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10 de març 2019

Misquotes from "The Spanish Pioneers", by Charles F. Lummis

Occasionally quotes from a book witten in language A appear in print, but are in fact merely translations from language B back to language A. Here is a good example!
Click here, if need be, to read the whole post.

The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Spanish Pioneers, by Charles F. Lummis, can be read here: 
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/33095/33095-h/33095-h.htm

In the preface to this book (p. 11 and 12), published in 1893, Lummis wrote:

"It is because I believe that every other young Saxon-American loves fair play and admires heroism as much as I do, that this book has been written. That we have not given justice to the Spanish Pioneers is simply because we have been misled. They made a record unparalleled; but our text-books have not recognized that fact, though they no longer dare dispute it. Now, thanks to the New School of American History, we are coming to the truth,—a truth which every manly American will be glad to know. In this country of free and brave men, race-prejudice, the most ignorant of all human ignorances, must die out. We must respect manhood more than nationality, and admire it for its own sake wherever found,—and it is found everywhere. The deeds that hold the world up are not of any one blood. We may be born anywhere,—that is a mere accident; but to be heroes we must grow by means which are not accidents nor provincialisms, but the birthright and glory of humanity.
We love manhood; and the Spanish pioneering of the Americas was the largest and longest and most marvellous feat of manhood in all history."

On pages 90 and 91 he continues:

"That later times have reversed the situation; that Spain (largely because she was drained of her best blood by a conquest so enormous that no nation even now could give the men or the money to keep the enterprise abreast with the world's progress) has never regained her old strength, and is now a drone beside the young giant of nations that has grown, since her day, in the empire she opened,—has nothing to do with the obligation of American history to give her justice for the past. Had there been no Spain four hundred years ago, there would be no United States to-day. It is a most fascinating story to every genuine American,—for every one worthy of the name admires heroism and loves fairplay everywhere, and is first of all interested in the truth about his own country."

These texts, indeed the whole book, was translated into Spanish and published in Barcelona as Los exploradores españoles del siglo XVI, and have been widely quoted. For instance, here:

"Porque creo que todo joven sajón-americano ama la justicia y admira el heroísmo como yo, me he dedicado a escribir este libro. La razón de que no hayamos hecho justicia a los exploradores españoles es, sencillamente, porque hemos sido mal informados. Su historia no tiene paralelo; pero nuestros libros de texto no han reconocido esta verdad, si bien ahora ya no se atreven a disputarla. Gracias a la nueva escuela de historia americana vamos ya aprendiendo esa verdad, que se gozará en conocer todo americano de sentimientos varoniles. En este país de hombres libres y valientes, el prejuicio de la raza, la más supina de todas las ignorancias humanas, debe desaparecer."

This Spanish rendering has occasionally been translated back into English, instead of returning to Lummis' original text. Here are some examples:

1.
'As the noted American scholar Charles F. Lummis once wrote "If Spain had not existed 400 years ago, the United States would not exist today."'
http://www.leabooks.com/LEA-Spanish%20Pages/Historia-Antropologia/Truth-Vega.htm

2. '"If Spain had not existed four-hundred years ago, the United States would not exist today... Because I think that every young American-Saxon loves justice and admires heroism as much as I do, I have decided to write this book. The reason why we have not done justice to the Spanish explorers is simply because we were not properly informed. Their history is unparalleled...We love bravery, and the exploration of the Americas by the Spaniards constituted the greatest, the longest and the most wonderful series of heroic deeds recorded by History. "
The foregoing words were by American Charles F. Lummis (1859-1928), explorer, archeologist, historian, novelist, journalist, editor, anthropologist, and founder of societies and museums, in his book Los exploradores españoles del siglo XVI (Spanish explorers of the 16th century).'
https://funjdiaz.net/pubfich.php?id=1229

3. Boletin de la Casa de España, Marzo 2011 / Abril 2014.
 '"If Spain had not existed four-hundred years ago, the United States would not exist today... Because I think that every young American-Saxon loves justice and admires heroism as much as I do, I have decided to write this book. The reason why we have not done justice to the Spanish explorers is simply because we were not properly informed. Their history is unparalleled...We love bravery, and the exploration of the Americas by the Spaniards constituted the greatest, the longest and the most wonderful series of heroic deeds recorded by History."
The foregoing words were by American Charles F. Lummis (1859-1928), explorer, archeologist, historian, novelist, journalist, editor, anthropologist, and founder of societies and museums, in his book Los exploradores españoles del siglo XVI (Spanish explorers of the 16th century).'
Jesús Benayas (President)
https://issuu.com/mgguzman/docs/boletin_335
https://issuu.com/mgguzman/docs/boletin_366_s

In conclusion, anyone wishes to quote Lummis in English is advised to do so from the original, and not to translate back from the none-too-perfect Spanish edition.

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