Handbook of Literature for Cannibals
The essay focuses on the problems of young writers after the great generation of boom. Last year the most important Latin American writers under 39 years of age met in Bogota – that is why it was called Bogota 39. The main issue of the meeting was "Where is contemporary Latin American literature hea-ding?" One thing is clear: the new ge-neration doesn't want to deal with the magical realism.
The Characteristics of the Latin American Left
The article gives a brief overview of the new Latin American left. The movements which took power in recent years are deeply rooted in the social struggles of the nineties. The response to the IMF-imposed neoliberal policies came from different sectors of the socie-ties. The article gives a short history of the leftist military conspiracy in Venezuela, the indigenous struggle in Ecuador and the radical movement of the unemployed in Argentina. The ideology of the emerging new Latin American left differs from the European one. Ethnicism plays a key role in it as a source of resistance, while European leftists condemn it as a backward phenomenon. The Latin American left is usually a nationalistic one, although it doesn't want to create an ethnically or culturally homogenous society. Its internationalism doesn't aim at a world revolution, but at a Latin American integration, in order to create a multipolar world.
The Brazilian Landless Rural Workers' Movement
Latin America's largest social movement, the Brazilian Landless Rural Workers' Movement (MST) has been the most active force in the struggle for genuine land reform in a country still characterized by a colonial property structure and the corresponding levels of inequality. During the past three decades, it has helped hundreds of thousands of people find stable sustenance on small plots of land parceled out from the huge un(der)used latifundia expropriated by the federal government. The article traces the recent history of Brazil as a backdrop to the political trajectory of the landless movement.
Introduction to Enrique Dussel's Pedagogy of Liberation
The Italian editor of Dussel's work offers an eloquent and concise summary of his theses. Starting from a critique of modern Eurocentric subjecti-vity, the Latin American philosopher develops the Levinasian theme of solitude, associating it with the existential condition of the Third World. The father culture of an occidental patrio-tism based on the category of arche (i.e. "principle", and also "rule") is contrasted with pre-Columbian concepts of political culture, offering further arguments for a critique of globalization advocated by Enrique Dussel.
Liberation Theology Today
Emphasizing the insufficiency of merely theoretical approaches in Christian theology, the essay starts out with quoting the description of direct experiences in South America from the letters of Hungarian Jesuit missionary Péter Mustó. These reports also confirm the present need to think globally about the poor and acting on their behalf, not least in the Church. As the analysis shows, it is not by coincidence that Latin America has become the primary locus for the eruption of the poor into contemporary theological debate. The official reactions to the new theological ideas were somewhat ambiguous, from the more positive attitude of John Paul II to the reserved approach of Benedict XVI. From the perspective of these recent polemics, the author argues for a more balanced view of liberation theology, also poin-ting out its positive contributions to the doctrine of the Catholic Church.
The Formation of Noble Towns in Transylvania
The period between 1657-1661 was probably the darkest of Transylvanian history. After the failed military campaign of Reigning Prince György Rákóczi II, Turkish-Tartar troops devastated the principality several times, conquering the most important Transylvanian border fortresses.
The most sensitive loss from the surrendered or conquered border fortres-ses was that of Várad, considered to be "the key of Transylvania", its key role was delegated to Kolozsvár by the Diet and the same Diet ordered the defen-ders to settle at Torda and Dés. In order to prevent any conflicts which could have been generated from the different legal status of the city dwellers, the Diet of Gyulafehérvár in 1665 decided to ennoble all the citizens of Torda and Dés; the decision got royal assent by the diploma of Reigning Prince Mihály Apafi on 25th January 1668. Thus the once flourishing field towns became so-called noble towns, with a special legal status.
Beside the free royal towns and the field towns, the noble towns constitute a third group of Transylvanian towns, hierarchically placed between the first two types. The Diet of 1665 and the above mentioned Diploma assured two vital privileges for the citizens of the two towns: independence in terms of justice, with a court of first instance and tax exemption, thus being in the same category as the one-parcel noblemen. In exchange for the exemption from taxes, the ennobled citizens were obliged to fight in the army of the county, because they were considered as part of the county's nobility.
After the peace treaty of Szatmár the two towns started losing their privileges. After 1711, the Habsburgic government did not call for the personal participation of the Transylvanians in the defence of the Empire, so starting from 1715 the people of Torda and Dés were obliged to pay taxes. In the se-cond half of the century the other vital privilege, the independence of justice was also derogated.
In the period up to 1848 Torda and Dés kept the memory of their privileged status only in their names and together with the introduction of the general taxation, the history of the noble towns in Transylvania was officially ended.
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