cial, often third-world, artist among the demands of the local culture, the expression of national identity, and the frequently internalized demands for high quality, in which quality is inevitably equated with the standards of the world center.
Yet at the same time, one must not underestimate the importance, expecially in the nineteenth and earlier twentieth century, but today as well, of modernity and modernization as liberating, expansionist concepts, which opened doors, knocked down walls, expanded the cramped, often conventional roles inflicted on people by traditional village culture. Both nineteenth- and twentieth-century fiction offers us many visions of the talented or the unusual individual oppressed by or languishing in restrictive, stultifying provincial settings, from Madame Bovary to the Three Sisters. The center, then--Paris above all for the nineteenth-century artist--should be thought of not just in terms of oppression or domination, but as the source of liberation and stimulation as well. In this conflict, so central to the meaning and direction of art, and indeed, of all cultural creation today, Francisco Oller stands as an exemplary figure, one whose importance extends far beyond the island which nourished him with that all-important sense of place.