Prolegomenos a la Materia Americana. [Spanish Text]

Dissertation, University of Colorado at Boulder (1989)
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Abstract

The purpose of the present investigation is, first, to inquire into the philosophical presuppositions that underlie the use of the notions of origin and identity in Spanish American cultural discourse, and second, to propose a new conceptual approach to the project of incorporation of the Colonial document in the Spanish American literary canon. Taking into account what in view of some authors is the problematic character of the notion of the origins, it is the aim of this investigation, first, to define the nature of the problem as it is dealt with in the domain of philosophical discourse, and second, to introduce a new notion that makes viable the discourse of identity without incurring the liabilities which are inherent in the notion of the origins. Such is the notion that underlies this investigation, that is, the notion of "matter". What this notion makes possible is not only the legitimacy of the Spanish American discourse of identity, but also the incorporation of the Colonial document as a major moment in such discourse. ;The study is divided in five chapters. Chapter 1 reviews the notion of "matter" in those aspects which are pertinent to the goals of the research. Chapter 2 highlights some of the problems that arise in face of the project of incorporation of the Colonial document in the Spanish American canon. Chapter 3 takes the central position in this study by showing, via the work of one Spanish American author , the pertinence of the notion of "matter" in the discourse of identity. Chapters 4 and 5 provide--in the works of Gonzalo Fernandez de Oviedo and Pedro Martir de Angleria--, two instances of incorporation of Colonial discourses in the more general discourse of Spanish American culture. This investigation is here presented as an essay on American hyletics

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