By Elisa Martí-López

Borrowed Words addresses the plain paradox that underpins the methods of cultural construction and intake in mid-nineteenth-century Europe: the truth that international locations at assorted narrative levels turn into contiguous literary markets. It specializes in translations and imitations of overseas literary versions and on their position in establishing the bases of the bourgeois Spanish novel. whereas critics have seen translations and imitations as alien to Spanish procedures of cultural formation, the booklet argues that those writing practices represent either a discourse on nationwide id and an autochthonous writing. The e-book contends that the popularity of translation and imitation within the literary lifetime of a rustic doesn't suggest denying the explicit stipulations created by means of political borders within the structure of a countrywide literature, that's, the life of nationwide borders framing literary reside. What it does is realize new and assorted frontiers that destabilize the nationwide confines (as good because the nationalistic values) of literary historical past. In translation and imitation, borders are skilled no longer because the demarcation of otherness, yet particularly as crossroads within the quest of identification. Martí-López explores those concerns utilizing a bunch of books whose lifestyles is in detail associated with the big exportation of French cultural paradigms (in specific, types of novel writing) to Spain: the Spanish translations and imitations of Eugène Sue's Les Mystères de Paris (1842-1843). The research of those works exhibit the increase of the unconventional in mid-nineteenth-century Spain because the results of either a poetics of aesthetic displacement and advertising and marketing practices - e-book creation and the reception of overseas models.

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Extra info for Borrowed words: translation, imitation, and the making of the nineteenth-century novel in Spain

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17 The success of the French novel made the autochthonous writers redundant, when not superfluous, in the Spanish literary market. The indifference of both publishers and readers to an autochthonous novel created an adverse environment for the Spanish novelists, who had to resort to small and economically precarious printing houses for the publication of their manuscripts. These smaller publishers either lacked the financial resources to compete for translation rights in Paris or had emerged as cultural, rather than profitable, enterprises with hardly any capital to sustain their activity.

The misterios defy both the restrictive (“frontiers within”) strategies of national literary histories and the prestige associated in Western culture with the notion of origin and its attributes (originality, authorship, authority, authenticity, and truth). They represent a discourse that actively resists the setting of transcendent boundaries, either historical or cultural, between countries. In these novels, borders are experienced not as the demarcation of otherness, but rather as crossroads in one’s own quest for identity.

Here the culture of a nation is not defined in relation to a demonized “other” but rather to an internalized one. It springs from the tension produced by a deep sense of affinity with the discourse of the other and the simultaneous need to assert one’s own difference. In relation to this it is important to point out that the considerable ascendance of German Romantic poetics and its notions of Kultur and Geist in Spanish literary circles during the 1840s—when the first misterios were published—with its understanding of nation as a transcendental soul (a set of unique, nontransferable, and transhistorical ethnic characteristics of a people), did not erase completely Neoclassical literary principles and practices or Enlightened political visions.

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