Local Culture and Historical Fiction in the Era of Globalization: Sofía Segovia’s El murmullo de las abejas
In the 2015 novel, El murmullo de las abejas, Mexican writer Sofía Segovia captures a snapshot of Mexico’s history, in particular that of the northern borderlands of Nuevo Leon, while also highlighting the slow unraveling of tradition and culture in the region. The tale narrates the lives of the Morales family as they face the challenges of the 1910 Revolution, the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, the Agrarian Land reforms of Post-Revolutionary Mexico and finally the abandonment of their family land as they migrate to the capital, Monterrey. As such, the reader is presented with the present reality of the region- one that has been drastically altered after years of conflict, economic hardship and globalization.
Through a critical reading of El murmullo de las abejas and with a theoretical framework derived from eco-critical studies, cultural studies, and theories on historical fiction, the present study suggests the text functions as an agent of resistance, an urgent cry to the Mexican nation to recognize the imminent threat to both the local culture and the environment of the northern borderlands of Nuevo Leon, Mexico. As such, the text serves as a call to action to find sustainable solutions in the region’s indigenous past and in a return to the local over the global.