Playful Pedagogy and Polemic Bilingualism in the Contemporary Argentine Memoir of Immigration: Mario Castells’ El mosto y la queresa (2012)

Juan Caballero


This essay explores Mario Castells’ deployment of Guaraní and Jopará (urban Spanish-Guaraní pidgin) within his Spanish-language memoir as a politically-charged form of immersive pedagogy (i.e., teaching the reader Guaraní as an end unto itself) but also as an autobiographical trope through which to explore the psychology of migration, multicultural identity, and memory. Political and historical context is provided to better understand the author’s and the novel’s positionality with respect to migration and nationalism. The essay also positions Castells’ appropriation of Anglophone models of the immigration memoir and reflects on broader trends in multilingual writing about migration beyond Argentina and North America.


memoir; Guaraní; Jopará; Paraguayan community in Argentina; multilingual fiction

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