The discreet charm of the arabist theory: Juan Andrés, historicism, and the de-centering of Montesquieu's Europe


Journal Article

Expelled from Spain in 1779, the Jesuit Juan Andrés moved to Parma in Italy, and published a seven-volume history of nothing less than the literatures of the whole world - 'Of the Origins and Progress of all Literatures'. Andrés attempted to found literary historiography as a critical method opposed to the Francocentrism of classicist aesthetics. If French classicism had labeled southern literatures (Spanish and Italian) as unreasonable and unworthy of entering modern Europe's republic of letters, historicism was the conviction that every civilization and every period has its own possibilities of aesthetic perfection. In so doing, Andrés was pitting a method of critical historiography against Montesquieu's and the philosophers' own philosophy of history. Copyright © 2006 SAGE Publications.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Dainotto, RM

Published Date

  • December 1, 2006

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 36 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 7 - 29

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0265-6914

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/0265691406059610

Citation Source

  • Scopus