Abstract: This article explores different interpretations of the Mexican Revolution (1910–1917) in Vicente Blasco Ibáñez’s El militarismo mejicano (1920) and Ramón María del Valle Inclán’s Tirano Banderas (1926). Spain’s colonial legacies and neocolonial practices in the Americas were mobilized by Spanish writers to discuss not only the revolutionary processes experienced in Mexico, but also to argue about Spanish internal politics and to define the meaning and import of the emerging concept of Hispanidad. This mode of writing can be best understood through the concept of postcolonial stereography: descriptions and discussions of the former colonial possessions by metropolitan writers are not only postcolonial ethnographies; they also contain a wealth of commentaries on social and political customs and events in the former metropolis. It is consequently a writing in two directions that uses the postcolonial country, in this case Mexico, as a site to discuss side by side two societies that share many political trends and social habits but are also distinctly separate. Blasco Ibáñez’s description of the protofascist military dictatorship of Primo de Rivera (1923–1929) as a “mejicanización” of Spanish politics, exemplifies this mode of writing as he spuriously detects unwarranted influences of the former colony on the metropolis. Blasco Ibáñez’s earlier series of newspaper articles on the Mexican Revolution evidence an ethnocentric, occidentalist rejection of the social emancipatory promises of the Revolution. In contrast, Valle-Inclán’s fictional approach to the Revolution reveals an orientalized representation of the corrupt Hispanic elite as the source of postcolonial social unrest.
Revista Hispánica Moderna – University of Pennsylvania Press
Published: May 5, 2012
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