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Anxious gatekeeping

Analogous to nervous cluelessness is something we might call “anxious gatekeeping.”   This is desire to police the borders of poetry, or of...

Monday, February 4, 2013

Here's a Thought

What if Spain became more, not less, interesting if we were to view it as less exceptional? In other words, what if exceptionalism is really a barrier to greater understanding. Of course, our initial interest in the country, for many of us, derives from its distinctiveness, the way it is not a typical European country. The basic ideology of Hispanism is that Spain is interesting because of the ways it does not conform to European patterns.

I have no position on this yet. I am just floating the question.

5 comments:

Professor Zero said...

The conception of what the European patterns are may need to be what gets revised, or may also need to be revised.

I am anti exceptionalism generally because those who espouse it tend to be very provincial when not outright ignorant. They tend to think in stereotypes and harbor a lot of prejudices.

But to get out of that you have to be willing to look at history in a nuanced way. You have to take serious interest in countries other than your own. You have to be grown up enough not to feel hurt when a tradition you thought was unique to your region also turns out to exist in another country. Most people are not strong enough to tolerate this kind of thing.

Professor Zero said...

The conception of what the European patterns are may need to be what gets revised, or may also need to be revised.

I am anti exceptionalism generally because those who espouse it tend to be very provincial when not outright ignorant. They tend to think in stereotypes and harbor a lot of prejudices.

But to get out of that you have to be willing to look at history in a nuanced way. You have to take serious interest in countries other than your own. You have to be grown up enough not to feel hurt when a tradition you thought was unique to your region also turns out to exist in another country. Most people are not strong enough to tolerate this kind of thing.

Clarissa said...

"Of course, our initial interest in the country, for many of us, derives from its distinctiveness, the way it is not a typical European country."

- I must be very weird because I never even considered this as a possibility. This is a very novel idea for me.

Professor Zero said...

"Africa begins at the Pyrenees"

http://oreneta.com/kalebeul/2010/05/02/the-true-origins-of-africa-begins-at-the-pyrenees/

Professor Zero said...

"Africa begins at the Pyrenees"

http://oreneta.com/kalebeul/2010/05/02/the-true-origins-of-africa-begins-at-the-pyrenees/