Meaning of YEAR IN REVIEW 1996: LITERATURE: SPANISH in English

SPANISH: Latin America. Nobel laureate Gabriel Garca Mrquez' novel Of Love and Other Demons was published in English in 1995. His 13th book of fiction to appear in English, it re-created the exotic and magical world of his writings. The novel had originally appeared in Spanish in 1994. Other Colombian writers also had books published. Daro Jaramillo Agudelo's second novel, Cartas cruzadas, was an epistolary work dealing with destiny and chance in human relationships. Rodrigo Parra Sandoval published Tarzan y el filsofo desnudo, a satire of Colombian academics and intellectual traditions. R.H. Moreno-Durn published Cartas en el asunto and Como el halcn peregrino. His seventh book of fiction, Cartas en el asunto consisted of short narratives connected by letters. In Como el halcn peregrino the author recounted his experiences with the Latin-American writers of the 1960s and '70s and of his own generation. Arturo Alape published La hoguera de las ilusiones, dealing with one of Bogot's neighbourhoods. Alberto Duque Lpez issued the novel Muriel, mi amor, essayist and novelist Alvaro Pineda Botero published the novel Crcel por amor, and Raimundo Gmez Csseres published his second novel, Das as. A new so-called TV generation of writers, born in the 1950s, appeared in Colombia. Three of them--Philip Potdevin, Octavio Escobar Giraldo, and Jos Gabriel Baena--published their first novels after having won prizes for short fiction. Potdevin's Metatrn was an experimental book full of history, alchemy, music, theology, and a plethora of esoteric subjects. Escobar Giraldo's El ltimo diario de Tony Flowers offered a rewriting of North American literary and popular culture. Baena published the experimental novel El amor eterno es un sandwich express in late 1994. Edgar Torres Arias, of the same generation, wrote a popular fictionalization of the Medelln cartel's underground life, Los mercaderes de la muerte. Mexican writer Carlos Fuentes' latest novel appeared in English under the title Diana, the Goddess Who Hunts Alone. In the novel Fuentes continued his exploration of the relationships between literature, history, and life. The writer Federico Campbell published his first book in English, Tijuana. Set on the border between Mexico and the United States, the stories engaged the reader with several types of borders--geographic, psychological, cultural, and spiritual. The major novels to appear in Mexico included La viuda by Mara Luisa Puga, La corte de los ilusos by Rosa Beltrn, La ceremonia perfecta by Federico Patn, and Olvdame by Sergio Fernndez. La viuda told the story of a woman's discovery of a new identity. La corte de los ilusos was set in 19th-century Mexico. La ceremonia perfecta dealt with changes in a married couple's life with black humour. Olvdame demonstrated an impressive control of narrative technique. Novelist Ignacio Solares published a volume of short stories, Murete y sabrs. Writing in London, Cuban Guillermo Cabrera Infante created fictional memoirs of life in Havana in Delito por bailar el chachach. Lisandro Otero's La travesa portrayed a protagonist who was obsessed with a variety of erotic activities but had difficulties establishing authentic human relationships. Ren Vzquez Daz' La isla del Cundeamor had been written in exile. Diario de Andrs Fava, a short work by Argentine novelist Julio Cortzar, appeared posthumously. Alicia Borinsky, whose novel Mean Woman had appeared in English in 1993, published Sueos de un seductor abandonado in Argentina. The novel dealt with the labyrinthine, nocturnal urban life of grotesque characters. Other major writers who published novels during the year included Jos Donoso, Adriano Gonzlez Len, and Sergio Ramrez. Donoso's Donde van a morir los elefantes recounted the story of a Chilean writer who accepts a position in an American university and then becomes fascinated with a female student and embroiled in academic politics. Venezuelan writer Adriano Gonzlez Len, who had not published a novel for many years, issued Viejo, dealing with a writer's attempts to confront his solitude and inactivity. Nicaraguan Sergio Ramrez published Un baile de mscaras. Several of Latin America's most renowned writers published notable books of nonfiction. Nobel laureate Octavio Paz, who lived in India in the 1960s, wrote about his relationship with that nation in Vislumbres de la India. Elena Poniatowska's Luz y luna, las lunitas was an insightful set of chronicles about the lives of Mexican women. Puerto Rican writer Luis Rafael Snchez issued a set of literary essays, La guagua area. Memoria y olvido (1920-1946) was the title of Juan Jos Arreola's autobiography. The Mexican celebrity painter Jos Luis Cuevas published his observations in Gato macho. (RAYMOND LESLIE WILLIAMS) Special Report Postmodern Literature in Latin America BY RAYMOND LESLIE WILLIAMS Latin- American literature blossomed and received international acclaim in the 1960s and 1970s with the so-called boom in the novel, a movement signaled by the publication of major works by the Colombian Gabriel Garca Mrquez, the Mexican Carlos Fuentes, the Peruvian Mario Vargas Llosa, the Argentine Julio Cortzar, and the Chilean Jos Donoso. (More recently, the Chilean Isabel Allende [see BIOGRAPHIES] has become one of the most widely read Latin-American novelists.) The rise of these writers was anticipated by the master who served as father figure for them all: Jorge Luis Borges. The cultural importance of the region also became evident in the awarding of the Nobel Prize for Literature to several Latin-American writers beginning in the 1960s: the Guatemalan novelist Miguel ngel Asturias (in 1967), the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda (1971), Garca Mrquez (1982), and the Mexican poet and essayist Octavio Paz (1990). The Latin-American literature of the 1990s includes some of the writers from the 1960s, for Vargas Llosa, Fuentes, Garca Mrquez, and Donoso have continued their brilliant literary careers. Cortzar died in 1984, but his heirs have published several of his writings posthumously. Beyond these novelists, however, a new generation of Latin-American writers has surfaced, and these writers are creating a heterogeneity in literature never seen before in the Hispanic world. This new generation includes the Argentine Ricardo Piglia, the Chilean Diamela Eltit, the Colombian R.H. Moreno-Durn, the Venezuelan Jos Balza, the Puerto Rican Luis Rafael Snchez, and the Mexican Jos Emilio Pacheco. The writing of the 1990s in Latin America exhibits a trend toward postmodern experimentation, with Piglia, Eltit, Moreno-Durn, Balza, Snchez, and Pacheco its most prominent exponents. Piglia and Eltit are the most radically experimental, and the fiction of Piglia is one of the most aesthetically innovative and politically significant since the writings of Cortzar. Piglia's fictional works consist of Nombre falso (1975; Assumed Name, 1995), Respiracon artificial (1980; Artificial Respiration, 1994), Prisin perpetua (1988), and La ciudad ausente (1992). The four works can be seen as an outgrowth of Borges' writings, for they are fictional meditations that can also be read as essays. Piglia's fiction is a major rewriting of Argentine history and literature in a fictional world of provisional truths. Along with the work of Piglia and Fuentes' Terra nostra (1975), Eltit's total writing represents one of the most ambitious, challenging, and profound searches for historical origins published in Latin America. Her project consists of the four novels Lumprica (1983), Por la patria (1986), El cuarto mundo (1988; The Fourth World, 1995), and Vaca sagrada (1991). As her first three books were written under the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, Eltit joined other young novelists in the creation of a writing of resistance. Moreno-Durn and Balza are less experimental in their writing, but they are concerned with much the same aesthetic and political program as are Piglia and Eltit. The roots of Moreno-Durn's hermetic trilogy of the 1980s, Fmina suite, are found not in the empirical reality of Colombia but rather, as is the case in much postmodern fiction, in modernist literature. The subjects of Moreno-Durn's seven books of fiction are writing and language; with his later novels he has assumed the role of the chronicler of postmodern Bogot. Balza has published numerous volumes of fiction in various forms, including several books of different variations and combinations that he, like Moreno-Durn, considers his "exercises." Like Moreno-Durn, Piglia, and other postmodern writers with whom he closely identifies, Balza often blurs the line between fictional and essayistic discourses, writing fictions about literature and essays in a fictional mode. After having previously published short fiction and plays, Snchez brought postmodern fiction to the forefront of Puerto Rican culture with the publication in 1976 of La guaracha del macho Camacho (Macho Camacho's Beat, 1980). He continued his postmodern writings with a second novel, La importancia de llamarse Daniel Santos (1989). After the breakdown of the frontiers between popular and high culture already effected by Guillermo Cabrera Infante and Severo Sarduy, Snchez's novelization of the popular culture of Caribbean music and American television in Macho Camacho's Beat was a logical step in the Caribbean postmodern. Pacheco is just one of a group of postmodern writers in Mexico that includes Salvador Elizondo, Luis Arturo Ramos, and Carmen Boullosa. Signs of early postmodernism were evident in Mexico as early as the late 1960s, and Pacheco's novel Morirs lejos (1967, You Will Die in a Distant Land, 1987) has some of the qualities of such writing. The postmodern character of the novel betrays and subverts the unity suggested in reading it as an ultimately harmonious, modernist text. In the 1980s and 1990s, Ramos and Boullosa have published high-quality postmodern fiction. Thus, there are numerous postmodern tendencies in the Latin-American fiction of the past two decades. The centres of this literary production are Mexico, the Caribbean, and the Southern Cone nations. Never constituted to be a repetition or a duplication of the boom of the 1960s, this heterogeneous and often political fiction marks several directions for Latin-American literature at the end of the century. Raymond Leslie Williams is professor of Spanish at the University of Colorado. His writings include The Postmodern Novel in Latin America. TURKISH For Turkish literature 1995 was a lacklustre year in which no major works saw print. Yashar Kemal (see BIOGRAPHIES) published no new book in 1995, but he did stir controversy with his relentless criticism of human rights violations in the Index on Censorship, Stern, and the New York Times. Orhan Pamuk rested on the laurels of his 1994 blockbuster Yeni hayat ("New Life") and the English translation of his novel Kara kitap (The Black Book). He also attracted attention with essays and interviews published in Europe and with his first-page critical essay on Salman Rushdie in the Times Literary Supplement. Hundreds of books of poetry were published in 1995. Noteworthy were new and republished collections by Ilhan Berk and Toplu siirler ("Collected Poems") by Ahmet Oktay, who also published a 1,300-page first volume of his critical anthology of the literature of the Turkish republic. There were dazzling achievements in translation--from Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales to the poetry of Hilda Doolittle. Nedim Grsel, who lived in Paris, produced Bogazkesen ("Bosphorus Fortress"), one of the best Postmodernist novels in Turkish, which integrated the fall of Constantinople and the coup d'tat of 1980. Necati Cumali received the Orhan Kemal and the Yunus Nadi prizes for his novel Viran daglar ("Ruined Mountains"). Turkey's most popular satirist of all time, Aziz Nesin (see OBITUARIES), who had been a controversial figure since the mid-1940s, died in 1995 at the age of 79. He left behind more than 90 books of fiction, poetry, plays, essays, and other works, in addition to hundreds of uncollected newspaper articles. Bilge Karasu, a prominent novelist, who had won the Pegasus Prize in 1991 for his Gece (1985; Night, 1994), also died during the year. (TALAT S. HALMAN) MATHEMATICS The long-running saga of Fermat's last theorem was finally concluded in 1995. The nearly 360-year-old conjecture states that xn + yn = zn has no positive integer solutions if x, y, z, and n are positive integers and n is three or more. In 1993 Andrew Wiles of Princeton University announced a proof, based on new results in algebraic number theory. By 1994, however, a gap in the proof had emerged. The gap was repaired--or, more accurately, circumvented--by Wiles and former student Richard Taylor of the University of Cambridge. The difficulty in Wiles's proof arose from an attempt to construct a so-called Euler system. The new approach involves making a detailed study of algebraic structures known as Hecke algebras, a task in which Taylor's contribution proved crucial. The complete proof was confirmed by experts and published in the Annals of Mathematics. Fruitful revisionism of a different kind took place in the important area of gauge field theory, in which ideas originating in mathematical physics for the purpose of describing subatomic particles and their interactions were being applied to topology--the study of the properties that a region of space retains under deformation--with spectacular consequences. Paramount among them was the discovery, made in 1983 by Simon Donaldson of the University of Oxford, that the properties of four-dimensional Euclidean space are exceptional compared with those of the spaces of all other dimensions. Donaldson's discovery was based on the Yang-Mills field equations in quantum mechanics, introduced in the 1950s by the physicists Chen Ning Yang and Robert L. Mills to describe the interactions between particles in the atomic nucleus. The equations possess special solutions known as instantons--particle-like wave packets that occupy a small region of space and exist for a tiny instant. Donaldson observed that instanton solutions of the Yang-Mills equations encode topological information about the space for which the equations are posed. But just as mathematics was adjusting to the powerful new techniques arising from that insight, Edward Witten of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, N.J., developed an entirely new system of equations that can be substituted for those of Yang and Mills. Witten's ideas, far from supplanting the earlier approach, were shedding light on how the Yang-Mills equations work. Witten's equations replace instantons with magnetic monopoles, hypothetical particles possessing a single magnetic pole--mathematically a far more tractable setting. The early payoff included proofs of several long-standing conjectures in low-dimensional topology. A long-standing question in dynamical systems theory, i.e., the genuineness of the chaos observed in the Lorenz equations, was answered. The equations were developed by the meteorologist Edward Lorenz in 1963 in a model of atmospheric convection. Using a computer, he showed that the solutions were highly irregular--small changes in the input values produced large changes in the solutions, which led to apparently random behaviour of the system. In modern parlance such behaviour is called chaos. Computers, however, use finite precision arithmetic, which introduces round-off errors. Is the apparent chaos in the Lorenz equations an artifact of finite precision, or is it genuine? Konstantin Mischaikow and Marian Mrozek of the Georgia Institute of Technology showed that chaos really is present. Ironically their proof was computer-assisted. Nevertheless, that fact did not render the proof "unrigorous" because the role of the computer was to perform certain lengthy but routine calculations, which in principle could be done by hand. Indeed, Mischaikow and Mrozek justified using the computer by setting up a rigorous mathematical framework for finite precision arithmetic. Their main effort went into devising a theory to pass from finite precision to infinite precision. In short, they found a way to parlay the computer's approximations into an exact result. A famous problem in recreational mathematics was solved by political scientist Steven Brams of New York University and mathematician Alan Taylor of Union College, Schenectady, N.Y. The problem is to devise a proportional envy-free allocation protocol. An allocation protocol is a systematic method for dividing some desired object--traditionally a cake--among several people. It is proportional if each person is satisfied that he or she is receiving at least a fair share, and it is envy-free if each person is satisfied that no one is receiving more than a fair share. This area of mathematics was invented in 1944 by the mathematician Hugo Steinhaus. For two people the problem is solved by the "I cut, you choose" protocol; Steinhaus' contribution was a proportional but not envy-free protocol for three people. In the early 1960s John Selfridge and John Horton Conway independently found an envy-free protocol for three people, but the problem remained open for four or more people. Brams and Taylor discovered highly complex proportional envy-free protocols for any number of people. Because many areas of human conflict focus upon similar questions, their ideas had potential conflict-resolving applications in economics, politics, and social science. (IAN STEWART) This updates the articles analysis; number theory; physical science, principles of; topology.

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