The City of Translation: Poetry and Ideology in Nineteenth-Century Colombia
José María Rodríguez García
Palgrave Macmillan 2010
WINNER OF THE PROSE AWARD FOR LITERATURE, LANGUAGE, AND LINGUISTICS!
The two principal questions that The City of Translation sets out to answer are: how did poetry, philology, catechesis, and literary translation legitimate a coterie of right-wing literati’s rise to power in Colombia? And how did these men proceed to dismantle a long-standing liberal-democratic state without derogating basic constitutional freedoms? To answer those questions, José María Rodríguez García investigates the emergence, development, and decline of what he calls “the reactionary city of translation”—a variation on, and a correction to, Ángel Rama’s understanding of the nineteenth-century “lettered city” as a primarily liberal and modernizing project. The City of Translation makes the tropes of “translatio” the conceptual nucleus of a comprehensive analysis that cuts across academic disciplines, ranging from political philosophy and the history of concepts to the relationship of literature to religious doctrine and the law.