Territories of History
Humanism, Rhetoric, and the Historical Imagination in the Early Chronicles of Spanish America
Publication Year: 2007
Published by: Penn State University Press
Series: Penn State Romance Studies
Many scholars have highlighted the richness of early modern writings on the New World, pointing to the complexities of narrative postures taken by writers who were often both participants and commentators on the project of discovery and conquest that Claude Lévi-Strauss once called humanity’s...
1: Historical Representation in the Spanish Humanist Context: Juan Luis Vives
in this passage of his treatise on writing history (De historia: Para entenderla y escribirla, 1611),1 the humanist Luis Cabrera de Córdoba (1559–1623)2 praises the discipline of history in the highest terms. Historical knowledge, he states, fosters a type of clairvoyance otherwise denied humans and grants a perspective that ostensibly enables one to overcome the natural limitations ...
2: Conjecture and Credibility in the Historia general y natural de las Indias by Gonzalo Fern
The kinds of hopes for and anxieties about the writing of history expressed by Vives are refl ected, albeit indirectly, in the early historical narratives of the discovery and conquest of the New World. Although one fi nds few explicit references to the preceptive authors or works in these accounts, historians Gonzalo ...
3: Vision and Voice: The Historia de las Indias by Bartolom
Like fernández de oviedo, Bartolomé de Las Casas (1484–1566) in his Historia de las Indias1 endeavors to come to practical terms with both the humanist norms for “true” history and with the prior historical accounts concerning the New World.2 But where Oviedo had built a strategy of dismissing the ...
4: History and Memory: Narrative Perspective in Bernal Díaz del Castillo’s Historia verdadera de la conquista de la Nueva España
In this chapter i examine the Historia verdadera de la conquista de la Nueva España by Bernal Díaz del Castillo (ca. 1495–1584) with an eye to problems of narrative temporality, distance, and perspective and what they might suggest about the question of narrative reliability in his work. I hope to show that a study of some of the salient textual properties of the Historia verdadera brings ...
the reflections concerning the relationship between language and truth in history in the context of empire neither began nor ended with the early Spanish chroniclers of America. One could trace the intellectual lineage of this topic as far back as Thucydides, who links the imperial power struggles of Athens to a breakdown in language and, ultimately, to a tragic collapse of ...