La Ortografía Castellana de Mateo Alemán

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5 Scopus citations


In the renewed debate about the need in Spanish to update its orthographic system to the modern challenges of the language, it will be refreshing, and even pedagogical, to take a look at a small link in the long chain of debate: Mateo Alemán's Ortografía Castellana. This book has been considered by some as one of the most peculiar books published in Mexico during the 17th century. The purpose of this essay is to approach Alemán's work from the perspective of the writer himself whose intention was to write a doctrinarian and perspective work dealing with orthography. In other words, Alemán's "Ortografía" is a meta-literary and meta-linguistic work. This essay will deal with the most important topics of its philosophical framework: the relationship between orthography and music, writing as a form of presence and transcendence of the writer, and the unfinished argument on the value of orality and writing. It will also explore those wonderful passages where the Alemán of Guzmán de Alfarache fires his incisive criticism to the traditionalism and the blindness of the school system, blaming the "inorancia de los maestros pasados" for the lack of simplicity and consistency in the teaching of the language and, specifically, of the writing.

Original languageSpanish
Pages (from-to)57-64
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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