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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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“Spanish Is a Language Tu”

“Spanish Is a Language Tu”

Hemingway’s Cubist Spanglish and Its Legacies

Chapter:
(p.199) Chapter 6 “Spanish Is a Language Tu”
Source:
Incomparable Empires
Author(s):

Gayle Rogers

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231178563.003.0007

Analyzes the infamously strange dialogue of For Whom the Bell Tolls, in which characters speak English through a modified version of Spanish syntax, false cognates, and peculiar diction (“What passes with thee?”). This chapter argues that Hemingway’s creation of an Anglo-Spanish literary dialect represents not a political statement on the Spanish Civil War, but a comparative reading of the fates of the languages associated with the rising US and declining Spanish empires—a reading that reaches back to their moments of interpenetration in the 1600s. Rogers calls Hemingway’s mode of dialogue in the novel “structural Spanglish,” a form of interlingual writing that suspends the typical transaction of translation permanently and argues For Whom the Bell Tolls makes a critical late modernist novel that looks forward to the depthless anti-epistemology of postmodernist writing. Briefly examination of several texts that belong in this new genealogy, by Malcolm Lowry, Felipe Alfau, and Ben Lerner.

Keywords:   Hemingway, Cubism, Postmodernism, late modernism, Lowry, Alfau

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