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

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

6

"For their own good"

The Spanish identity and its Great Inquisitor, Miguel de Unamuno

Joan Ramon Resina

Sean cuales fueren las deficiencias que para la vida de la cultura moderna tenga el pueblo castellano, es preciso confesar que a su generosidad, a su sentido impositivo, a su empeño por imponer a otros sus creencias, debió su predominancia…. Gran generosidad implica el ir a salvar almas, aunque sea a tizonazos.

(Unamuno 1905b:1293)

En bien espiritual de Cataluña, en bien de su mayor cultura, hay que mantener la oficialidad irrestringida e incompartida de la lengua española, de la única lengua nacional de España.

(Unamuno 1908d:377)

El inquisidor es más caritativo que el anacoreta. 1

(Unamuno 1908d:375)

Centennials, it seems, are a function of history: a turning back, an awareness of elapsed time, a recollection of elements that time has dispersed and pious evocation brings back to life for as long as the rite lasts. History, though, is a double-edged word. It stands both for action in the past and for the retrospective consciousness of that action in the minds of those who have suffered its consequences, who are the consequences of action as well as the agents of memory. Yet consciousness is not just the residue of past events or impressions; it is itself constitutive of history. It is by knowingly producing the conditions of human action that history arises, by acting in knowledge of the effects of one's action. This means that historical discourse is never purely retrospective, that it never records or traces the past for its own sake, but produces itself in order to establish the conditions in which the present is experienced. Organized to honor or remember the past, centennials can also serve to expand the range of its agency, building a bridge to the future by anchoring it in present rhetoric. Or they can stabilize an order inaugurated by the historical agent being commemorated or remembered. In such cases a centennial can legitimize a conservative option that has stalled ideologically, even as the time gap is acknowledged and differences of context

-106-

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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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