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"Making the Margins Chaos": Romantic and Antiromantic Readings of La Maravilla

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Alfredo Véa Jr.'s 1993 novel La Maravilla depicts a 1950s squatter community on the edge of Phoenix. The community, Buckeye Road, questions notions of U.S. American identity as middle-class, WASP, and heterosexual. Buckeye can easily be viewed as a romanticized utopia that offers an alternative to consumer capitalism, urban sprawl, the disintegration of community, and the loss of spiritual values in the second half of the twentieth century. I argue, however, that the novel consistently undercuts both its own romanticism and our romanticized readings of it.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 October 2005

More about this publication?
  • Aztlán presents original research that is relevant to or informed by the Chicano experience. An interdisciplinary, refereed journal, Aztlán focuses on scholarly essays in the humanities, social sciences, and arts, supplemented by thematic pieces in the dosier section, an artist's communiqué, a review section, and a commentary by the editor, Chon A. Noriega. Aztlán seeks ways to bring Chicano studies into critical dialogue with Latino, ethnic, American, and global studies.
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