Gonzalez Echevarria, Roberto 1943–
GONZALEZ ECHEVARRIA, Roberto 1943–
PERSONAL: Born November 18, 1943, in Sagua la Grande, Cuba; came to the United States in 1959, naturalized citizen, 1978; son of Roberto M. (a lawyer) and Zenaida (a professor; maiden name, Echevarria) Gonzalez; married Isabel Gomez; children: Roberto, Isabel, Carlos. Education: University of South Florida, B.A., 1964; Indiana University, M.A., 1966; Yale University, M.Phil., 1968, Ph.D., 1970.
CAREER: Yale University, New Haven, CT, instructor, 1969–70, assistant professor of Latin American studies, 1970–71; Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, assistant professor, 1971–75, associate professor of Latin American studies, 1975–77; Yale University, associate professor, 1977–80, professor of Latin American studies, 1980–, R. Selden Rose Professor of Spanish, 1985, Bass Professor of Hispanic and Comparative Literatures, 1991, Sterling Professor of Hispanic and Comparative Literatures, 1995–, William Clyde DeVane Professor, 2001, chair of Latin American studies program, beginning 1981, became chair of department of Spanish and Portuguese. Visiting assistant professor at Trinity College, Hartford, CT, summers, 1969–70, and Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT, autumn, 1970; lecturer at colleges and universities, including Stanford University, 1974, New School for Social Research, 1975, Brown University, 1978, Universidad Simon Bolivar, University of Ottawa, and Johns Hopkins University, 1980. Member of University of Mississippi's Center for Southern Culture, 1979–; director of National Endowment for the Humanities seminar on the narrative of America, 1981–82.
MEMBER: Instituto Internacional de Literature Iberoamericana, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Modern Language Association of America (member of executive committee of Division of Latin American Literature to 1900, 1980–84), American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, Latin American Studies Association, Cervantes Society of America.
AWARDS, HONORS: Grants from Yale University, (for France and Spain) 1969, Cornell University, (for Venezuela) 1972 and (for France) 1973, Social Science Research Council, 1979, National Endowment for the Humanities, 1979 and 1982–83, and Rockefeller Foundation; Berkowitz grants from Cornell University, (for France) 1971 and 1975, and (for Spain) 1977; earned a Guggenheim fellowship; received an honorary degree from Colgate University; Katherine Singer Kovacs Prize, Modern Language Association, 1989–90, and Bryce Wood Book Award, Latin American Studies Association, 1992, both for Myth and Archive: A Theory of Latin American Narrative; Dave Moore Award for Best Baseball Book of 2002, for The Pride of Havana: A History of Cuban Baseball.
(With Manuel Duran) Calderon ante la critica: Historia y antologia (title means "Calderon and the Critics: History and Anthology"), two volumes, Gredoes, 1976.
Relecturas: Estudios de literature cubana (title means "Rereadings: Studies in Cuban Literature"), Monte Avila, 1976.
Alejo Carpentier: The Pilgrim at Home, Cornell University Press (Ithaca, NY), 1977.
(With Klaus Muller-Bergh) Alejo Carpentier: Bibliographical Guide, Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 1983.
Isla a su vuelo fugitiva: Ensayos criticos sobre literatura hispanoamericana, J. P. Turanzas (Madrid, Spain), 1983.
(Editor) Los pasos perdidos, Catedra (Madrid, Spain), 1985.
The Voice of the Masters: Writing and Authority in Modern Latin American Literature, University of Texas Press (Austin, TX), 1985.
La ruta de Severo Sarduy, Ediciones del Norte (Hanover, NH), 1987.
Celestina's Brood: Continuities of the Baroque in Spanish and Latin American Literatures, Duke University Press (Durham, NC), 1993.
(Editor) De donde son los cantantes, Catedra (Madrid, Spain), 1993.
(Editor) The Oxford Book of Latin American Short Stories, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1997.
The Pride of Havana: A History of Cuban Baseball, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1999.
Critica practica/Practica critica, Fondo de Cultura Economica (Mexico City, Mexico), 2002.
Love and the Law in Cervantes, Yale University Press (New Haven, CT), 2005.
(Editor) Cervantes' Don Quixote: A Casebook, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2005.
Editor of Historia y ficcion en la narrativa hispanoamericana: Coloquio de Yale (title means "History and Fiction in Latin American Literature: A Symposium"), Monte Avila. Author of prologue, Estatuas Sepultadas y Otros Relatos, Ediciones del Norte (Hanover, NH), 1984. Translator of works, including Triple Cross, Dutton, 1972; with Jill Levine, of Severo Sarduy's Cobra, Dutton. Contributor to books, including All Fires the Fire and Other Stories by Julio Cortazar, Pantheon, 1973; Klaus Mueller-Bergh, editor, Asedios a Carpentier: Once ensayos criticos sobre el novelista cubano (title means "Approaches to Carpentier: Eleven Critical Essays about the Cuban Novelist"), Editorial Universitaria, 1972; Andrew P. Debicki and Enrique Pupo-Walker, editors, Estudios de literatura hispanoamericana en honor a Jose J. Arrom (title means "Studies of Latin American Literature in Honor of Jose J. Arrom"), Studies in Romance Languages and Literatures, University of North Carolina, 1974; Modern Latin American Literature, Ungar, 1975; Donald A. Yates, editor, Otros mundos, otros fuegos: Fantasia y realismo magico en Iberoamericana (title means "Other Worlds, Other Fires: Fantasy and Realism in Iberoamerica"), Latin American Studies Center, Michigan State University, 1975; Julian Rios, editor, Severo Sarduy, Editorial Fundamentos, 1976; Joaquin Roy, editor, Narrativa y critica de nuestra America (title means "Narrative and Criticism in Our America"), Editorial Castalia, 1978. Also contributor to Carlos Fuentes, edited by Robert Brody, University of Texas Press. Associate editor of "Monographs in Romance Languages," Purdue University, beginning 1978. Contributor to Academic American Encyclopedia. Contributor of articles and reviews to literature and Latin American studies journals. Member of editorial board of Diacritics, 1971–77, editor, 1974; member of editorial board of Revista Iberoamericana, 1973–77, and Modern Language Studies, 1980–; member of editorial advisory board of Journal of Spanish Studies: Twentieth Century, 1977–80, and Studies in Twentieth-Century Literature, 1978–; contributing editor of Handbook of Latin American Studies, 1974–; editor of Latin American Literary Review and Review (of Center for Inter-American Relations). General editor of CD-ROM Miguel de Cervantes, Primary Source Media (Woodbridge, CT), 1998.
SIDELIGHTS: Roberto Gonzalez Echevarria has written and edited several works of literary criticism about the Spanish and Latin American literary tradition, including The Cambridge History of Latin American Literature, The Oxford Book of Latin American Short Stories, and Celestina's Brood: Continuities of the Baroque in Spanish and Latin American Literatures. The Cuban-born academic has never forgotten his love of baseball, however, and has also penned a volume about that sport's history in his native land, The Pride of Havana: A History of Cuban Baseball. Gonzalez Echevarria himself made it to semi-pro status in Cuba before immigrating to the United States, and continues to play in a senior league in Connecticut.
Gonzalez Echevarria collaborated with Enrique Pupo-Walker on The Cambridge History of Latin American Literature. The three volumes of the work prompted a critic in the Latin American Research Review to remark that its publication "constitutes a landmark in Latin American literary studies," and that it "is the first major history of Latin American literature published in English that provides a detailed account of Afro-Hispanic and Latino literatures." The reviewer also appreciated the fact that "Brazil is treated separately in the third volume in essays that form illuminating counterparts to the sections on Spanish America in the first two volumes." Edward Waters Hood, discussing The Cambridge History of Latin American Literature in World Literature Today, noted that "the editors have chosen outstanding scholars from North America, Europe, and Latin America" to provide the essays for the volumes. He went on to conclude that The Cambridge History of Latin American Literature "is an outstanding reference work in both its scope and its depth, one that will define and enrich the work of researchers and teachers in the field for years to come." Similarly, Gonzalez Echevarria's selections for The Oxford Book of Latin American Short Stories prompted Lisa Rohrbaugh in the Library Journal to recommend it as "a comprehensive collection."
Celestina's Brood is a collection of essays that Gonzalez Echevarria wrote over the course of twenty years. He begins with Celestina, a Spanish work by Fernando de Rojas published in 1499, which Catherine Connor described in Renaissance Quarterly as "a unique yet fundamental text in Spanish literary history." Gonzalez Echevarria sees a great deal of the Baroque in what is more frequently classified as a medieval text, and traces the Baroque in Spanish and Latin American literature down from the Celestina. According to Connor, "his effort produces instructive readings of some of the most canonical Spanish writers from the early modern period." Melveena McKendrick, reviewing Celestina's Brood in the Journal of European Studies concluded that "the ambitiousness and scope of these elegant pieces is impressive. As individual studies they are both scholarly and stimulating, and as the expression of a coherent vision of what makes Hispanic literature important and distinctive they are penetrating and largely persuasive."
In The Pride of Havana, according to Alan Schwarz in the New York Times Book Review, "Gonzalez Echevarria describes just how ingrained baseball has been in Cuba since it arrived in the 1860s, and how intertwined it was with the American major leagues before Castro's revolution." Schwarz went on to praise the author's "passion for the subject," and noted that "Gonzalez Echevarria's strength comes not in compiling … lists but in his depiction of the importance of these players and the game itself to Cuban fans."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Journal of European Studies, March, 1995, Melveena McKendrick, review of Celestina's Brood: Continuities of the Baroque in Spanish and Latin-American Literature, pp. 87-88.
Latin American Research Review, summer, 1999, review of The Cambridge History of Latin American Literature, p. 252.
Library Journal, September 15, 1997, Lisa Rohrbaugh, review of The Oxford Book of Latin American Short Stories, p. 105.
New York Times Book Review, May 30, 1999, Alan Schwarz, "Where Have You Gone, Martin Dihigo?" p. 6.
Renaissance Quarterly, autumn, 1995, Catherine Connor, review of Celestina's Brood, pp. 628-630.
Times Literary Supplement, June 21, 2002, John Lantigua, review of The Pride of Havana: A History of Cuban Baseball, p. 35.
World Literature Today, spring, 1999, Edward Waters Hood, review of The Cambridge History of Latin American Literature, p. 303.