosexuality).
Rosario Ferré was the creator of strong feminist poems and anti-patriachal short stories published in her book Papeles de Pandora in 1976 (poems and shot stories written and published before in the journal Zona de carga y descarga). She gained a reputation as a pioneer feminist and trans-avant-gardist writer of international prestige and a very originally discourse later seen in feminist Latin American prestigious writings). Later, she published the very interesting and well defined historical and feminist novels Maldito amor (1988) and La casa de la laguna (1996). During the 1970s she was a self-proclaimed pro-independence socialist, but later changed her ideology and became more conservative and contradictory (see the critic Frances Aparicio). Due to this change, Ferré became the object of reproachfulness by some people and critics, especially since her father (Luis A. Ferré, 1904-2003) was the conservative pro-statehood governor in Puerto Rico, from 1968-1972. But this conservative inputs can be also intertwined without prejudice within the literary activity which should be done without promotions or rejection. This is why critics like Frances Aparicio, Frances Negrón, Juan Gelpí, Juan Dushesne, Agnes Lugo, Juan Flores (and many others) will adopt semiological, deconstructionists, postcolonial and poststructural theories (avoiding their personal opinions).
Luis Rafael Sánchez (b. 1936) is one of the most avant-gardist and talented writers of these times. By the 1960s, he was already well noticed and mentioned in the lettered communities, especially for his initial theater work. It was his short stories in En cuerpo de camisa (1966) and his drama, La pasión según Antígona Pérez (1988), which brought him extraordinary fame on the Island. In this drama he represents characters and portrays pertinent symbolic events of the modern complexity of the city life. He handles a literary discourse in a very original and skillful way. As an interpretation, and its deep structure, the play calls for the end of national and patriarchal discourse and foretells of a new period dominated by the ideological cynicism of archetypical dictatorial authorities in the world. This is the way is seen in the tyrannical character of the mentioned drama, Creón. In the text, Sánchez also pays attention to new media manipulations and maneuvers of the present culture, which declares the death of the classic Socratic protagonist of the play, Antígona Pérez. 
In 1976, Sánchez published the impressive avant-gardist anti-novel, La guaracha del Macho Camacho, and a decade later the drama Quíntuples (1887), and the novel/essay, La importancia de llamarse Daniel Santos (1988). He is also the author of the famous essay/short story “La guagua aérea” (1894), which “mocks” the 'back and forth' migratory travels of Puerto Ricans; not only because of their uncanny behavior but also their particular sly (subaltern) psychology. In this text he also offers a new chronotopy (notions of time and space) of what could be the first critique of Puertorricaness and its metaphorical transits and traumas as a people. His  skilled essays (press articules), published mostly in El Nuevo Día and Claridad newspaper portrays with great irony and hard humor the latest cultural problems in Puerto Rico. Regardless of his trans-generational captious language and ironic social thought about present society, some contemporary postmodern thinkers consider Luis Rafael Sánchez to be very nostalgic and avant-gard modern writer (in a negative sense). In my opinion, he is one of the best Puerto Rican writers of the century and his nostalgia is part of a literary path that should be analyzed. My only claim would be his ambiguities about gender in these somewhat liberal and open times which allow to speak spontaneously about gender politics.
An important and very different writer was Manuel Ramos Otero (1948-1990). He surprised and shocked readers of his time by offering narratives and poems that refuted the canon, especially with his gay literary expressions. His most notable writings are Concierto de metal para un recuerdo (1971), La novelabingo (1976), Página en blanco y staccato (1987), and Invitación al polvo (1994). Contemporary writers appreciate him in general especially for his militant and transparent sexual orientation (his gayness). He was not so well understood in his own time given his fame and attractive writings. Ramos Otero was either avoided or beloved for his bluntness and sense of desolation in life and his rejection of the ideology and political conservatism (even against the radical movements) prevalent in his times. He is one of the most respected writers in our contemporary times.
Iván Silén (b. 1944) is another innovative and neo-surrealist poet who collaborated with the journal Master (1967) and who wrote some curious but serious avat-gardists texts, like Después del suicidio (1970), El pájaro loco (1971), and Los poemas de Filí-Melé (1976). The critic José Luis Vega (b. 1948) is also an innovative voice in Signos vitales (1974) and La naranja entera (1983). He is the author of an important anthology of short stories entitled Reunión de espejos (1983), with an exemplar and well thought introduction and very good selections of short stories. As a very respected scholar, lately Vega has been a member in La Real Academia de la Lengua Española in Puerto Rico, and is well known for his leadership and defense of the Spanish language and culture. He is one of the most respected scholars in present times.
Angela María Dávila (1944-2004) is a follower of Julia de Burgos, in a complex and inspirational and avant-gardist disposition. She is the author of the most original, complex but clearly inspired poems in Animal fiero y tierno (1977). This is one of the most impressive books of poems that have been published in the last few decades. It uses feminism in an ideological and mythical-maternal transgression with new poetic codes and metaphors that bring a new step in Latin American poetry. José Ramón Meléndez (b. 1952) also brings us a very original, defiant and linguistically complex poetic discourse in Desimos désimas (1972-76). He has been a literary leader and inspirational source for young writers during the last few decades. Meléndez is a follower of complex poets in Latin America (Borges, Lima) and he enjoys subverting the poetic language phonetically and gramaticaly (like Juan Ramón Jiménez and Borges). Carmelo Rodríguez Torres (1941-2016) is the author of a complex an interesting novel and very well written short novel, Veinte siglos después del homicidio (1971). Tomás López Ramírez (b. 1946) offers the innovative (and later ignored and forgotten) collection of short stories, Cordial magia enemiga (1971). As a writer  he detaches himself from the traditional and national literary discourse, and this is probably why his book of short stories was not well recognized as it should. (Nowadays we can distinguished what it meant!). Carmen Lugo Fillipi (b. 1940) and Ana Lydia Vega (b. 1946) published some very well received short stories in Vírgenes y mártires (1981). Later, Ana Lydia Vega published Encancaranublado (1982) and Falsas crónicas del sur (1991). She is an anthologist in El tramo Ancla (1988), which contains skillfully selected essays showing the ironic mentality of already mature writers of her "Generation del 70". Vega is one of the best contemporary writers due to her quick and referential discourse, but maintaining a precise stylistic use of the Spanish language, which is also demonstrated, mainly in her essays published in Claridad and El Nuevo Día newspapers since the 1980s. Some postmodern writers are beginning to see with irony her ideas because of the nostalgia she maintains in what regards a neo-national (somewhat ideal) past which seems for her to be better than the present postmodern times. This may be true but it is not an acceptable critical statement; it is rather part of the Postmodern Manifesto. A critic should (firstly) analyze literature and culture as she/he thinks it is in the best comprehension of the text, and not as it should be ideologically or aesthetically, and according to the moment's view. The Postmodern critics are perhaps the most fanatical and jealous thinkers in the twentieth century, with their ideas about culture and the ideological positions any contemporary subjects should take. For them, a writer who sustains a Modernist view of history and culture should not be distinguished at the top. These strong ideas of the postmodern can place them in a vary authoritarian position, for the dislike of the old generation writers who still alive and active in creative activities.
Since the 1970s, in Puerto Rico we can distinguish a significant group of innovative voices in the complex lyrical discourse such as: Etnairis Rivera (b. 1949), Vanessa Droz (b. 1952) Luz Ivonne Ochart (b. 1949), Aurea María Sotomayor (b. 1951), Nemir Matos Cintrón (b. 1949), and Lilliana Ramos Collado (b. 1954) (among many others). All  these writers have contributed to create a varied and complex poetic universe of signs and metaphors, which situates them into artistically diverse discursive perspectives, defining feminism somewhat differently from the 1960s one. In general, they abandon the patriotic and nationalist patriarcal mandates of the 1930s symbolic and imaginary inheritance and give more relevance to being a woman in its quotidian and petit (non-essential) experiences. Women are not only in a debate with the patriarchal society but are reclaiming a difference in history and universal time. In being more existentialists but less angry in their feminism approach, they begin to react strongly but calmly to andronormative hidden commands within culture and their suppression in history (just like it happened to the black slaves since the 16th century). This allows them to find a new metaphorical discourse visibility and a new literary performance  regardless androcentric-historical demands. Until today  the feminism lyrical discourse has contributed to give to the Puerto Rican literature a very high standing, in the national and international sense.
Since the beginning of the 1970s we also have the prolific and very productive lyrical voices of José María Lima (1934-2009), Hjalmar Flax (b. 1947), Salvador Villanueva (b. 1947), Jorge A. Morales (b. 1948), Jan Martínez (b. 1954), Marcos Reyes Dávila (b. 1952), Félix Córdova Iturregui (b. 1944), Alfredo Villanueva Collado (b. 1944), Edgardo Nieves Mieles (b. 1957), Carlos Rodríguez Matos (b. 1949), Víctor Fragoso (b. 1950), Rafael Acevedo (b. 1959), Erik Landrón (b. 1953), among many others. Most of this poets will keep the national affiliations but will have their escapades to a more open and international poetic discourse. They begin to give more diversity and ideological openness to the lyrical expressions not so searched in the Puerto Rican lyrical discourse.
These poets become part of a generation of creators defining a new lyrical discourse that fluctuates from the very sublime and aureatic to a quotidian and down-to-earth way of viewing the imagery in poetic practice. Many of them remain inspired by traditional allegoric and patriotic defense, but nevertheless they do not deny or avoid a self-recognition in the minimality anand daily expressions of a materialist existence without utopian visions (many still insisting in their Marxists views). For this reason, they tend to abandon the “romanticism, "neorealism" and “neo-criollism” that we still find in the so-called Guajana Generation from the 1960s. As a group of writers they are closer to a more complex modernity regarding their symbolic depiction of human interactions with society and the every time more manipulated (post)ideological world they begin to live. The Cuban Revolution still an inspiration for them because of its anti-imperialist resistance. But rarely their literature would envision the techno-media reality that was beginning to infiltrate their symbolic and real surroundings and which demanded an art with a different perspective (this would be a more post-modern view they do not have).
The 1970s poet's have the tendency to adopt a more metonymical and experimental expression in their textual constructions as they recapture the avant-gardist tradition from the 1920s, which revisits cubism, expressionism, futurism, creationism, etc. They portray the modern society that they are confronting with a redefinition of the avant-gardism. This can be considered an effort with rhetorical benefits, and curiously it has been something followed later by the more postmodern poets of today. Like most radicals from the 60s and 70s in Latin America, given their faith in the socialist revolution, the 1970 poets still maintain some ideological utopias but also believe in language and literary revolution in its formal and aesthetic sense. It is not only a matter of been ideologically realistic. For them art does not imply only content and reflection of social problems but also the creation of a new language for the revolutionary society they have in mind. They claim a more performative language and literary discourse. This explains their tendency to disarticulate language, as we know it, and recreating Modernist and Symbolist movements of the twentieth century. Not only this situation has pertinence in the case of poetry, where the textual intervention (in language) is more evident, but also in other genres as well. Some of them even come close to the postmodern tendencies that we see today. But these writers continue the Modernist (avant-gardist) criteria that Language has an independence from reality (following the examples of Juan Ramón Jiménez, Jorge L. Borges, Lezama Lima,  Octavio Paz).
There are some other genres and discourses of importance. Since the middle of the 1970s, Edgardo Rodríguez Julia (b. 1946) offers us important and original testimonial essays (memoirs) like Las tribulaciones de Jonás, (1976), El entierro de Cortijo (1981) and Una noche con Iris Chacón (1986). Abandoning the elitist Pedrerian intellectual cabinet (with  elitits attitudes) allows Juliá to come closer to popular social sectors in his referential uses of perspectives and philosophies in common daily life. He is also the author of well narrated fictional events in La renuncia del héroe Baltazar (1974), La noche oscura del niño Avilés (1984), Sol de medianoche (2000) and Mujer con sombrero panamá (2004), among many others novels. For some foreign critics (Antonio Benítez Rojo), these texts make Rodreiguez Juliá one of the best writers of present day Latin American narrative.
Magali García Ramis (b. 1946) is the author of the innovative best-seller called Felices días, tío Sergio (1986). In this novel she portrays the story of a girl narrating with nostalgia her experiences with a nationalist and gay uncle. Her formal approach to the genre is Neo-realist and Symbolist, and very defiant in political and genre-sexual matters. She wrote also interesting short stories in La familia de todos nosotros (1976), and recently, she has published Las horas del sur (2005), paying attention to aspects of the modern historical development and memoir in the Island's life of the twentieth century beginnings. But Felices días... becomes one of the most read novels (along with La charca and La llamarada) today.
In Seva (1984), Luis López Nieves (b. 1950) creates an innovative news debate about the role of the literary text and the ambiguous relation between fiction and history. In the beginning, many people read this fictional story (Seva) in the newspaper Claridad as if it gave a real historical event about the invasion of the USA, but in a very uncanny manner. But quickly readers came to understand everything was just a game and a joke. He is also the creator of an important blog in internet where he publishes the most important literatures texts of our modern period (Seva).
Marta Aponte Alsina (b. 1945) bring us singular narrations in La casa de la loca (2001) and in the novel El cuarto rey mago (1996). Critics, unjustifiably, have not paid enough attention to this serious and capable writer. She has been an important editorial voice in the Island. Mayra Montero (b. 1952) is another important narrator with many books like La última noche que pasé contigo (1991), which has been very well accepted by readers. She also deserves more attention by the readers and critics. Nevertheless, she is very well known for her cultural criticism in a weekly column in El Nuevo Día newspaper. Along with LR. Sánchez, and  Ana Lydia Vega, she offers one of the more coherent and deep criticism of contemporary culture.
Edgardo Sanabria Santaliz (b. 1951) is a clever young writer in poetry, essays and narratives, which include El día que el hombre piso la luna, (1984). Edgardo Nieves Mieles (b. 1957) is the author of El relamazo del semen en la mejilla ortodoxa (1987) and El amor es una enfermedad del hígado (1993). These are his first books of poems in his constantly growing literary collection. He can be considered an avant-gardist and at the same time an ideologically modern-leftist writer. He also demonstrates to be an eclectic poet, whose cyber-blogs are of rebellious comments, and a polemist critic of literary culture. Just like him we find many fine writers in the Island who are unfortunedly no so well known or unjustly not well recognized. He offers an example of the difficulty of surviving (as a critical voice) in a media dominating culture whose interest is in a light and mediocre obedience to postmodernity in its worst expression.
Most recently, Félix Córdova (b. 1944) has published El sabor del tiempo (2005), a novel with favorable criticism from important literary experts, because of his polished style and the firm ideological and radical persistence in contemporary modern culture and its struggles. His publications include short stories like the ones we find in Sobre esta difícil tierra (1993), which are very dynamic and radically ideological in their perspectives and intertextualities. He is an expert in economy, and has recently been leading a new radical political party (PPT – The Partido del Pueblo Trabajador) on the island (in the elections of 2012-2016). He is a poet that coincides aesthetically with the Generación del 70, having probably the most socialist but humanist (somewhat idealist) expectations.
A group of academic essayist became relevant in the “Generación del 70”, with their proposal of new socialist, populist and leftist perspectives in general. These views were in opposition to the elitist mentality, nationalism and conservative modernism taken by previous intellectuals, and who dominated art views since the generation of Pedreira in the 1930s. We encounter undergoing paradigmatic ruptures with these writers. Juan Flores, in Insularismo e ideología burguesa (1979), presents views of rebellion against the national Pedrerian canon. In this paradigmatic book we find important essays, where he takes an anti-Pedrerian perspective, not grasped by anyone before and more in tune with the radical ideas of migrants from USA (Puerto Ricans and Chicanos) and with Latin American Marxists. He had a big impact on the islanders’ readers and was read with some amazement because his iconoclastic style and surprizing approach, never so well exposed before in the Island.
The sociologist Ángel Quintero, in Conflicto de clase y política en Puerto Rico (1986), gives in this sociological study of Puerto Rican culture a paradigmatic example for a new historical structuralism of British tradition. This approach allowed him to bring new Marxist interpretations on the Island’s history and society applied to achieve an innovative perspective to subaltern culture in its colonial economic development. The cultural critic José Luis González has also brought polemic and innovative views in El país de cuatro pisos (1980), especially in his accusations to what he considered was a racist tradition of academic historians and nationalists in Puerto Rico since the nineteenth century until his own time. With this book, he brought a new way of thinking about culture on the Island, taking into consideration the ethnic perspective the white culture had blocked and ignored for two centuries. He pointed  out how historical interpretations were in its roots of pre-conscious white ethnic point of views. González lived in México since the mid 1950s and during his visits to Puerto Rico in the 1970s he became a very dynamic polemist, with a calm and rational attitude. By his side we find the literary and cultural critic, Arcadio Díaz Quiñonez, in La memoria rota (1993), denouncing (with some hidden nostalgia) the tendency of the twentieth century culture to ignore and valorize its own history and national heritage. Díaz Quiñones is very aware of the cultural changes previously mentioned, and capable of expressing it in a simple and scholar manner. During the 70s and 80s, he was a strong believer in socialism and its political possibilities for the Island's political future. Later he changed to a more postmodern and skeptical view (post-structuralist).
These texts of the 1970s and 1990s generation of cultural thinkers just mentioned, began to abandon the patriotic idealism of the past 1930s traditional canon and tend to become more related to the historicism of the new Marxism (from the 1960s and 1970s,) which related to the intellectual tradition in Latin America. Advocating a national modernity and having the popular culture in mind, they left behind the elitist “Lettered City” nation, something explained by the Uruguayan scholar, Angel Rama in La ciudad letrada (1979). (he was a professor at the University of Puerto Rico for a while). They also claimed and insisted in a redemptive and anti-imperial effort that, in their opinion, should be taken by all Puerto Rican citizens. These were intellectuals interested in a radical democratic society and socialism. They were followers of the best of the rational and political thought of the twentieth century, in the way proposed by the Hungarian Marxist, George Lukacs (1885-1971), and the Marxist and Existentialist, Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980). Contemporary postmodern critics of our times have ignored these important theorists from their readings and perspectives. A rupture with epistemological rationalism and cultural modernism begins to take place with the so called millennials. They began abandoning the nationalist perspectives of the national narrative with modernist ideological foundations.
By the 1990s these 70s writers became somewhat surprised by a group of young scholars who were more intellectually inclined towards postmodern and deconstructive epistemologies. This happened in the last half of the 1980s society and especially during the 1990s. We find now new thinkers responding to the anti-national globalization and ideas that disarticulated the premises behind socialist and neo-national modern ideas attached to the falling socialism at the end of the 1980s. These were times of the neoliberalism strong developing and its ties with the globalization process. Capitalism was tracing a new route and the scholars had no alternatives in responding to these fast changes of the technological and cybernetic society that was taking over. By this time even Juan Flores and Arcadio Díaz Quiñones adopted some post-structural and postcolonial visions and thoughts, which made them more reflective about aspects affecting identity and historical constructions and developments in times that were undeniably technologically-globalized and full of a fast changing postcapitalism.
By this times a book written by Arcadio Díaz Quiñones’ El arte de bregar (2000) brought new and necessary metaphorical tropes. He was living in Princeton since the mid 1980s, and this time he was surrounded by an intellectual atmosphere of postructuralists and postcolonial scholars that influenced him into changing his orthodox  national Marxist views. This transformation was even more intense in a younger group of scholars who studied in the USA and in Europe at the end of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first century. Some of these scholars stayed in North American soil and others returned to Puerto Rico with new ideas and confronted the Puerto Rican thought and sense of identity developed since the neo-national Pedrerian times (and who dominated the liberal and the national thought in the Island). At the same time, the institutions in charge of the colonial changes of cultural thought will not give importance anymore to students and literary people, in their social projects and proposals. Behind the national-colonial events we find the regular citizen (part of the mass culture) entering into the routine of voting (media seduced) for demagogues, anti-intellectuals and light propaganda oriented politicians. Literary people and intellectuals faced a new socio-cultural paradigm, which placed them in a subordinated plane and in a displaced (subaltern and nomadic) social bubble. We still living those times of changes.

New Cultural Paths
During the New Millennium’s Threshold 

Today, many writers and, specifically, the cultural essayists of the 1970’s movement in Puerto Rico are under aggressive criticism by postmodern thinkers like Juan Dushesne, Ramón Grosfoguel, Carlos Pabón and Arturo Terrecilla. By the last half of the 80s and the 1990s, new journals on the Island, like bordes, Nómada and Postdata became the main sources of expressing cultural deconstruction criticisms following contemporary philosophers like Jacques Derrida, Jean-François Lyotard, Gianni Vattimo, and Julia Kristeva (among many other postructuralists). The theoretical fields in Europe and North America, in general, offered a transformation in relation to the intelectual thinking identified with the past modern ideas and philosophies (since the 17th century's Illustration). The new pre-Millennials and Millennials post thinkers criticize the past modern ways of conceptualizing the Rationalism that had dominated since the Illustration and the Romantic periods of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This modern ways of thinking were the ones followed in Latin America and Puerto Rico in a subaltern-colonial sense. The postmodern critic begins to see the subaltern (colonial) way of thinking and the difference (the otherness) in the epistemological sense of rupture with the past (the episteme dominating socio-cultural thinking since the 18th century). For the Postmodern critic, both Latin America and Puerto Rico are part of this otherness, which has been consciously and subconsciously denied and displaced to the margins as if it were a stain or a negative identity (like been black or a racially hybrid abject being). It should be kept in mind that it was (in part) the 1920s avant-gardism that began questioning these modern concepts that fallowed the ideas of lineal progress and advancement in history, which these postmodern tend to critize and reject. Both, Metaphysical Essentialism and Marxist dialectics are rejected by Postmodernism. The Marxist movement was specially targeted when it kept proclaiming the triumph of humanistic hopes through socialism, which nevertheless collapsed by the middle of the 1980s (mainly for its modern elitist and blindness that ended in a form of imperial dogmatism). The emerging of the latest Poststructuralist and Deconstructionist theories[16], since the 1980s, has been transforming drastically the field of socio-cultural criticism of almost the whole twentieth century, and its been having its strong effect in Puerto Rico in the last three decades like in the rest of the western world. But there is a post 1970s movement in creative writing and thinking that is struggling to define itself in front of these ideas and is breaking drastically with the modern past. The rational essentialism of the Romantic or Realistic past is perceived as an Utopia in these postmodern times when negativity and difference (the "otherness") are seen with paradoxical enthussiasm.
Some of these innovative ideas also began in the 1930s with the Frankfurt School in Germany. Most of their members started escaping from European Fascism to America before the Second World War. Similar theories continued to develop in France especially during the 1960s. Many new and classic books with radical ideas of rupture about the Humanities and Social Sciences, which dominated the European and American thought, were translated into English and Spanish, and influenced many writers from that era. Liberal North American universities also began incorporating the extreme side of these ideas and new paradigms of thought since the 1980s, with their teachers, courses, journals, ciber-blogs (the North-American thinkers, the post-marxist Fredric Jameson and the Oriental Edward Said, were pivotal in these changes of thought). The socialist and neo-nationalist ideas that dominated within the University of Puerto Rico during the 1960s showed some resistance toward the understanding of these ideas that at the long run would take to post-structuralism and post-modernist way of thinking.
These postmodern ideas had its effects in Latin America, offering a change from the anticolonial ideas, and radical ideologies dominating until the 1970s, to the transforming in the postcolonial and subaltern way of thought which became evident during the 1990s. Thinkers who were racially and ethically (intellectually) different became important in these changes, and began dominating the western academia with their postructural, socio-semiotic and postcolonial theories. Some of these cultural critics were, emigrants from the third world, who had studied in Western official universities: Homi Bhabha (b. 1949), Gayatri C. Spivak (b. 1942), Edward Said (1935-2003).[17] Puerto Rico was no exception in its contact with these new ideas and was influenced by such paradigmatic transformations on cultural thought. It claimed skeptic and nihilist ways of thinking, and in conceiving the subaltern positioning of the third world people. Now the ideas were very different from the Marxists and radical-liberal ones that kept too attached to the modern past theories (including Frantz Fanon). This historical and intellectual changes allowed the new generations of the 1990s and from the 2000 on, to offer a very different literature and began creating a new ideological "left" or at least a new cultural perspective very disglosic and anti-essentialist in the philosophical sense.
Students who traveled to European and North American universities from the 1980 to 2000 incorporated these new theoretical thoughts capable of rapidly creating new thinking and criticisms with their different Manifestos, theories, and the famous Cultural Studies that were taking shape in England since 1950[18]. A young intelligentsia returned to Puerto Rico and some have stayed in United States, creating a new wave of Puerto Rican writers and critics. They tend to travel across national and territorial boundaries (territories) and create new symbolic and imaginary frontiers. This is not only in the geographical but also in the socio-phycological sense (the cultural-Symbolic Order), and brings an epistemic brake with the modern ideas that endured since the European Illustration, and began giving a strong militancy to writers during the 1980s. That is why the Nationalism and the Marxist thought began to loose its cultural significance (the fall of the German wall is no simple event). The fact of been a more defined and "invisible" marginal colony of United States and its ideological aggressions reinforced the declining of the radical ideas from the 1970s national and socialists institutions in Puerto Rico. Globalized imperialism, beyond nationalism and socialism, became the new and more powerful enemy to some of the young writers. Even though a sense of nihilism permeates the postmodern promotion of writers.
The new promotion of Puerto Rican thinkers since the middle of the 1980s criticized the persistence of traditional Puerto Rican anxiety in defending neo-nationalist modern ideas of the past, and their incapacity to get rid of the pro-independence haunting, its uncounscious demands, its frustrations of failure and cultural anxieties, which comes from the nineteenth century struggles and failures. Patriarcal nationalist ideology became under attack by these new groups (Postmodern or not). Primordially, Postmodern intelectualls payed attention to the post-capitalist and globalized media dominating now what can be called a post-society within a post-historical period of the X Generation of 2000. Around the world, there has been a move towards the transformation of socio-economical structures and views, even in the most powerful nations, including the United States. As a result, in the 1980s, Puerto Rico’s colonial situation began changing drastically and affecting the traditional and the established academics and artistic sectors. For the modernist pro-independence and traditional Puerto Ricans it has been of course very difficult to understand these structural changes in social thought and critical thinking, proclaimed now by poststructuralist and subaltern thinkers. At the base of all this changes there are economic, political and cultural forces transforming the society from regular fordist capitalism to transnationalism and transcapitalism (postfordism)[19]. The “welfare state” and the economical dependence that the Puerto Rican liberals more or less successfully developed during the 1950s and 60s (the highest achievement of Modernity in the Island), began to enter in a big financial and ideological postcolonial crisis along with the failures of United States liberal social movements after the Clinton era. At the same time pro-independence sectors in Puerto Rico began loosing the political and popular power they had achieved because their incapacity to respond properly with their ideas in a postmodern and media dominated world. Radical ways of political practice and protests lost their targets. Their language, philosophies and literature were not in tune with the changes and the new mental structures of the more mediatic young people (cellular phones, computers, "instrumental and technological reasoning") and the  demanding views in accordance to their light and relative ideology (which have changed dramatically from the ones we had during the revolutionary 1960s and 1970s).
This have had its affects in conceptual literary and aesthetic productions and constructions. A generation of younger theorists and social thinkers begin to adopt new critical views and language, using a more post-colonialist and post-cultural interpretation of reality to be in tune with the changes that involves the whole society and world. The new critical discourses began to talk about post-history, imaginary cultural constructions, new paradigms, and “cultural studies” (mixing high culture with the so-called low, popular culture). The Puerto Rico that young people hear and see in their cellulars and computers is wider and different from the ones we experienced from the old modern media (radio, television, newspapers). But the particular ways these young writers begin to respond (critically) with their art and cultural performances in general has to be analyzed with de-constructive mentality.
From a postmodernist’s view, the events and structures transforming the international community had an impact in the Puerto Rican community as well. Now colonization not only came from the visible and invasive Imperial Other (the United States) — like the neonational thinking would see it—, but also from the technological and postcapitalist powers dominating the “global-village”[20] with its tecno-media devices and somewhat transparent enforcements and commands. The postmoderns began calling this leftist established groups of the past: neo-nationals. But some of these so called neo-nationals have been very persistent in their views and have been publishing important books (discourses) until today. Most of them are members of the old Generación del '70, some very incapable in detecting the socio-cultural transitions of the en of the millennium.
In the last few decades, Carlos Pabon and Juan Dushesne Winter’s post-historical ideas have caused a strong impact in cultural debates. They reject the nationalist historical perspectives and traditions, which have been haunting both radicals and liberals in the twentieth century tradition (the traditional pro-independence people). Above all, postmodernists critized, as a dramatic example, the way neo-nationals privileged independence over statehood, something that can be ideologically incoherent. Postmodernism proposed how the pro-independence thought is privileded (taken as something natural) among the other existing views, like pro-statehood (which was seen as something friovolous and artificial). For the Postmodernist, ideologies are cultural constructs of the old modern mentality relating back to Illustration (XVIII century). According to the postmodern the “modernist elite” (the so called neo-nationals) have been dominating the cultural and educational institutions during the last centuries in Puerto Rico, and depriving views and actions with other socio-cultural possibilities more in tune with the changing paradigms of today. To them, Puerto Rican independence is not a natural and moral demand as it has been traditionally thought by the pro-independence sectors of the population (following Eugenio María de Hostos). We can say that a great deal of contemporary writer's ideas are not pro colonial imposition by USA in Puerto Rico, but they call for a rupture with the traditional pro-independence and radicals. Of course, this ambiguity is not well understood. Postmodern artists can be considered radicals in a different way than we normally think about these issues. The paradigms of thinking and evaluating artistic productions are changing dramatically everywhere and postmoderns does not denounce Power the way it was regularly done. Power and knowledge has changed in our postmodern post industrial societies (see M. Foucault), but the old logics and criticisms towards imperialism and old colonialism can not be ignored just because there is a change of parading out there. Some strong thinkers and politicians think Puerto Rico still a classic colony of United States of America and it needs its independence even with these ideas of a new globalized society and economy. In reality, the Puerto Rican colonial government (been pro-statehood or free-association followers) have not prepared the Island for the changes and has become more victim of colonialism than before. The Island is in a critical bankruptcy. Young artists and intellectuals are very aware of these aspects.
Some of the most important of the latest books signal new tendencies of criticisms in a poststructuralist and postcultural views: Literatura y paternalismo en Puerto Rico (1993) by Juan Gelpí, La raza cómica (2002) by Rubén Ríos, Ciudadano insano (2001) by Juan Duchesne, Nación postmortem (2002) by Carlos Pabón, and La ansiedad de ser puertorriqueño (2004) by Arturo Torrecilla. The anthology of essays in Globalización, nación, postmodernidad (2001), edited by Luis Felipe Díaz and Marc Zimmerman, offers a general view of these new ideas and debates (found in "postmodernidad puertorriqueña."). In this anthology, Francisco Vivoni’s essay is very valuable in explaining historically the changes these postmodern paradigms bring to the cultural debate. In 1999 the Revista de Ciencias Sociales from the University of Puerto Rican dedicated two volumes to the postmodern debate and Cultural Studies, demonstrating that there are already groups of intellectuals seriously occupying these matters in the academic field.
Within these ideas and debates, the books like Manual para organizar velorios (2003) and La maldición de Pedreira (2004) by Rafael Bernabe are of particular interest. Bernabe is a neo-rationalist (like Habermas or Noam Chomsky) and (post)Marxist intellectual different from other postmodernists, more nihilist followers of Fredrich Nietzsche. He takes into consideration the new cultural effects brought by globalization and tecnocapitalism, but  rejecting many of the ideological positions of postmodernist and their aversions to neo-nationalist and socialist ideas. He exposes solid arguments in defence of a new independence views about the Island of Puerto Rico and he shows his progressive ideas in his feminist and prays defenses. In 2012 he was also the candidate for governor of Puerto Rico by the radical Partido de los Trabajadores (PPT); in it he had its impact within cultural thought and political thinking in Puerto Rico. The same thing has happened with PPT during the last four years (2012-2016).
Three of Luis Felipe Díaz books contribute to historizing the cultural and literary canon in Puerto Rico, also adopting for it postructural and postcolonial ideas without abandoning critical modern views. These books are Modernidad literaria puertorriqueña (2004), La na(rra)ción en la literatura puertorriqueña (2008) and De charcas, espejos, infantes y velorios en la literatura puertorriqueña (Pen Club Price Winner, 2011). Even though Diaz can be considered a post-structuralist, he follows the canon with an ironic critical view in dialogue with traditional historians and scholars (just like in this essay).
In the United States, a group of academic scholars not only offer discourses in reaction to the traditional Puerto Rican ideas of national identity, but they also contribute critically to what these identities and transnationalisms represent within the context of the variety of multi-ethnic migrant groups in the nation. By the end of the twentieth century, some essayist with different ideas would appear with their particular ways of criticizing transcultural aspects. Agnes Lugo Ortiz, co-editor of Herencia. The Anthology of US Hispanic Writing (2001), Luz María Umpierre (The Margarita Poems, 1987), Frances Aparicio (Listening to Salsa: Gender, Latin popular Music, and Puerto Rican Culture, 1998) and Frances Negrón Muntaner (Anatomy of a Smile and Other Poems, 2006). These are some of the notable contemporary voices of subversion regarding attacks on the androcentric and patriarchal discourse in academia and society in general. They write mostly from universities in the United States, which allows them to bring issues regarding the established migrant population of “Boricuas,” (the term is used to refer to Puerto Ricans in the USA). In this aspect, one preceding book to consider is La sartén agarrada por el mango (1985), edited by Patricia E. González and Ileana Ortega (ed.). Now Puerto Ricans have become part of an ample criticism, taken by the Latino perspectives in USA.
 Cultural Studies, Postmodern and Postcolonial theories can give us a pertinent perspective of the complexity of our times changes, and the new interpretations in these complex subjects about the migrant issues in Puerto Rican culture. We can mention for example: The Commuter Nation by Carlos Antonio Torre and other editors, (1994), Puerto Rican Jam: Essays on Culture and Politics, edited by Frances Negron-Muntaner y Ramon Grosfoguer (1997), Jose, Can You See?: Latinos On and Off Broadway by Alberto Sandoval-Sánchez (1999), Boricua Pop: Puerto Ricans and the Latinization of American Culture (2004) by Frances Negron-Muntaner, Latinos, Inc.: The Marqueting and Making of a People (2001) by Arlene Dávila, Tropicalizations: Transcultural Representations of Latinidad, (1997) by Frances R. Aparicio y Susana Chavez-Silverman, Listening to Salsa: Gender, Latin Popular Music, and Puerto Rican Cultures (1998) by Frances R. Aparicio, Mambo Montage: The Latinization of New York (2001), edited by Agustin Lalo-Montes y Arlene Davila, From Bomba to Hip-Hop: Puerto Rican Culture and Latino Identity (2000) by Juan Flores, None of the Above: Puerto Ricans in the Global Era (2007) edited by Frances Negron-Muntaner, Boricua Pop: A Literary History of the Puerto Rican Diaspora (2001) by Lisa Sanchez Gonzalez, Puerto Rican Nation on the Move: Identities on the Island and in the United States (2002) by Jorge Duany, and Queer Latino Testimonio, Heith Haring and Juanito Xtravaganza: Hard Tails (2008) by Arnaldo Cruz Malavé.
Recently, Marc Zimmerman published a book of essays: Defending Their Own Cold. The Cultural Turns of US Puerto Ricans (2011), which analyzes Puerto Rican literature and culture in the United States. It also considers Boricuas under the ample Latino identity in a pluri-ethnic view, as seen in the United States under very subaltern circumstances. He takes into consideration some of Chicago’s Puerto Ricans, which are not mentioned as much by other critics who normally pay more attention to east coast New York migrants, like Mexican Americans (chicanos) in the west and south coasts. The book brings the scholarly perspective of an expert in ethnicity and Latin American Studies, presenting other social groups’ perceptions towards the Boricuas.
The last two chapters of Puerto Rico in the American Century, its History since 1898, published in 2011 by César J. Ayala and Rafael Bernabe, offers a comprehensive overview of the development of cultural ideas and social struggles on the Island during the twentieth century. This is a valuable and complete study (especially the last two chapters) presenting the Puerto Rican social, economical, and ideologically political development during the past century.
Fictional literature has become important in depicting socio-cultural changes into aesthetic forms. The bilingual edition of Uñas pintadas de azul (Blue FingernailsCuentos (2009) and La abolición del pato (2015), written by Lawrence La Fountain-Stokes has been well received. They are very important in the consolidation of the queer discourse in the Puerto Rican culture (including the one in United States) with a refreshing parody and irony in its discourse. Another popular book is Esmeralda Santiago’s memoirs When I was a Puerto Rican (1993), in which she presents a memory of the Boricuas surviving as migrants in United States since the 1950s. The book has become in icon of that nostalgic situation, but for some people it lacks rhetorical originality and depth. But let's no forget this literature is growing as a new discourse and the writers are not so sure as where they should go in matters of aesthetic discourse.
In Puerto Rico, by the end of the 1980s and 90s, Mayra Santos (b. 1966), a black feminist writer and scholar has become popular as she establishes a generational transition with her innovative poetry (Anamú y manigua 1991) and some short stories, like Pez de vidrio (1995) and El oso blanco (1998). With these books she has won important national and international prizes. Santos is the author of Sirena Selena vestida de pena (2000), one of the most interesting and original queer novels of the last decades. Lately she has published, among some other innovative narratives, La novia de Gardel (2015), a very reveling novel as it approaches memories (popular and media like) of interest in our cultural-modern times. Dadia V. Celis and Juan Pablo Rivera have presented an important anthology of critical essays dealing with the work of this young writer in Lección errante: Mayra Santos Febres y el Caribe contemporáneo (2011), published by Isla Negra Editores. Mayra Santos is well known for her seminars and workshops in writing techniques and as a lettered activist of international reputation, organizer of important forums in the Island and abroad.
 Angel Lozada, Rafael Acevedo and Eliseo Colón are also exponents of new representations of the new and complex reality within their novels La patografía (1996), Exquisito cadaver (2002) and Archivo Catalina: Memorias On Line (2000), respectively. Lately Rafa Acevedo has published Flor de ciruelo al viento,(2011), a complex and important postmodern novel which employs ironic intertextualities, pastiches and parodic views about Puerto Rican culture and writing itself. La cabeza (2007) is a cyber-novel written by Pedro Cabiya, who also has published the short novel, Trance (2008). He is one of the first postmodernist writers in Puerto Rico, given to the fantastic, the gothic, the uncanny and science fiction. Important narratives of his are: Historias Tremendas (1999) and Historias atroces (2003). Rafael Acevedo's  Flor de Ciruelo y el viento (2011) is a metatextual novel dealing with fantastic narrations; Elidio La Torre Lagares has published Correr tras el viento (2011) a “police-ganster novel” related to violent fictions in narcotrafficking society; Manolo Núnez Negrón has written Barra china (2012), another “police-ganster narcho-novel” dealing with the story of a Chinese migrant who has to survive in the world of clandestine and illegal drugs, and which gives a good example of the trend many narratives are following lately. Isla Barataria (2012) is a superb novel written by Juan López Bauzá; a kind of parodic text with quixotic and picaresque reminiscences. It is a satire of the pro-statehood Puerto Rican, resembling Don Quijote constant failures. Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro has published las Negras (2012), which contains three stories about black women suffering slavery in the conquering and colonializing times. Eduardo Lalo has written the very apocalyptic and avant-gardist novel, Simone (2011), which has won an important international prize in Venezuela (Simón Bolívar). Janette Becerra has published Doce versiones de Soledad (2012), giving in it examples of short stories written in accordance to the best contemporary narrative techniques with a new universal orientation. Some of them have won international prizes and particular attention in the "global village".
Skillfully queer as novelists are Daniel Torres, in Conversaciones con Aurelia (2007); also Osvaldo Cintrón, in De Buena tinta (1997), and Luis Daniel Estrada, in La viuda de Rafael (2007). La patografía (1998) is a novel written by Angel Lozada, which deserves special attention due to its equilibrium in content and form, and makes this text one of the best narratives of modern and postmodern transitional period. These novels are not only queer in their content but offer allegorical views of the colonial carnival (in its bajhtinian sense) in the Island. Lozada also writes No quiero quedarme sola y vacía (2006), a postmodern short narrative, which deals with a deep psychological nocturnal city and the protagonist schizoid-attitudes and self-aggressions (deconstructive narcissism). This is achieved with the well developed voice of a particular gay subject that seems to be immersed in the pathological traps of a phycho-social context, showing how there's no escaping of a viral society we live today.
We find narrators who recognize the new post and trans colonial dimensions of city-life and the attitudes of its subjects towards old traditional prejudices and struggles against persisting social stereotypes. The formal (artistic) ways of their stories tend to adopt a singular “lightness” in the most contemporary narrative techniques portraying the beginning of the new millennium and its new alienations. The novels of the previous generation, on the contrary, had the tendency to expose deep allegorical and symbolic contents (like the ones of Laguerre or Rodríguez Julia). The queer novel, Rosa Mystica, written by Carlos Varo in 1987, for example, can offer a noteworthy contrast with its complexity, when compared with the new narratives mentioned above. Varo is one of the complex initiators of  significant queer narratives in Puerto Rico, along with Ramos Otero. But we find an artistic break from these writings to the one we encounter today in the anthology Los rostros de la hidra. Antología de revistas y poetas puertorriqueños del s. XX (Isla Negra, 2008), or in the queer short stories found in los otros cuerpos. Antología de Temática gay, lesbia y queer desde Puerto Rico y su diáspora (Tiempo Muerto, 2007). A very well written new narrative can be found in Dos centímetros de mar by Carlos Vázquez Cruz (Tiempo Nuevo, 2008).
But in terms of content, these postmodern oeuvres can bring new perspectives in the understanding of the new social constructions and subjectivities in our present culture. They discourses are more prone to use futuristic, gothic, kitsch, pastiche, pop, cyborg and detective narrative’s techniques of the postmodern culture. In addition, they should not be analyzed and considered within the old criticism since they belong to a cultural paradigm that responds to the lightness of the techno-postmodern culture of our times. There is a great effort taken by these new writers to establish a generational rupture with the powerful discourses of the 1970's of the past century. Two iconic figures of this promotion have died (Manuel Ramos Otero, Rosario Ferré) and some first figures of this generation still writing vividly (Luis Rafael Sánchez, Ana Lydia Vega, Magali García Ramos, Edgardo Juliá).
Recent narrative and poetic anthologies gather much of the aesthetics and initial ways of writing properly, from the end of the past century and the beginning of the present one. Two volumes should be mentioned: Los nuevos Caníbales (2000 and 2003) published by Isla Negra Editorial. These books bring new lyrical and narrative approaches to Caribbean literature and its relations to transnationalities and cultural identities. Equally important are: Malhablar, Antología de nueva literatura puertorriqueña (1997), edited with a Prologue by Mayra Santos; El límite volcado, (2000), edited by Alberto Martínez Vázquez and Mario Cancel; and El rostro y la máscara (1995), edited with a valuable Prologue by José Angel Rosado. Mario Cancel brings a comprehensive criticism of postmodern literature in Puerto Rico in Literatura y narrative puertorriqueña: la escritura entresiglos (2007). He is one of the most capable voices concerning contemporary Puerto Rican literature. In 2003, the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña publishes eXpresiones: Muestra de ensayo, teatro, narrativa, arte y poesía, with very distinctive sample texts bringing contemporary literary expressions. From these anthologies and texts we can extract samples indicating the definitions of new styles and concepts responding to a different postmodern culture with new styles and inaugural contents. We find books more conscious and interested in including other Caribbean writers, not only from the Hispanic islands, but also from the other non-Hispanic ethnicities as well.
 Theatre, both in its textuality and as live performance, is the genre that has suffered the most postmodern changes that have impacted adversely the national canon and traditional culture. It becomes also the target in a society that brings media and late modern postculture capable of creating new and more dynamic and attractive entertaining texts (films, cellular phones, computers of all kinds) to a young generation which is drawn to the auditory and the lightly visual skills, than to the deeply conceptual meaning which old theatre can bring. Beyond this crisis it is worth mentioning: El olor del popcorn (1996) written by José Ramos Escobar (b. 1950), Tres lirios cala (b. 1997) by Abniel Marat (b. 1958), Revolución en el infierno 1983) and Malasangre (1990) by Roberto Ramos Perea (b. 1959), Paseo del atardecer (1986) by Teresa Marichal (b. 1956), and Sucio difícil (2005) by Nelson Rivera (b. 1953). With these books its creators open the use of different representations in their scenes to keep alive the theatrical tradition in Puerto Rico, accepting the challenge of bringing semiotics to literary and theatrical performance, which struggles to represent artistically the new postcolonial daily events. They have also been giving relevance to the desire of transforming the old-modern ways of representing (the one of the dramatic-political modernity just passed). With the new theater they keep searching for ironies, parodies and dramatic techniques, to attract the young public seduced by performative-media and by the new post-cultural entertainment such as cinema, videos, television, and computers imagery. The postmodern theatre has accepted with dignity these challenges and it survives in the margins of a very multi media culture dominated mostly by the United States light consuming texts.
In the field of literary and cultural criticism required reference in schools and universities in Puerto Rico has been the encyclopedic book Literatura puertorriquena: Su proceso en el tiempo (1983), by Josefina Rivera de Álvarez (b. 1923). She presents, in an impressive and scholarly manner, the Puerto Rican literary process from the Spanish Conquest and Colonization of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries to our closer 1980s. Efraín Barradas (b. 1947) is a proliferous critic and reviewer of literary texts and cultural newspaper commentator. In 1980, he published the important anthology Héroes y mistificadores: muestra de poesía puertorriqueña en Estados Unidos. Edgar Martínez Masdeu is the editor of 22 conferencias de literatura puertorriqueña (1944), an anthology of erudite and critical monographic essays discussing the literary process over the last 50 years. He gives continuity to the classic essays presented in 1962, in 20 conferencias de literatura puertorriqueña, published by the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña. Mercedes López Baralt is the author of a polemically received anthology of poetry and prose entitled Literatura puertorriqueña del siglo XX (2004). Another important work which is used in colleges and universities as a text book is Antología crítica de la literatura puertorriqueña (siglos XVI-XIX), (2006), a skilled text prepared by Ramón Luis Acevedo, who is one of the most outstanding scholars in Puerto Rican and Central American studies. David Caleb, Moisés Agosto and Luis Negrón are the compilers of Los otros cuerpos (2008), an anthology of texts with gay themes in new perspectives. Cachaperismos: Poesía y narrativa lesboerótica is an innovative anthology of lesbian literature edited by Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro in 2010.
Mélanie Pérez Ortiz is the author of Palabras encontradas. Antología personal de escritores puertorriqueños de los últimos 20 años (Conversaciones) (2008). She presents the commentaries and opinions taken in recent interviews to important modern and postmodern writers of the last two decades more o less. It is one of the best books in demonstrating the ways of thingking and creating of a new era of writers, publishing since the 1970s. It is also important mentioning the work of Lowell Fiet and his newspaper criticisms in the last decades (in The San Juan Star and Claridad newspapers, in addition to his latest and very important book, which deals with a very complex genre and its transitions in the Island: El teatro puertorriqueño reimaginado (2004).
The emergence of new editorials shows the great critical and latest creative vitality that have risen in literary production in Puerto Rico. Isla Negra Editorial, Editorial Callejón, Ediciones Terranova, Ediciones El Sótano 00931 are consistent and productive publishing institutions, offering the readers the best of new Puerto Rican voices in literature, like Jardín (1997) by Jan Martínez, Cannibalia (2005) and Instrumentario (1996) by Rafael Acevedo, Kitsch (2006) by Federico Irrizarry, Frutos subterráneos (2007) by Alberto Martínez, Estación Delirio (2006) by Edgar Ramírez, Al otro lado de sus párpados (2006) by Hugo Ríos, Viaje a la noche (1989) and Aún (2007) by Carlos Roberto Gómez, Hilo de voz (2005) by Noel Luna, 8% de desk-cuentos by Carlos Vázquez Cruz, Esta carne proscrita (2004) by Miguel Ángel Náter, Fracturas del devenir (2006) and Fiebre de Fresno (2009) by John Torres, Casquillos (2008) by J. D. Capiello Ortiz, Rehalidades (2006) by Amarilis Tavárez, Mariconerías (2006) by Daniel Torres, Veinte (2000) and La carencia (2008) by Guillermo Rebollo Gil, Barrunto (2000) and Residentedellupus (2006) by Raúl González, Animal Pedestre (2004) by Néstor E. Rodríguez, Manifiesto sobre las tristes (2009) and Miss Carrusel (2010) by Myrna Estrella Pérez, El mal de azares (2010) by Karen Sevilla, and Vidrios ocultos en la alfombra (2004) by Javier Ávila. These are just few example of books recently published; the quantity of literary production in the last two centuries have been impressive. But the stylistic and formal expressions of these writers is of such a variety that it is very difficult to embrace them in a discursive generation or promotion. The heterogeneity of their production is part of the overwhelming explosion of information and formal expressions in the contemporary media society.
Attention should also be paid to the new publishings of Kathia Chico in Efectos secundarios (2004), Urayoán Noel in Las flores del Mall (2000) and Boringkén (2007), Javier Avila in La simetría del tiempo (2005), Alabalacera (2006) by Mara Pastor, Alejandria (2006) by Marcos Pérez Ramírez, Sobre todos tus silencios (2006) and Poemas para ser leídos en el tren urbano (2009) by Juanmanuel González Ríos, El tiempo de los Escarabajos by Ángel Antonio Ruiz (2012). In the feminist and lesbian literature we have las Negras (2012), some short stores by Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro and Cachaperismos. Poesía y narrativa lesboerótica (2010), edited by the same mentioned author.
We should also consider Carlos Vázquez Cruz with his Dos centímetros de mar (2008) and Sencilla Mente (2010), Dosis (2008) by Mayda Colón, Vicios de construcción (poetry) and Correr tras el viento (a novel) by Elidio La Torre Lagares (2006), Con un tenis de menos (2009) by Diego Meléndez Berdeguer, Candela (2006) by Rey Emmanuel Andújar, Brevario (2002), by Juan Carlos Quiñones, El imperio de los pájaros (2001), by Abdiel Echevarría, and Fiebre Fresno (2009) by John Torres. We find in their production, from an intertextuality, with the past artistic expressions, to the desire in finding new metaphors for their actual living in a very wide variety of existential responses to their particular situations.
To the new readers all of them can present a very heterogeneous and centrifugal literature. It is interesting to notice how these writers are not so anxious of influences of the past artist's (specially poets) or from the lyrical genre itself and its formal and stylistic demands, even though they are very interested in the search for expressions to impact and surprise a new audience. The old poetry, since Romanticism, and even during Vanguardism, tended to maintain a coherent and somewhat semi-syntatical structure and were very conscious of responding to a tradition.  But instead of anxiety of influence or originality, the new postmodern lyric is more preoccupied in finding the required discourses and inter-textualities, which could bring them to express their existence as writers in negative and paradoxical times and signs which have lost their meaning (especially the sentimental ones). It seems they feel the negativity, contradictions and the paradoxical situations in their deep and new meanings for the reader who has encounter a new postmodern reality. It is not their desire to elude contradictions or abysms but rather journeying deeply into them as they show in itselves (we can say metaphorically), as “black holes” in the literary universe. Some of them as writers are very conscious about the formal requirements and demands of language but others tend to be very “cautiously” “sloppy” and disorganized, like even “raperos” or “reguetonistas” (viewing that this not necessarilly a defect but a new “artistic” tendency). They like to go back to the minimalist poetry, and to perform orally in front of a live audience and follow somehow the patterns of popular music (with salsa, ballads and bolero influence). Like the musical artists of these genres, who do not care necessarily about “singing well”, some of these new poets are more prone into allowing things to come out in a more spontaneous and performative way without the old polished sense of literary language (or inspired originality). That is probably why the previous generation of poets from the 1970s has not been too impressed with these new conceptions of the anti-lyrical art. The postmodern or antimodern can be very anti-culturalist, anti-elitist, but as artists they do not deny they can have ties with modernist and traditional views of art (even medievalists and classicit ties). We are in times that tend to accept the contradictions, and are no so interested on the modern logics of reasonings. The narrator Pedro Cabiya is perhaps the most relevant narrator, with such tendencies, and his short novels, La cabeza (2005) and (2007) Trance. He is probably one of the most postmodern writers in Puerto Rico, very conscious about the historical effect of his literary work.
Important and dynamic discoursive space of expression is the Collective El Sótano 00931. Poets and enthusiastic members of this journal get involved in blog practices on the Internet and as creators of a new editorial with powerful works and activities giving liveliness and exposition to contemporary writings. Angel Rosado Ruiz is the leader of a literary gay group called ‘Homoerótica’, whose blog gives testimonies of constantly creative and live activities with an “open mic” for all kinds of cultural gender textual interventions, in cafes, museums, libraries, plazas, etc. For his work in general, and especifically for the poems in El tiempo de los escarabajos (2011), he has been praised by some already recognized writers and literary critics (like Mayra Santos, Edgardo Rodríguez Juliá). Mariana Reyes Angleró, Gabriela Cruz and Luis Fernando Coss are Editorial Coordinators of 80 Grados, a blog, focusing mainly on contemporary socio-cultural issues and human rights journalism, specially with essays with very contemporary ideas. They give strong and seminal analysis of our very contemporary and conflictive situations in the actual post-society, keeping in mind the average learned reader, as well as the very intellectual one in our culture.
One of the most recently mentioned books of short stories has been Mundo cruel (2011; English translation: 2013), written by Luis Negrón, in which he deals with gay issues displaying new stylistic contents and with an approach prone to narrative performances like contemporary picaresque stories. Some short stories can be read as oral performance texts of gay styles in terms of speech and social conduct, with almost avant-garde rhetorical street rhythm. It has been a popular book on an international level and translated to some languages. Some stories have been adapted to the theater. Even though the stories are gay in content, it shows the humans and social reactions to conflicts and events en general, regardless of gender, most of them with a sense of humor.
Freddy Acevedo has published an audacious book of theatrical performances called Teatro vulgar (2011) that tells of his live performances in public places like buses, trains, restaurants, plazas, and abandoned areas. Some of these young creators are giving more presence and pertinence to a postmodern literature that disarticulates and confronts the traditional culture and the way of showing it by means of permformativity. They are also looking for innovative artistic ways of expressing whatever calls the attention of a postmodern audience with different demands of artistic entertainment and with a strong desire of rupture with tradition. At the same time these writers are trying to maintain the distinctiveness of aesthetic languages and literature (not in the modern and elitist way) in contrast with dispersed and viral languages of commercial media. But most of them, in an opposite manner, are not afraid of viral infections from the postmodern and cyber world; they incorporate these metaphors in innovative ways of “communicating” in a world dominated by informatics. With this attitude and behaviour they do not react anxiously to what some believe are very corrosive and apocalyptic postcultural times. Anamín Santiago is an actress who have been doing “street”, baudevill theatre in the last decade, especially with a play of political satire called Sara Goza, which incorporates not only female prostitution but queer performances as well. All is related to a discourse anti-pathiarcal and heteronormative. 
In general, most of the mentioned young creators chose to remain related to modern and postmodern poetics, with pastiches and even transparent and realists expressions. They can be seen also as trans-avant-gardists who deal with history and intertextuality, while using the best traditional discourses and looking for ways of exposing the informational society. These young performers also keep searching and inquiring the meanings of new post-culture and its proliferous and dynamic heterogeneities of cultural deconstruction. This is in a society that has rapidly shown new meanings, frontiers, devices, and experiences to young writers who want to transform art with a sense of difference and sameness (the One and the Other), and who have the desire for a unique paradigm that may not be, paradoxically, possible or accessible. Surprising paradoxes and aporias (contradictions) are their best anchored searches and imageries; they don't want to abandon the substance that have given significance and meaning to their past, given that these metaphors and social constructions are vanishing in a postmodern society that has rapidly lost memory of its immediate past.
In the face of strong avant-garde expressions and the radical compromise of the 1970s, new artists from 1990 onward, prefer not to reject the ephemeral and light experimentalism, they do not hesitate in employing and interacting textually with the ontological and poetic deepness which has been constantly searched by the modern writers of the ninteenth and twentieth centuries. At the same time, there are no aversions or rejections to mass media and technological communications, like the previous generations; even though the younger writers tend to assume these expressions with irony and sometimes hidden parody and disdain. The writers we can find in anthologies like El limite volcado (2000) and eXpresiones. Generación (2003) can give us good examples of these interpretations. Urayoán Noel in his book of poems entitled Borinken (2008) give us an example of what can be called inti or post lyrical expression of the Puerto Rican national discourse, not with satiric or burlesque sense but with a desire for the search of new post-meanings, deconstructing the past idealism of cultural constructions in the Puerto Rican imaginary and and iconic texts (like the Romantic and modernist one).
But their concepts of subjectivity and communication have evolved from what we have experienced in the past modern worldviews (19th 20th centuries). The embracement of expressions interrelated with the cyber and techno-media culture are patent and visible in their textual productions most of the times. The sense of ideological compromise held is somewhat different from the one we knew in the radical sixties, with its ideological imperatives and demands. Sometimes, it seems they find themselves “lost” and desolated in the postmodern desert of media culture, with trash computers, wasted food, even "plastic"  language. Furthermore, traditional language and its discourses has mutated quickly and radically into adopting notions of subaltern hybridity and scriptural wondering in their art (“Alice in wonderland” is a good metaphor for them). In face of the dense modern poetics, they place the immediacy and the fugal language close to the commercial publicity slogan; they do not reject light aesthetic and ephemeral proposed by consumption and financial banking. Moreover, they like to adopt the ironic and carnival celebration of cyber space and post-culture. In these sense one book like Kitsch (2006) of Federico Irizarry Natal should be read with post-irony regarding these matters.
The latest writers show an uncanny disenchantment and disillusion with socialists and neo-national militancy, the activists of the 70s and the desires for social change which had so much to do with the conception of poetry and symbolic representation. Above all, they are disapointed with that societal ideology of rupture and heroic aspirations. Society has entered, for them, into a time when the concepts of creative transcendence, sublimity, authenticity, originality, monumentality and individuality —all of them important in the presentation of modern writing and performance— have been corrupted, worn out and no longer deserve the attention and the follow-up they use to claim. Instead of disciplined writing, they choose to improvise, preferring light discourses instead of deep ones from the past. They are not afraid of rapid demands, putting aside the polished and illustrated efforts of modern writers. The ideal revolution is displaced by the “whatever” immediacy, the ornament within the kitsch and the pastiches are welcomed, preferably to the memorable and permanent monument. These new artist like to capture the lassitude before the lasting of compromises; they do not repel the post-aesthetic merchandizing that ignores the sublime and perdurable. The preference of the instantaneous, the indifferent and minimal resistance are well received, instead of the ideological compromise. Regarding the search for depth and dialectics of the texts, they would rather look for margins, frontiers, hybrids, the otherness and nothingness, the silence, the absent, the lack of lack itself, and the non-existential loosing of the self. The French thinker Jean Paul Sartre and the existentialists in general are left behind; they are more interested in Jacques Derrida, Fredric Jameson and Jean Baudrillard and their postmodern explanations.
However, for many present artists, these aspects do not represent a Manifesto or an imperative action. What atracts them are inadvertent and unknown abysses, conflicts and uncertainties. Among them we can find some that could still be somewhat closest to late modernism, keeping the faith in the romantic and nostalgic, while searching for the post-metaphysical “lost object”. It seems to be that they cannot escape the fact they are "desire-machines" (Deleuze) that copy, scan, apply simple cut and paste and mix like de DJs. They keep the window open to use cyber-dictionaries, to continue editing the “lack” of a text in the (in)human and microelectronic postculture that has been left to us at the end of the twentieth century and the beginning of twenty-first one.

Selected Bibliography

Acevedo, Ramón Luis. Antología crítica de la literatura puertorriqueña. San Juan, Editorial Cultural, 2006.
___. Ecos del siglo o la otra cara del Modernismo. San Juan, Editorial Lea, 2007.
Almenas, Egberto. Los escondrijos de Satán.  Crónicas [entredichas] sobre el arte y la cultura en Puerto Rico. San Juan: ELF Creative Workshiop, 2006
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[1] “Criollo” refers to the native islanders who began to take form in their ethos and socio-cultural traits by the end of the 18th century. It is a different subject, racially, socially and ideologically from the Spaniards, and the ones who were not born in Puerto Rico. But the descendents of the last ones will be, regardless of their social status or race, without any question, criollos.  See Manrique Cabrera, Historia… pp. 17-65.
[2] “Haciendas” are the agricultural centers of production, belonging most of them to white foreigners, and were bought or given by the Crown since the XVI century and they took notoriety by beginning of the 19th century. Usually there was a big “hacienda” farm, sorounded by little enclaves of slaves and free workers. “Haciendas” were big and wealthy mansions of the landowners, who by the beginning of the 19th century were mainly Spaniards and Latin Americans rich oligarchs escaping from the independence movements in their countries. The Spanish colonial government had also special programs to give vast land to this type of migrants. They had slaves before 1973, and offered poor working conditions and salaries to the free colonials. See Angel Quintero (1979, 1988) and Picó (2008): 225-226.
[3] These were organizations sponsored by commercial groups of the Island, with Illustrated and Romantic mentality. SEAP was an organization since the eighteenth century, in charge in many countries in Europe, to give impulse to agricultre, industry and commerce and piublish books. By the beginning of the XVIII century they were organbized in Latin America. They opended the first competition for scholarship for developed students in the Island. It was founded in the Island in 1813.
[4] “Jíbaro” is a word of unknown origin but it refers mainly to the peasants of Spanis origin (some of them mixed with the natives Indians and then to Africans), the people from the mountains with their peculiar speaking and dressing (and even waking) styles. They become a folkloric symbol of Puerto Ricaness when they are the ones, following their Adalusian and Canary Islands tradition (from Spain) that gave the culture different traits and characteristics. Their way of changing the phonetics of the Spanish language and of singing had its peculiarities and distinctiveness by the beginning of the 19th century. By the 1950 in the XXth century it began to have a negative connotations given to modernity’s prejudices against the rustic maintain people. See Álvarez Nazario.
[5] See the first and second chapter of my book La na(rra)ción en la literatura puertorriqueña.
[6] See the poem and the commentaries of Ramón Luis Acevedo in Antología crítica de la literature puertorriqueña, pp. 89-94.
[7] “Otherness” is a structural concept referring to the subject who occupies the marginality in relation to the official centers (logocentrism). It also refers to what is different, adverse, negative and non acceptable according to someone arbitrary authoritative decision. The subconscious, women, blanks, gays, foreigners, are classic examples of otherness. See deconstructionist ideas of Jacques Derrida in A Dictionary of Cultural and Critical Theory, Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1996.
[8] “Costumbrismo” is a literary style of the middle of the 19th century in Spain, which gave prominence to the description of the natural ambiances, the folkloric, the people of the country side. The poetry of this movement tended to be bucolic (pastoral) and romantic. Our poets in Puerto Rico followed these tendencies, because of their unfinished national imaginary, which began in this period with its ideology, until the middle of the 20th century.
[9] See page 88 and note 17.
[10] This is an idea that will be followed since this considered period until the 1960 in Puerto Rico. It is the united national family the “hacienda” landowner aspired to create in the country during the 19th century, and the nationalist fallowed this imaginary in the fist half of the 20th century. Angel Quintero explains it in his first two books cited in the Bibliography.
[11] There is one short story in the second volumes (1882) entitled “La negrita y la vaquita” which portrays the blac peole as servant, not participants yet of the “national” problems, The blacks are in an extreme “otherness” discourse positioning.
[12] In the postcolonial theory of the last decade, “subaltern” is the subject that belongs to the periphery, who is in the colonialized territory. Indians in front of the British people, Latin Americans in front of white dominant North Americans and Europeans, are “subalterns”. The Puerto Rican have a subaltern territorial and even psychological relation to the official Other from the United States. These are poststructuralist ideas presented since the 1980 in the academies. For subaltern concept see Literary Theory and Criticism by Patriacia Waugh (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006: 350-361).
[13] In 1897 Spain conceds to the Puerto Ricans what is called the “Pacto de Sagasta”, a decret given to a group of autonomits which is cancelled when United States pays to the Spanish Crown (in Tratado de Paris) a sum on money after invading the island in 1898. In 1900, United States signs the Forker Act, claiming Puerto Rico a its territory. The Island continues its classic colonial satus; Cuba obtains the independence and Phillipins Islans get some authonomy. See Maldonado Denis, pp. 45-59. Picó: 252-253.
[14] The tem refers to the assembly line productions that developed Henry Ford (1863-1947 in the United States in his automovoles factories since 1908, until it was replaced in the 1980 by the Jappanese Toyota transnational style of production.
[15] José Martí (1853-1995) was a Cuban poet, polititian and social-cultural thinker with strong ties to the Puerto Rican independence movement since the end of the nineteent Century, in New York and through neuspapers. His influence still notizable until today’s radical thought, troughout Latin America.
[16] Deconstruction and poststructuralist theories since the 1980s make a wide rupture with modern apistemologies that will analyse reality and that will conceive a direct relation with subject and object (in the Kantian sence). This new thinkers, like Michel Foucault, Jacques Lacan, Julia Kristeva, Jacques Derrida, will follow the linguist Ferdinand de Saussure (1857-1913) idea that language (its imaginaries and symbolic ways) mediantes between the subject and reality. For them “reality” is a costruction, a metaphor, a signifier, and not and objective phenomena. These are not to welcome ideas and theories for pro-independence people and Nationalist, who have been modern, Hegelian and some of them Marxists in their approaches and perspectives to political culture. See my book Modernidad, postmodernidad y tecno cultura actual (2001). These are maily French Theories whose books have been translated into the English language and who have dominated the Nort American liberal universities.
[17] Before these post-colonial thinkers the Puerto Rican inteligentsia was very much influenced durin the 1950s and 1960s by the existentialists ideas of Jean-Paul Sarte, the anticolonial ideas of Albert Memi and Franz Fanon. See my Modernidad, postmodernidad…
[18] The Cultural Studies emerged in the 1950s in England, after the epistemologies of the postwar founded in the differentiated, marginal and the otherness (with consciousness of the populist in the mass and urban cultures) in opposition to the essentialist and elitist culture that had characterized the education of the Modernity. These studies are related to the post-structuralists ideas offered by Lacan, Althusser, Barthes, Foucault, Derrida, Lyotard, the School of Frankfurt, etc. Raymond Williams (1921-1988) y Richard Hoggart (1918- ) are the initial creators of these studies of a culture, adopting the criteria of the marginal and non canonical (in Culture and Society (1958), The Long Revolution (1961) and Politics and Letter (1957), of the former, and The Uses of Literacy (1957), of the latter (1979). A book having much to say in the 1980s is Mythologies by Roland Barthes. Angel Quintero and Juan Flores, keeping the Marxists models, are opposed to the patriarchal elitists models of the criollo bourgeoisie in the colony. But before popular culture, these analysts would prosecute the idea of the proletariat. By the beginning of the 90s Juan Gelpí, in his book, Literatura y paternalismo en Puerto Rico, assumes an antipatriarcal and anticanonical critique to culture, having in mind a deconstructive perspective grounded in the problem of gender 1993). In the last five years of the 80s anti-seventies dissidences can be perceived (see final chapter by Luis Felipe Díaz en La na(rra)ción en la literatura puertorriqueña (2008), with culturalist influences of the the ones named at the beginning of this quote.
[19] See note 13. The new ways of structuring and organizing production in the global worl d is associated with “postfordism”, which began with the Japanese Toyota’s was of producing globally in contrast with the national Fordist ideas.
[20] This is a union of “global” and “local” wolds, meaning that that the national politics have to be envolved with the globalized transnational economies. See the last chapter of my book for a review of these ideas.


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