His work introduced the meter and innovations of Petrarch and the italian authors, contributing to the poetry in Spain would have, following him, its Golden Age. His birth and education reflect the open and humanistic spirit of Renaissance Toledo. Upon finishing his studies Garcilaso was proficient in latin and greek and understood italian and french.
He spent long periods in Cuerva , the fiefdom that his father held. He was named contino Royal Guard to Charles V. He also fought in the siege of the island of Rodas. That is, the questions generated by a chronologically later topic often required me to look back in time to earlier writings to nd the answers.
Sometimes those answers generated further questions that seemed to point neither forward nor back, but sideways. As a result, I have arranged the contents of the following chapters in a sequence that reects the course in which the topics, or rather the questions that generated the topics, appeared. The relatedness they bear to one another makes it neces- sary to move forward a considerable distance in time and then travel back again as in chapters 2 and 3, respectively.
The metaphor of travel is an apt one because questions of geograph- ical location play a large role in my study of Spanish-language writings on the Indies. In some cases, the locations are geographically literal. With Cabeza de Vaca and his sojourn in the wilderness of North America, we always must start with a map. In other cases, such as that of El Inca Garcilasos Floridian Guancane, the sites described do not exist on a map, contemporary or historical. But for all that they are no less real. Place and space are imbued with meaning only by their inhabitants and invaders.
The maps that illustrate this volume underscore the point.
A solas con garcilaso spanish edition. Il viaggio oltre l energia italian edition. The talent masters why smart leaders put people before numbers. Maggiorata e. publis hed Prueba de nobleza of Garcilaso and the letter Spain through an edition printed at Bar celona in 1 ando solas fuera. (E g l. II.
The polemics of possession starts with the possession of place: who possessed the land? Whose sovereignty was at stake?
The great debates of the sixteenth century that inspired and animated the early writings on the Spanish Indies half of todays Latin America and the Caribbean really started there. Some, jurists, humanists, theologians, debated it; others, historians, conquistadores, conquistador-chroniclers, assumed they knew the answers or that the answers were self-evident, not open to scrutiny. Who owned the lands opened out to the question of who had the right to rule them.
Who had the right to rule was answered, for some, by who was t to rule. Here the question devolved onto that of the possession of virtues needed for self-governance: the exercise of prudence over oneself, ones household, the wider social and political order, that is, the categories dened by sixteenth-century interpretations of the political philosophy of Aristotle. And who, rst and also last, had the right and authority to speak?
Needless to say, these questions were intimately en- tangled with one another, and each comes up in combination with the others in the course of the chapters that follow. If possession fans out to cover a variety of topics, from the possession of the traits of sociability and solidarity humanitas and therefore civil conduct to the possession of the rights of the victor and the rights to govern others or to self-govern, polemics is an equally multifaceted and perhaps more subtle category.
Sometimes polemic is open and formal, as in the debates carried out by Las Casas and Seplveda before a distin- guished panel of fourteen judges at the court in Valladolid in the swelter- ing summer of and April Sometimes it is concealed, and, when concealed, it is often masked as something else, such as the supposedly expository narration of history or the anecdotal content of a sermon, a moralizing parable or tale, or an epic poem.
Polemics is the abiding trait of all Spanish-colonial-era writings, and it was because of polemics and ongoing controversies that the Council of Castile and the Council of the Indies, under the leadership of Philip II, saw t to monitor and control the publication and dissemination of writings about the Indies, especially from onward. Polemics invite censorship, and so it was the case in the Indies in the second half of the sixteenth century. Censorship is not a main topic in these pages, but its occasional appearance underscores the weight and inuence that works in manuscript or print circulation were perceived to possess by the ocials who sought to stie controversy through their attempted suppression.
The cast of characters presenting themselves before the royal coun- cils in Castile, or the Audiencias in America, that is, the high courts of civil and criminal jurisdiction in the viceroyalties, in Santo Domingo, Mxico- Tenochtitln, Lima, and so forth, is necessarily large. Each of the major gures treated here spent timein some cases, weeks, in others, years before the ocials of such governing bodies.
No doubt they spent most of their time waiting, shuing from one foot to the other and reviewing the documents they wished to present to the authorities. We will not wait that long for them to appear here. There are ve historical gures, ve pillars that support the archways that the following pages are intended to con- struct.
They may seem at rst like a motley crew, utterly, anecdotically disconnected from one another. One, Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala sc. Another, Fray Bar- tolom de las Casas , trained in canon law, ordained into the priesthood, and admitted to the Dominican order, was beloved by his allies and supporters but despised by his detractors, not only during his lifetime but long afterward and to the present day.
The third, Bernal Daz del Castillo c. Hoping for a heros welcome at court in Madrid, he was met with the snarls of a conciliar ocial who challenged him, Who gave you the right to conquer? The fourth, lvar Nez Cabeza de Vaca to c. The fth, El Inca Garcilaso de la Vega , who was born in the ancient Inca capital of Cuzco, where he was raised, and spent his adult life in Crdoba and Montilla, Andalusia, im- mortalized the attempted conquest of La Florida by one of his fathers colleagues in the conquest of Peru, Hernando de Soto.
There are other historical gures, no less important, who interact through their writings with the aforementioned authors. Notable among them are Juan Gins de Seplveda, humanist translator of Aristotle and chronicler at the court of the emperor Charles V, and Gonzalo Fernndez de Oviedo, administrator alcalde of the fortress of Santo Domingo and the author of the Historia general y natural de las Indies. The reader will meet here Francisco Lpez de Gmara, historian of the conquest of Mex- ico and friend of Seplveda and of the marquis del Valle himself, Hernn Corts.
Included as well are the works of the great missionary clergy, the Franciscan friar Bernardino de Sahagn, whose lifework provided an unparalleled ethnographic record of Nahua civilization, and the Jesuit Jos de Acosta, who also wrote about the Indies and its peoples but from a philosophical point of view. Each of the gures who appear in these pages knew Las Casas by his deeds or his writings. Las Casas is the point of convergence for these writers many ex- changes and eorts to make sense of and give meaning to the history of Spain in the Indies and, at the same time, to orient it toward its future.
It is Las Casas whose gure and conscience hover over the entire proceed- ings. His shadow lingers in the pages that close this book, in the remark- able reections on his legacy to Latin America and to the world that his real-life admirer Fray Servando Teresa de Mier y Noriega , now ctionalized, evokes in the novel by Reinaldo Arenas and that Alejo Carpentiers Cristbal Coln Christopher Columbus must face, ction- ally, at his real-life, nineteenth-century canonization tribunal.
When the national literatures of Latin America were established and consolidated in the nineteenth century, and when the authors of these respective, now nationalized works were canonizednot into sainthood but into the literary canon of todays Latin American, North American, European, and also Asian programs of studythe linkages among these gures, the larger and the lesser of them, came to be forgotten. My goal here, therefore, is to speak to their connectedness.
Their literary and personal relationships to one another constitute the means I have employed to make the argument persuasive. In other words, by founding role I do not mean only those, such as Las Casas, whose works inuenced others, but also those, such as Guaman Poma, in whose works such inuence is registered.
Inuence does not really exist without the conrmation of one inuenced; it is, as always, a relational matter. The pertinent criterion is not statistical evi- dence regarding the publication of works but rather the literary evidence of their circulation, in print or in manuscript. It is not the impact of book sales but rather the inuence of ideas that is measured here. Theirs was not a period in which literary self-identications were self- eacing, much less erased. On the contrary, their works were crafted with great care and most often with theoretical juridical criteria in mind.
The literary persona conveyed by the writer putting quill to paper mattered, be it the aggrieved native lord who claimed that his only goal was to represent the interests of the members of his race, the curmudgeonly old con- quistador in the shadow of Corts, the noble servant of his monarch come home from the Indies bringing only information and strategic intelli- gence, the heir to the Incas proclaiming the military values of both the conqueror and the conquered, and, nally, the now-elderly Dominican who spent fty years toiling over aairs in the Indies.
What is special, if not unique, about these colonial-era writers is that they do not lend them- selves to approaches in which considerations of life and limb are under- stood to muddy the issues raised in the work. In the act of writing, these writers insisted that there was motive and meaning in their works pre- cisely because the welfare of lives and limbs, in fact, hung in the balance.
To this end he at once called a council of the Order and arraigned the several Priors. Speaker, 4 mixed-voice chorus and instruments 3 saxophones, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, 3 percussionists, piano, organ. The situation is further compli- cated by the fact that in a list of Spanish gentlemen who passed through Treviso, Italy on October 22, , on their way to Venice, there appears immediately after the name of the Duke of Alba a certain "Don Gratia di Vega. Baza finally capitu- lated on December 4 and the King and Queen, having accepted the surrender of Almeria, started for that city three days later. The eight little pieces which have sur- vived to illustrate his efforts do not rise above the level of the time. Thematically, the early Renaissance bears more of a profane character. She must have sat there quietly in the darkness, with her cloak drawn close about her, listening to the insects and waiting until midnight.
The sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century accounts of conquests and controversy may strike us as interesting, but so what? They are lost in time and conned to centuries-old books and manuscripts. Yet some of these gures and the ideas they espoused have stepped out of the pages they authored and into the present. This is true of the literary persona of Guaman Poma and also that of El Inca Garcilaso, which have proven to be so powerful, so attractive, and so ubiquitous that one trend in pseudoaca- demic gossip has been to deny them their due and their greatness, in eect promoting the demise of the historical gures literary achievements.
I believe that the reasons these writings hold interest for a wider audi- ence than those of us who are specialists fall into three categories: surprise, currency, and mystery. First of all, we come to these old chronicles with a poorly understood set of expectations: if published in their own day, they seem to us overlong and probably boring; if in manuscript form, they look impossible to read; if written by authors of ethnic American tradition, they seem exotic, and we expect them to be primitive. Our surprise is generated by the sophistication they reveal upon close examination. We share with those writers the desire to be known and recognized, but recognized as we would represent ourselves, not as we are seen from the outside.
We recog- nize our own complexity, and we do not claim any cultural or ethnic purity. Likewise, with regard to authors of indigenous American back- ground, we can and must recognize that no self-representation can lay claim to an ethnic or cultural purity that is untainted and uncontaminated by outside inuences. The Guaman Pomas and the Alva Ixtlilxochitls of the generation that saw the Spanish conquest or were born shortly after it could not go back to any pristine, pre-Columbian state of mind.
The element of surprise comes when we see these authors, of what- ever cultural background and experience, in their complexity and when we examine the fruits of their intellectual eorts to make sense of their respective old worlds and new circumstances. In this process of discovery, we are surprised, shamed, and delighted. Once we have understood that these literary monuments and artifacts of other peoples in other times are not simple objects of curiosity, irrelevant to our own, we face the next challenge: to avoid treating them anachronistically.
The moment we rec- ognize something that seems to look like ourselves, that is, like our own human impulses, we discover our common humanity, and we can appre- ciate the currency of their struggles and their values today. But once we become comfortable with this, our expectations adjust accordingly, and we may expect them to exhibit an impossible consistency and to have all their conicts and self-contradictions resolved; in short, we all too easily transfer to them the illusions we harbor about ourselves.
Once again, they confound our expectations. At this point, in recognizing the shared human- ity between ourselves and those whose long-ago words we study, the principle of a false currency appears, and we are again required to take stock: we are required to understand that we do notand cannotfully understand their lost experiences. We cannot step into their shoes.