Re-legitimizing the Unfaithful Bastard Traitor: Re-productive and Contestatory Intertextuality in Andrés Bello’s Gramática and Orlando

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Summer 2020





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Conceived prior to his parents’ matrimony in Venezuela, Andrés Bello (1781-1865) was later accused of fathering an illegitimate child from an adulterous liaison in Chile. By then, some had also considered him a traitor of the patriots for his supposed deviant behavior at the onset of the revolution in Caracas in 1810. Following his departure from Venezuela that year, Bello had begun an unforeseen nineteen-year residency in England (1810-1829) that ended with his relocation to Chile (1829-1865). These “exiles” were marked by impressive strides in politics and scholarship. His grammatical studies advanced in London persisted in Santiago, and culminated in Gramática de la lengua castellana destinada al uso de los americanos (1847). Interpolating and examining quotes from various intertexts in the grammar book, Bello continued a previous propensity to dialog with Cervantes’s Don Quijote; however, he did so with a remarkable deviation in the typical citation pattern that Pedro Grases has observed in some of Bello’s other works. This divergent translinguistic order aids in an attempted re-legitimization of “Bello” to counter possible signifieds linked to his signifier as an unfaithful bastard traitor.


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