Cover

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Frontmatter

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Contents

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p. v

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Introduction

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pp. vii-ix

Among the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Spanish chroniclers who contributed significantly to popular images about the New World was the world’s original Amerindian-Spanish (mestizo1) historian and literary writer, El Inca Garcilaso de la Vega (1539–1616) (Castanien v). He authored several works, of which La Florida del Inca (1605) stands out because of its unique Amerindian and European perspectives on the de Soto expedition (1539–1543). Since 2005...

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1. Prelude

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pp. 1-31

Columbus’s sea voyage west in 1492 to establish a new trade route to India for Spain that would avoid challenging Portugal’s claims to the eastern trade route to India and his consequential accidental landing at Española gave Spain hegemony over New World explorations until the mid-sixteenth century. This colonization experience was called “the conquest” by the Spaniards. The narrative...

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2. Purpose, Style, and Themes of La Florida del Inca

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pp. 32-60

Primary concentration in this chapter is upon El Inca’s concerns about his writings. An overview about the style in which he writes and why he began to write will be given, also. El Inca’s balancing act between his two cultures—Native American and European—will, again, become obvious as he selects and records historical accounts about the de Soto expedition into...

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3. El Inca’s Native Americans

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pp. 61-96

Passing years and geographical space create a separation between El Inca and Peru that is permanent by the time El Inca begins to write La Florida. Saddened and embittered by the rejection he receives from the Spanish society into which he had hoped to be accepted, he finds his Native American identity to be a source of solace. His emotional ties to the Peruvian Amerindian culture to...

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4. La Florida’s Ideal Conquerors

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pp. 97-110

The way in which El Inca depicts the Spaniards and their misadventures in North America provides the reader with a view into the mestizo author’s European perspective. As he states in his prologue, one purpose in writing La Florida is to record the hazañas (heroic acts) of de Soto and his soldier-explorers and to recount the hardships they suffered for the honor and fame of the Spanish...

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El Inca’s Prophetic Voice

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pp. 111-116

El Inca is an interpreter of reality, as well as a historian. He interprets what was, what is, and what is possible. He recognizes the implicit imperfection in human nature that causes people to ignore the ideal of that which is possible and to pursue instead the shortsighted objective of short-term gain. He highlights how the attitude of avoiding a dialogue on the essential questions creates a social...

Works Cited

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pp. 117-120

Index

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pp. 121-125