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Open Access Publications from the University of California

"Call me a Californio": Translating Hemispheric Legacies in Helen Hunt Jackson, Don Antonio Coronel, and José Martí

  • Author(s): Pearson, Chelsea Leah
  • Advisor(s): Gillman, Susan
  • et al.
Abstract

This thesis uses translation theory and practice as a new critical framework to revise dominant readings of Helen Hunt Jackson and her novel Ramona (1884). Rather than assuming both author and novel as origin-points of Southern California's "Spanish Revival" tradition, I investigate a less recognized, pre-Anglo, Spanish-language thread of revivalism, the practice of constructing Spanish-influenced identity within the Californio population. Through close analysis of unpublished Spanish-language texts and early Californio testimonios, I read this alternative revivalism as a paradigm of temporal cultural translation: Californio history-and identity-making, traceable within and across time through linguistic terms that carry cultural meaning, both synchronically and diachronically. Reading Jackson's novel through a translational framework, I reconceive her role in these revivalisms not as originator, but as translator-ethnographer, who deploys language and time in Ramona to inscribe an invented Spanish Southern California subject into the region's historical memory.

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