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Universidad Central Joins With the Centro in Celebraing Visit of Professor Ford to Spain


The following article on Professor J. D. M. Ford of the University is a translation of an article in a recent Spanish newspaper. Professor Ford who has been the active head of the American University Union in Paris this year was in Spain for a short time during the winter. The occasion for this article was a dinner given in Professor Ford's honor by D. Americo Castro of the Centro de Estudios Historicos in Madrid.

The distinguished Spanish scholar, Professor J. D. M. Ford of Harvard University was welcomed yesterday by prominent members of the Universidad Central, of the Centro de Estudios Historicos, and of the Press at a dinner party given by D. Americo Castro in the name of his colleague's of the Centro de Estudios Historicos. The University was represented by its President, D. Jose R. Carracido. Addresses were made by Senores Maeztu and Gimenez Caballero. The learned professor replied with words of gratitude and affection as well as of promise for the future cultural relations of the two nations.

Many Notables Present

In addition to those mentioned above there were present, amongst other notables, the President of the Royal Academy, D. Ramon Mevindez Pidal, the Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters, D. Eduardo Ibarro; professors Sanchoz Abornoz, Castilligo and Garcia de Diego, and the family of Professor Ford.

Professor Ford of Harvard gave yesterday in the amphitheater of the Centro de Estudios Historicos an address upon "Spanish-America from the view point of a native of the United States". He was introduced by the President of the Spanish Academy, D. Ramon Mevindez Pidal who recalled briefly the important work done by Mr. Ford at Harvard and the great success of his efforts in Paris where he is at present the acting head of the American University Union. He cited various works of Professor Ford's, praising especially his "Spanish Anthology" together with his "Old Spanish Sibilants", "Old Spanish Readings", and an excellent "Spanish Grammar."

"By them" said he, "we may judge of the interest inspired in this North American professor by our Spanish language, history and literature, and also of the very useful results of that interest."

The speaker began by thanking Sr. Mevindez Pidal, then going on to praise warmly the Centro de Estudios Historicos. He complimented its professor, dwelling especially on their competent, tireless work of investigation. Then he came to the subject matter of his address, giving a careful exposition of Spanish-American literature by epocs, schools, and authors.

On coming to the conquest and colonization of America he called especial attention to the influence of Indian themes upon the imagination of the invaders, and later on as a native literature springs up, the influence of the new spirit on old Castillian thought, subtle, perhaps, as lacking in basic matter sufficient for one to call by the name of literary phenomenon, but nevertheless, appreciable.. Speaking of hispanic-American literature before the War for Independance, the speaker passed in quick review authors, works, and schools from Sr. Juana Ines de la Cruz in Mexico to Rodo in Uruguay, Chocano in Peru and Ruben in Central America. He then commented with special interest upon the literature which developed at the beginning of the past century redolent with the longing for liberty; political writers such as Bolivar Mitre, Sarmlents, and the leaders of the fight at Ayacucho.

After these and here the speaker laid on special stress--came the day of Bello, Montalvo, Rodo and Palma, each with his distinctive characteristics. The first, a Venezuelan who becomes a citizen of Chile, apart from his great pedagogic work which makes of him one of the greatest figures in the history of education in Hispanic America is the author of a Grammar of the Spanish Language, with notes, later, by Rufus Jose Cuervo which is still considered the most perfect and most practical for the knowledge of our own language.

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