Borrowed Words: Translation, Imitation, and the Making of the Nineteenth-Century Novel in Spain

Synopsis

"The book addresses the apparent paradox that is at the base of the processes of cultural production and consumption in mid-nineteenth-century Europe: the fact that nations at different narrative stages become contiguous literary markets. It focuses on translations and imitations of foreign literary models and on their role in setting up the bases of the bourgeois Spanish novel. While critics have viewed translations and imitations as alien to Spanish processes of cultural formation, the book argues that these writing practices constitute both a discourse on national identity and an autochthonous writing. The book contends that the acceptance of translation and imitation in the literary life of a country does not imply denying the specific conditions created by political borders in the constitution of a national literature, that is, the existence of national borders framing literary life. What it does is recognize new and different frontiers that destabilize the national confines (as well as the nationalistic values) of literary history. In translation and imitation, borders are experienced not as the demarcation of otherness, but rather as crossroads in the quest for identity." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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