This article discusses the representation of Indigenous-inspired authorial figures in The Fox from Up Above and the Fox from Down Below, by José María Arguedas. In the context of the 1960s Latin American Boom, Arguedas’s novel includes a reflection on the professionalization of literary writing, as well as the impact of commodification on Indigenous migrants in Chimbote. This article draws parallels between the diarist Arguedas (who defines himself as a nonprofessional writer attached to Indigenous cultures), the fishing entrepreneur Braschi (a mythical figure and the begetter of Chimbote’s industrialization), and the networks of rural-urban migrants (which assimilate the “gringo” Maxwell, performer of Andean folklore). As a model for Indigenous-inspired authorial figures, this article suggests the importance of Arguedas’s articles about the mestizo retablista Joaquín Lopez Antay, who defended the artistic integrity of his craftwork against economic demands. On that note, the networks of rural-urban migrants negotiate their standing in the modernizing process with a strong and flexible Indigenous identity.

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