198 pp., 6 x 9, bibl
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-8078-9266-4
Published: January 1999
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Distributed for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Department of Romance Studies
This book investigates three examples of the turn-of-the-century essay in Spain and Latin America: Ángel Ganivet's Idearium español (1897), José Enrique Rodó's Ariel (1900), and Alcides Arguedas's Pueblo enfermo (1909). Michael Aronna traces the reactions of these historically and rhetorically related colonial and postcolonial thinkers to the new economic, cultural, social, and political challenges of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. He shows how concepts of sexual degeneration, racial inferiority, immaturity, and gender prominent in contemporary philosophy and science were central to these writers' shared understanding of the nation as an organism vulnerable to "social pathogens."