Francisco Javier Alegre: A Study in Mexican Literary Criticism
Rome and St. Louis: Jesuit Historical Institute, 1976.
First Edition. Hardcover. Near fine. Sources and Studies for the History of the Americas, Volume XIII. 109 pp, with index and bibliography. Three-quarter red leather over red buckram, gilt lettering on spine. Pages slightly browned, else fine. "A Jesuit priest and teacher born in Veracruz of Spanish parents, Alegre is best known for his Historia de la Provincia de la Compañía de Jesús de Nueva España. In this four-volume work, Alegre chronicles the history of Jesuit missionary activity in New Spain from their arrival in 1572 to shortly before the suppression of the order in 1767. Alegre was known to be a brilliant teacher and writer with broad interests. He wrote several poetic works as well as a prodigious multivolume treatise on theology, Institutionum theologicarum, published posthumously in 1789. After the Jesuits of New Spain were banished to the Papal States in 1767, Alegre, along with several of his colleagues, lived the rest of his life in Italy and made a living as a tutor and librarian. One of the more original works of this period is his Arte poético del Mon. Boileau, a translation and extensive commentary on Nicolas Boileau's L'art poétique, published posthumously by Joaquín García Icazbalceta in 1889. This is an early instance of literary criticism from a decidedly Latin American perspective" (Britannica).