The Battle over Spanish between 1800 and 2000: Language Ideologies and Hispanic Intellectuals

By José Del Valle; Luis Gabriel-Stheeman | Go to book overview

1

Nationalism,hispanismo,and monoglossic culture

José del Valle and Luis Gabriel-Stheeman


Introduction

In the history of Hispanic culture, the first few decades of the nineteenth century were marked by the independence movements that led to the birth of most Latin American nations (Cuba and Puerto Rico would remain Spanish until the fateful year, 1898). The movement toward independence of Spanish colonies was not an exclusively political phenomenon; it was accompanied by various projects of cultural emancipation, by a cultural schism. Latin American liberalism was surely influenced by a number of Spanish intellectuals (C.M. Rama 1982:67-102), but the failure of the Spanish liberal project-evidenced by Spain's submission to Napoleon (1808-14) and the subsequent setback under Ferdinand VII (1814-33)-caused the intellectual leaders of the independence movement to shift their attention from the former metropolis to the French and Anglo-Saxon world. While these nations represented progress and modernity, functioning as beacons for the young Latin American nations, Spain continued to be identified by many with the Inquisition and the reactionary structures of traditional societies.

Naturally, in Latin America, independence created the urgent need to construct the administrative structures and cultural contents through which nations materialize. In Spain, despite the existence of the political infra-structures and cultural prestige of one of the old national states, liberal politicians and intellectuals also confronted the challenge of creating a modern nation that would serve the interest of what was becoming the new dominant social class, the bourgeoisie.


The two phases of nationalism

In contrast with the ideas spread by the creators of nationalist mythology, many contemporary scholars have emphasized the modern character of the nation. Contrary to its conception as a natural and eternal entity, endowed with an objective existence, many historians define it as a construct, or, to use Benedict Anderson's well-known term, as an imagined community (1983).

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The Battle over Spanish between 1800 and 2000: Language Ideologies and Hispanic Intellectuals
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Biographical Notes ix
  • Preface xii
  • Acknowledgments xiv
  • 1 - Nationalism, Hispanismo, and Monoglossic Culture 1
  • 2 - Linguistic Anti-Academicism and Hispanic Community 14
  • 3 - The Ideological Construction of an Empirical Base 42
  • 4 - Historical Linguistics and Cultural History 64
  • 5 - Menéndez Pidal, National Regeneration and the Linguistic Utopia 78
  • 6 - "For Their Own Good" 106
  • 7 - A Nobleman Grabs the Broom 134
  • 8 - José María Arguedas 167
  • 9 - "Codo Con Codo" 193
  • References 217
  • Index 231
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