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From the novela de la caña to Junot Díaz's 'cake-eater' : world-literature, the world food system and the Dominican Republic.

Oloff, K. (2019) 'From the novela de la caña to Junot Díaz's 'cake-eater' : world-literature, the world food system and the Dominican Republic.', Atlantic studies., 16 (1). pp. 90-107.


Significant changes occurred from the 1870s onwards, which laid the foundations for today's highly uneven, globalized world-food-system. It is in this context that Dominican and Dominican-American literary aesthetics are particularly revealing, as they register the impact of the rapid integration of the Dominican Republic into the world market through the sugar industry. As I argue, while the political ecology fuelling the foundational romance Enriquillo by Manuel de Jesús Galván (1882) is consciously repressed in the service of producing a national fantasy, the “critical irrealist” aesthetics of Ramón Marrero Arristy's Over (1939) possess at least some disruptive potential. It is in this context that Junot Díaz's insistent focus on style, genre and aesthetics take on their full significance, placing The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2007) at the vanguard of thinking around the “worlding” of literary studies as well as about the role of cultural production in what Jason W. Moore calls the capitalist “world-ecology.”

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Publisher statement:This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Atlantic Studies on 20 January 2019 available online at:
Date accepted:02 May 2017
Date deposited:05 June 2017
Date of first online publication:20 January 2019
Date first made open access:20 July 2020

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