Ordinary Writing and Scribal Culture in Nineteenth-Century Spain: Memory Books

The European Legacy 16 (5):615 - 631 (2011)
Abstract
This article is a study of the survival of scribal culture in nineteenth-century Spain in the form of the so-called ?memory books? (libros de memorias). I analyse their relationship with the educational developments of the period, as well as the material characteristics and the content of these texts, in order to define their typical features. These texts were the products of hybrid writing practices, in the sense that several elements were frequently superimposed on one another: economic news, personal, family and social events and even historical details. Hence the similarity between the memory books and other genres such as account books (libros de cuentas) and family books (libros de familia). Lastly, I will examine some nineteenth-century examples as epigones of a writing genre which had its origins in the later Middle Ages and Early Modern period. ?One morning, while tidying up the bedroom, Rosa opened the drawer in the trunk where Cholo kept his papers. There she found the papers about the property and, in a corner, together with the Family Book and the social security booklet, the papers from the bank [?]. And she was about to put it away when it occurred to her to take off the elastic band around the big folder which Cholo had kept from his time in Switzerland. There were things, names and so on that she didn?t understand, but in the middle there were also some of the cards she had sent from Aran.?1
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