This is a weighty tome honoring the memory of the weighty accomplishments of a truly distinguished French Hispanist who admirably exemplified the original definition of a philologue as “a lover of learning and of literature.” Marcel Bataillon’s mind recognized no barriers among the humanistic disciplines: history, philosophy, philology, literary criticism. And the life and human activities associated with these studies found expression in all his scholarly writings, which totaled some 542 items, including instructive book reviews. He is rightly proclaimed a prince of the entire realm of Hispanism.
After a brief tribute by one of his students, a list of Bataillon’s titles and distinctions, a comprehensive bibliography of his writings, and an extended biographical essay by Jacques Lafaye of the University of Paris, there follow fifty-one articles of varying length, contributed by American, French, Spanish, Spanish American, German, and Italian scholars. These contributions are arranged in three comprehensive sections corresponding to the broad areas in which Bataillon conducted his fruitful investigations. They are indicated as: (a) “L’Espagne en son histoire,” (b) “Ouverture sur le Nouveau Monde,” and (c) “Dans l’espace imaginaire.” Both the interest of the readers of this Review, and the limitations of space, suggest that a mention of contributions be confined to Section (b), or some eighteen writings on Hispanic American topics. These may be subclassified as: (a) Four general essays, (b) La Nouvelle Espagne: De l’evangelisation au Mexique Moderne, (c) Las Casas en son temps et à son heure, (d) Conquistadores et Indiens du Pérou, (e) Sarmiento dans l’épopée argentine, and (f) L’Espagnol, Seconde Langue des États-Unis.
The first essay is by our own indefatigable Lewis Hanke, a whimsical interview with himnself on “How should be [sic] the Five Hundredth Anniversary of the Discovery of America be commemorated?” This is followed by “Geographie et Humanisme—Note sur la structure de la ‘Historia General de las Indias’ de Francisco López Gómara,” by Monique Mustapha of the University of Nice; and “Per una storia dei rapporti tra Santa Sede e America Spagnola nel cinquecento: lettera dei cacicchi indiani a Giulio III,” by Francesca Cantu of the University of Rome; and “Christophe Colomb, decouvreur ou simple explorateur?” by Marianne Mahne-Lot of the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales.
Under (b) appear: “Personalidad de Vasco de Quiroga,” by Silvio Zavala; “Juan de Zumárraga, vasco,” by Enrique Otte, Free University of Berlin; “Los pórticos del atrio en la arquitectura franciscana de Nueva España,” by Erwin W. Palm of Heidelberg University; “Autógrafos desconocidos de Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz en un libro más de su biblioteca,” by Ernesto de la Torre Villar, director of the Biblioteca Nacional, México; “Veytia y su obra,” by Julio Le Riverend Brusone, director of the Biblioteca Nacional José Martí, Cuba; “Nouvelles metamorphoses mexicaines du ‘Justo Juez’ et de la ‘Piedra Imán’ (xxe siècle),” by Robert Ricard, professeur honoraire à la Sorbonne.
Under (c) are: “Tomás López, Erasme et Las Casas,” by Andre Saint Lu of the University of Paris; “Droit de guerre et devoir de reparation selon Las Casas,” by Raymond Marcus of the University of Paris.
Section (d) includes: “Los textos de la ‘Relación de la Conquista del Perú’ de Pedro Pizarro, y sus variantes,” by Guillermo Lohmann Villena, director of the Academia Peruana de la Historia; “Un instance de canonisation a Potosí, Fray Vicente Vernedo (1544-1618),” by Marie Helmer of the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales; “Datation, paternité et idéologie de la ‘Declaración de los quipucamayos a Vaca de Castro (Discurso de la descendencia y gobierno de los Yugas),” by Pierre Duviols of the University of Provence, Aix; “El ‘Mercurio Peruano’ (1791-1795) y el Indio,” by Luis Monguío of the University of California. Section (e) consists of the “Diario de la compaña del Tte. Cnel. D. F. Sarmiento en el Ejército Grande de Sud América,” edited by Paul Verdevoye of the University of Paris, and Section (f) of “El Español en Cayo Hueso,” by Theodore S. Beardsley, Jr., director of The Hispanic Society of America.
In general, titles of contributions are self-explanatory. In case of specific personalities, some facet of character or episode of life and work are emphasized. Columbus’s voyagings about the Caribbean classify him as an “explorer” rather than discoverer. The Zumárraga article includes the text of a long letter of 1537 to his family. In the first article of Section (c), Tomás López, an oidor in Guatemala, insists on the use of Castilian in Indian instruction, while Erasmus and Las Casas seek establishment of “primitive Christian church.” In Section (e), excerpts of Sarmiento’s “Diario de Compaña” are published for the first time. All articles are abundantly documented, and these selections, taken in conjunction with the contributions under “L’Espagne en son histoire” and “Dans l’espace imaginaire,” are all scholarly tributes of a high order to the late, truly great Hispanist, Marcel Bataillon.