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Incomparable EmpiresModernism and the Translation of Spanish and American Literature$
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Gayle Rogers

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780231178563

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231178563.001.0001

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Unamuno, Nativism, and the Politics of the Vernacular; or, on the Authenticity of Translation

Unamuno, Nativism, and the Politics of the Vernacular; or, on the Authenticity of Translation

Chapter:
(p.137) Chapter 4 Unamuno, Nativism, and the Politics of the Vernacular; or, on the Authenticity of Translation
Source:
Incomparable Empires
Author(s):

Gayle Rogers

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231178563.003.0005

Approaches the question of nativism—an investment in the rejuvenation of one’s nation and its putative mother tongues—through a practice that would seem to be at odds with it: translation. Unamuno used translation to reform the Spanish language, and through it, he became instrumental in launching the study of American literature in Spain in the first two decades of the twentieth century. He did so by discovering his “voice” in Spanish, he claimed, through his translations of everyone from Thomas Carlyle to Walt Whitman. This chapter thus deconstructs Unamuno’s nostalgic vision of the Spanish empire and its linguistic unity after 1898 through his own work as a translator of English, and then specifically US writing, set against his own theories of the future shared dominance of global writing by Spanish and English.

Keywords:   Unamuno, Translation, Vernacular, Nativism, emergence, poetry

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