Arielismo

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Arielismo

Arielismo refers to an idealistic quality of Hispanic American thought. The term is a neologism derived from José Enrique Rodo's Ariel (1900), an essay that advocates a harmonious synthesis of the finest attributes of Greco-Roman culture, the Judeo-Christian heritage, and modern (late-nineteenth-century) perspectives. In Latin American intellectual circles it has customarily been associated with elitism, spiritualist aesthetics, and high standards of excellence.

Arielismo has often been used to explain the contrast between refined intellectual activity and high culture on the one hand, and a more direct, pragmatic approach to Latin American problems on the other. Practical-minded critics of the tendency have recognized its value as a cultural ideal and educational stimulus but have considered its advocates to be out of touch with Latin America's most pressing political, social, and economic needs.

Arielismo has had few explicit defenders. However, important twentieth-century writings have shared or revised its spirit, among them: the Peruvian José de la Riva-Agüero's Carácter de la literatura del Perú independiente (1905) as well as his compatriot Francisco García Calderón's Le Pérou contemporain: étude sociale (1907), the Mexican Alfonso Reyes's Visión de Anáhuac (1917), the Venezuelan Mariano Picón-Salas's Regreso de tres mundos (1959), and the Dominican Pedro Henríquez Ureña's Seis ensayos en busca de nuestra expresión (1928). Its detractors have been more pointed in their reaction: for example, Alberto Zum Felde, Proceso intelectual del Uruguay y crítica de su literatura (1941), and Luis Alberto Sánchez, Balance y liquidación del novecientos (1941). In 1971 Roberto Fernández Retamar published Calibán, a socialist-oriented essay in which the leading roles in Rodó's work are reversed: Now Próspero, the imperialistic magician, symbolizes the United States, and the uncouth Calibán is made over to represent a victimized Latin America.

See alsoAriel; Darío, Rubén; Krausismo; Positivism; Rodó, José Enrique.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Aronna, Michael. "Pueblos enfermos": The Discourse of Illness in the Turn-of-the-Century Spanish and Latin American Essay. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Department of Romance Languages, 1999.

Crow, John A. "Ariel and Calibán." In his The Epic of Latin America, 4th edition. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992.

Nuccetelli, Susana. "Latin Americans, North Americans and the Rest of the World." In her Latin American Thought: Philosophical Problems and Arguments, pp. 179-221. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2002.

Oviedo, José Miguel. "Bajo las alas de Ariel." In his Breve historia del ensayo hispanoamericano, pp. 45-62. Madrid: Alianza, 1990.

Rodríguez Monegal, Emir. "América/utopía: García Calderón el discípulo favorito de Rodó." Cuadernos Hispanoamericanos 417 (1985): 166-171.

Stabb, Martin S. "The Revolt against Scientism." In his In Quest of Identity: Patterns in the Spanish American Essay of Ideas, 1890–1960 Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1967.

Ward, Thomas. La teoría literaria: Romanticismo, krausismo y modernismo ante la globalización industrial. University of Mississippi: Romance Monographs no. 61, 2004; see pp. 70-91 and 127-138.

Zea, Leopoldo, and Hernán Tabeada, eds. Arielismo y globalización. Mexico: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2000.

                                         Peter G. Earle

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Arielismo

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