Abstract

The discovery of the small-pox vaccine at the end of the 18th century helped to eradicate the once globally endemic illness. Given the viciousness of the disease in Spanish-America, the Spanish Crown financed the philanthropic endeavor known as the “Real Expedición Marítima de la Vacuna” (1803-1812) in order to disseminate the cure. Poetic works in America and in Spain such as “A la vacuna” and “Venezuela consolada” by the Venezuelan Andrés Bello, and “A la expedición española” by the Spanish Manuel José Quintana lauded both the vaccine and the Expedition. In these compositions, the coexistence of colonial rule, a debilitating pandemic, and the introduction of its vaccine creates a representational impasse that relates political independence with a literal and symbolic cure. These works provide solutions to this deadlock that are mediated rather unexpectedly by the notion of writing and colonial dominion as both treatment and infection.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1553-0639
Print ISSN
0018-2176
Pages
pp. 109-133
Launched on MUSE
2008-06-19
Open Access
No
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