This article discusses Ángel Rama’s critique of Latin American culture, mainly in the prologue to La novela latinoamericana. Panoramas 1920-1980(1982), the only collection of texts he published while still alive. In the prologue, Ángel retraces his steps across essays written between the sixties and the seventies, analyzing and scrutinizing his own intellectual and theoretical concerns. By reading the prologue, one realizes how time and authenticity were articulated to inaugurate an idea of America. Ángel then employs the principles of incompleteness and fugacity to interpret Latin American culture as an essay. Furthermore, he proposes a re-reading of Pedro Henríquez Ureña’s La utopía de América(1925). Finally, he deals with the issue of temporality at a moment in history when the present seemed infinite.