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A World in Words, A Life in Texts

Revisiting Latin American Cultural Heritage – Festschrift in Honour of Peter R. Beardsell

Edited By Victoria Carpenter

This volume presents a number of close readings of Latin American literary and cultural phenomena. The overarching theme of the collection is the revision of the accepted view of Latin American national identities as represented in twentieth-century Latin American literature and culture. The book examines the complexity of national identities forged among political crises, economic upheaval and intercultural influences.
The essays included here focus upon internal contradictions of national identity and the factors contributing to this discord. Among these are the nature of the Latin American intellectual, Latin American modernity and exile, and the psychological underpinning of the re-creation of history. Some of the chapters challenge the existing theoretical framework for Latin American literary analysis by employing non-literary theories to analyse hitherto overlooked textual anomalies.
The book is a Festschrift for Professor Peter R. Beardsell, reflecting the importance of his contribution to Latin American literary and cultural studies.


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Rodó’s Gaze on Europe - GUSTAVO SAN ROMÁN 63


Gustavo San Román Rodó’s Gaze on Europe The aim of this essay is twofold. Firstly, I will study the series of journal- istic ref lections that José Enrique Rodó wrote for a Buenos Aires weekly during his only European sojourn, which in the event coincided with the last nine months of his life (he arrived in Lisbon on 1 August 1916; he died in Palermo on 1 May 1917). I will do so whilst bearing in mind his theoreti- cal writings on the subject of travel in his most ambitious work, Motivos de Proteo (1909), a book of wisdom on the subject of personal develop- ment to which he devoted most of his energy in the years following the publication of Ariel (1900). I will begin with the benefits associated with travelling as proposed by Rodó in Motivos; next I will consider his vision of the ideal journey as expressed in his correspondence and which his death prevented him from achieving fully; subsequently I will explore the ef fect that the experience of travel had on him as shown in the columns he sent from Europe and in his private diary of the journey. The second aim is to be mindful of Peter Beardsell’s own most ambitious book, his last, which deals with the subject of the cultural relations between Europe and Latin America, and thus the second section of this piece will relate my findings to Peter’s conclusions in Returning the Gaze.1 1 Beardsell 2000. The present...

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