Chapter

Andrés Bello and the Foundations of Spanish National Philology

Nadia R. Altschul

in Geographies of Philological Knowledge

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780226016214
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226016191 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226016191.003.0005
Andrés Bello and the Foundations of Spanish National Philology

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This chapter examines how the existence of a criollo medievalist during the early years of epic nationalism creates a fissure instead of a continuity in metropolitan foundational narratives. As Castilian seems to be the only example in which a creole subject could be conceived as placed at the foundation of a “modern” national philology, the Spanish American case further etches the identity of the national philologies as dependent on the existence of metropolitan origins. This chapter reveals how the colonialized placement of Spain within the European realm interacted with the peculiar situation of Andrés Bello as an early editor of the national epic. Spain seems to present an unexpected exception to the narratives of foundation of the national philologies because of the existence of a criollo at the very beginnings of nineteenth-century philological nationalism. Bello's enterprise and characteristics occupy a more difficult position; his native language was Spain's national Castilian dialect, he was a white male of European descent, he was born a citizen of the Spanish body-politic, and he had a level of education that made him difficult to dismiss as a mere amateur. Yet Bello's work with philology and his opinions regarding premodern literatures also had their own particular meaning in and for Spanish America.

Keywords: national philologies; criollo; philology; Spain; philological nationalism

Chapter.  7486 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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