An archeology o f the ‘Boom ’ When Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Mario Vargas Llosa and Julio Cortazar, among others, apparently burst onto the world literary scene of the 1960s and 1970s, they gave the impression that nothing really notable preceded them in Latin America. That impression was reinforced at home by a regional euphoria created, in part, by Castro’s triumph in 1959. Revolution promised immediate liberation after the frustrations and disappointments with the gradual evolutionism of older liberal projects. Together with the mass consciousness industries that spread the celebratory mood, the new politics produced an inflated belief that Latin America had finally come of age. It had finally begun to overcome economic dependency by naming it, and to formulate a cultural independence by cannibalizing the range of European traditions, turning them into mere raw material in purposefully naive American hands.1 Believing that the new literature, known as the Boom, had invented a truly proper language, it seemed that the Adamic dream had come true. Latin Americans could finally (re)name the world and, in doing so, name themselves. Caliban could at last possess his own kingdom.