The Promise of the Foreign: Nationalism and the Technics of Translation in the Spanish Philippines by Vincente L. Rafael, 9780822336648
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"Following up on Contracting Colonialism, Vicente L. Rafael studies the Philippine nationalists' failed attempts to lay claim to Spanish, and the emergence of a hungry Tagalog meaning-machine eager to 'host the foreign in the familiar.' Rafael takes his readers on an astonishing trip through the Philippine cultural archive, from vernacular comedia, epic and novel, to underground newspapers, speeches, and the captured documents of secret societies, examining language as an unstoppable producer of social and political possibilities, including the possibility of the national. No one grasps better than Rafael the ambiguous agency of language in colonialism and decolonization."-Mary Louise Pratt, New York University "In the tradition of James Siegel and Benedict Anderson, Vicente L. Rafael has given us a daring book about the ambivalent origins of the nation in the Philippines. It will be loved and emulated by students of nationalism, Southeast Asia, and comparative literary studies everywhere. There is good reason for this, for it is a beautiful book, a book of readings for lovers of literature, a book about literature for the media age. Mostly, however, it is a book about the foreignness in us all: an unassailable refutation of nationalist ideologies of purity."-Rosalind C. Morris, author of In the Place of Origins: Modernity and Its Mediums in Northern Thailand "This latest work is one of erudition and unique insight. What is characteristic of Rafael's prose is not only its eloquence but the meticulous unpacking of every snippet of source material, which is mined for its heuristic value, propelling the argument towards often unique lateral understandings. This is a work that would be of great value to Philippinists in particular and to those who are interested in the development of nationalist thought in Southeast Asia more broadly." -- Julius J. Bautista, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies
About the author
Vicente L. Rafael is Professor of History at the University of Washington. He is the author of White Love and Other Events in Filipino History and Contracting Colonialism: Translation and Christian Conversion in Tagalog Society under Early Spanish Rule, both also published by Duke University Press.
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