Edited by John Milton and Paul Bandia
[Benjamins Translation Library 81] 2009
► pp. 19–42
Francisco de Miranda, intercultural forerunner
Latin America as a whole is a translation continent, a continent with a transcultural history in which translation has a place of honour. It is not surprising therefore that there have been so many important figures who have translated, encouraged translations and publications of translated books, or reflected on the ways of translating and its impact on the construction of a genuine culture and identity.
This paper highlights the trajectory of the major player and agent of translation during the so-called emancipation period, that is, from the end of the 18th century to the first decades of the 19th century, namely Francisco de Miranda (1750–1816).
The hypothesis of this study is that the real role played by translation in the Hispano-American subcontinent, described and interpreted by a detailed examination of translation content and the acts of translation performed by the ‘agent’ studied here, is that of having contributed to the emancipation movement, to the creation of a national and continental identity, and to the construction of a new culture in the region. The study goes through Miranda’s biographical data and intellectual life and examines Miranda’s translation of Viscardo’sLettre aux Espagnols-américains. It then looks into Miranda’s influence on Latin American intellectuals and revolutionary leaders from his home in London and especially into his role as an agent of propaganda through sponsoring newspapers and books.
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