Language is the raw material that unites literature.
The Spanish, Italian, and French literatures began with the first ballads and tales, artistic works of enduring value written in those languages.
It is at the same time a piece of literary historiography and a political apologia.
The class system of the colonial encomendero underlies his opinions, which invariably are expressed in terms of Hispanism, colonialism, and social privilege.
With the end of uncontested civilista authority in the intellectual life of Peru, the scale of values established by Riva Agüero, together with all affiliated and related writings, has undergone revision.
I confront his unacknowledged civilista and colonialist bias with my avowed revolutionary and socialist sympathies.Riva Agüero departs from his political and social preoccupations only to the degree that he adopts the standards of a professor or a scholar, and then the departure is merely apparent, because never does his spirit move more securely in the academic and conservative sphere.Nor does Riva Agüero bother to conceal his political prejudices when his literary evaluations are mixed with anti-historical observations about the presumed error of the founders of independence in their choice of a republic over a monarchy or when he violently attacks the tendency to form parties around principles in opposition to the traditional oligarchical parties, on the grounds that such opposition would incite sectarian conflict and arouse social enmities.Directly derived from Latin and still not entirely differentiated from it, they were for a long time considered dialects.The national literature of the Latin peoples was born, historically, with the national language, which was the first element to delineate the general limits of a literature.I do not claim to be a temperate and impartial judge; I declare myself a passionate and belligerent adversary.Arbitrations and compromises take place in history, provided that the opponents engage in long, drawn-out disputes.Riva Agüero could not openly admit to the political bias of his exegesis: first, because it is only long after the time of his writing that we have learned to dispense with many obvious and useless deceptions; second, because, as a member of the aristocratic encomendero class, he was obliged to profess the principles and institutions of another class, the liberal bourgeoisie.Even though it felt itself to be monarchist, Hispanist, and traditionalist, that aristocracy had to reconcile its reactionary sentiment with the practice of a republican and capitalist policy and with respect for a democratic and bourgeois constitution.The unity of European culture, maintained during the Middle Ages by Latin and by papal authority, was shattered by the nationalist movement, which individualized literature.“Nationalism” in literary historiography is therefore purely political in its origins and extraneous to the aesthetic concept of art.