During the latter half of the nineteenth century, cuadros de costumbres of the Philippines became popular in Spain, not only among average readers, but also among literary taste-makers such as Emilia Pardo Bazán. The popularity of colonial costumbrismo in this period functioned as a means of judging the Philippines and the Filipinos in their capacity to participate in a modern nation and a modern market. Close readings of stories by José Montero y Vidal and Wenceslao E. Retana demonstrate that costumbrismo was a tool for both the cultivation of aesthetic judgment among metropolitan and criollo audiences and the suppression of the same among Filipino readers. The differing effects of costumbrista writing on metropolitan and colonial readers in turn exacerbated exploitative regimes of culture, including markets, and thus abetted the extension of imperial power into daily life in the Archipelago during the closing decades of the Spanish Empire.


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pp. 213-234
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