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Title: Diatribe and defence : the patriotic manipulation of America in eightenth-century Spanish enlightenment literature
Author: O'Hagan, Ciara Patricia
ISNI:       0000 0001 3452 9648
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2008
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This thesis contributes to recent reassessments of Spanish Enlightenment literature through a detailed examination of the image of America that emerges in a diverse group of fictional and non-fictional texts, principally from the second half of the. eighteenth century, which range from the eighteenth-century Spanish novel to neoclassical epic poetry; from the apologetic accounts of prominent Jesuits to travel literature and satire. By adopting New World reading strategies and analysing the extent to which the texts examined participate in colonial, imperial and abolitionist discourses of Enlightenment Europe, as well as the nature of the literary representation of America that emerges in the fictional texts studied, it aims to counter the marked critical neglect of the topos of America in eighteenth-century Spanish literature. It is argued that no understanding of Spain's treatment of America is complete without recognition of the Eurocentricism that underpins much of it. Moreover, it is demonstrated that representations of America in Enlightenment Spain were inextricably linked to the political, economic and cultural discourses of eighteenth-century Europe. To that end, Chapter One analyses Spain's economic preoccupation with America as a mercantilist entity. Chapter Two reveals that the demands of capital detailed in Chapter One jostled with the ideological and humanitarian debates that were taking place in Enlightenment Europe over the legitimacy of the American conquest and the immorality of slavery. While it is revealed that Spain largely ignored such altruistic questions of empire, she did not ignore the disparaging comments that were being made elsewhere in Europe regarding her conduct in the New World. Indeed, such was Spain's indignation in the face of European calumny that the enlightened reforms put forward by Spain's Bourbon ministers were replaced by the obsessive need of Spanish intellectuals to first of all defend Spain. It is the precise nature of this response, which it is shown switches arbitrarily between diatribe and defence, that is the focus of the detailed examination undertaken of specific texts in subsequent chapters of this thesis.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available