Territories of History: Humanism, Rhetoric, and the by Sarah H. Beckjord

By Sarah H. Beckjord

Sarah H. Beckjord's Territories of historical past explores the energetic yet mostly unacknowledged spirit of mirrored image, debate, and experimentation found in foundational Spanish American writing. In ancient works via writers comparable to Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo, Bartolomè de Las Casas, and Bernal Dí­az del Castillo, Beckjord argues, the authors weren't purely proficient via the spirit of inquiry found in the humanist culture but in addition drew seriously from their encounters with New global peoples. extra particularly, their makes an attempt to differentiate superstition and magic from technology and faith within the New global considerably inspired the aforementioned chroniclers, who more and more directed their insights clear of the outline of local peoples and towards a mirrored image at the nature of fact, rhetoric, and fiction in writing background. as a result of a convergence of usually contradictory info from various sources--eyewitness debts, historiography, resourceful literature, in addition to broader philosophical and theological influences--categorizing ancient texts from this era poses no effortless job, yet Beckjord sifts throughout the details in a good, logical demeanour. on the middle of Beckjord's research, notwithstanding, is a primary philosophical challenge: the slippery nature of truth--especially whilst dictated by means of tales. Territories of background engages either a physique of rising scholarship on early sleek epistemology and empiricism and up to date advancements in narrative conception to light up the significance of those colonial authors' severe insights. In highlighting the parallels among the sixteenth-century debates and poststructuralist techniques to the research of heritage, Beckjord uncovers a major legacy of the Hispanic highbrow culture and updates the research of colonial historiography in view of modern discussions of narrative idea.

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Extra resources for Territories of History: Humanism, Rhetoric, and the Historical Imagination in the Early Chronicles of Spanish America

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Vives, On Education, 8 (Watson’s translation). He quotes Seneca’s view that the ancient authors should be guides, not masters, and suggests, by way of method, that close study of the original texts and careful observation of nature will lead to worthwhile discoveries: “Truth stands open to all. It has not as yet been fully occupied. , 9). In this sense, Vives participates in the broader tendency of Renaissance rhetors to distinguish themselves from both medieval and classical precursors. 27 Vives’s comprehensive discussion merits in-depth consideration for a variety of reasons, but mainly because he summarizes the preceptive topoi on the question, giving them an original twist, because his thoughts on the matter became something of a pillar for later preceptistas, and because his ideas were relatively well known and accessible to the sixteenth-century reading public.

Vives, Causis, book 2, chap. 6, in Opera, 6:108. 37. For overviews of the works of the French authors, see Barnes, A History of Historical Writing, 76–77; on Valera, see Carbia, Crónica oficial, 59–60. 38. Vives expands on this topic, so relevant to the recording of the history of the Indies, in De concordia et discordia humani generis, in Opera (5:193–403). historical representation: juan luis vives d 27 own commentary and opinion into the narration of events. To exercise judgment is an essential requirement, in his view: objective narration and moral gloss are complementary facets of true history if it is to foster prudence.

Rebhorn, Emperor of Men’s Minds, 12. 49. On the Greek myth of Mnemosyne (Remembrance) as mother of the Muses, see Arendt, “Concept of History,” 43. On the chastity of history versus the seductiveness of fiction, see the ideas of Giovanni Pontano (1426–1503) (as quoted by Frankl, El antijovio, 178) and Weinberg, History of Literary Criticism, 1:14; also Gilmore, Humanists, 48. 50. Vives, De ratione dicendi, in Opera, 2:204. 32 d territories of history terms—with exactitude. Although in writing history numerous approaches can be taken (to narrate the private life of one individual or many, the public actions of one individual or many, the life of one or numerous nations), Vives emphasizes framing the subject in such a way as to highlight what is exemplary.

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