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Tradition and Renewal in "La gloria de don Ramiro" von Ibieta, Gabriella (eBook)

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Tradition and Renewal in "La gloria de don Ramiro"

The first major study in English of La Gloria de don Ramiro discusses Enrique Lareta's brilliant modernista novel in relation to nineteenth century European and Spanish-American literature, and offers lucid, fresh, and challenging critical analysis of its major themes. "Excellent book. Ibieta's research is solid, well organized, well controlled, and superbly documented, it is a model of fine scholarship."-Myron I. Lichtblau, Hispanic Review. "The reader will find this a thorough and careful examination of Larreta's literary sources." -Annella McDermott, Bulletin of Hispanic Studies.


    Format: PDF
    Kopierschutz: AdobeDRM
    Seitenzahl: 158
    Sprache: Englisch
    ISBN: 9780916379292
    Verlag: Digitalia
    Größe: 7087kBytes
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Tradition and Renewal in "La gloria de don Ramiro"

Introduction (p. 1)

Starting with the assumption that all literature, being an expression of the assimilation of other works of literature, reflects not only an external reality, but a fictional reality as well, the principal aim of this study will be to place Enrique Larreta`s novel, La gloria de don Ramiro.

Una vida en tiempos de Felipe II (1908) within the European and Spanish-American literary tradition, representative of various intellectual and literary currents that had been influential during the nineteenth century.

Born in Argentina to a Uruguayan family of Spanish- Basque ancestry, Enrique Larreta (1873-1961), like many of his Spanish-American contemporaries, turned to France for manners, artistic inspiration, literary sources, philosophical thought.

This attitude is not difficult to understand, a review of nineteenthcentury Spanish-American literature immediately reveals its major problem: anxious to establish the literature of a politically, socially, and culturally emerging continent (with striking differences from one country to the next), and unwilling to follow the tradition of Peninsular Spanish literature for reasons of independence and a newly born national pride, most writers adapted the French models to the Spanish-American reality.

Thus, the themes and styles of Chateaubriand, Balzac, and Zola, among others, are often found in the same work: the romantic element was necessary, since a large part of the reading public was female, realistic elements mirrored a body of people in desperate need to "see" themselves in their literature, naturalistic touches, here and there, exposed the cruder side of the new society, often emphasizing the need for progress and reform.

Also, inconsistencies of style, often marked by gallicisms and syntactical oddities, produced a rather peculiar sort of literature that reflected the search for appropriate modes of expression.

One detail that distinguished Larreta in a radical way from many of his contemporaries was his choice of Spain, rather than Argentina or some other Spanish-American country, for the setting of his historical novel (even though modernismo encompassed the concept of a boundary-less spirit of hispanidad, this concept was one of modality rather than thematics).

Larreta`s aestheticism was, if not a reaction against a newly formed and rather eclectic literary tradition, then a manifestation of the inner need to create a rich fictional world, having perhaps as its main purpose the intention to delight.

When discussing La gloria two main aspects immediately come to mind: one, its characteristics as historical fiction, two, its modernista style. Perhaps the first great novel to come out of Spanish-America at an international level, La gloria reflects not only some of the thematic and stylistic preoccupations of Spanish-American modernismo (itself a problematic, hybrid literary current), but also the new look on historiography that had come into play in France during the nineteenth century, as developed specifically by Jules Michelet and Ernest Renan (it has been observed by Andre Jansen that Larreta`s philosophic attitude had been formed, mostly, by French thought).

With Michelet, history had obtained a role it had not had before: his concept of French history embraced the idea of continuity, of relatedness, from the beginning of the French nation to his own time.

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