By Sarah H. Beckjord
Sarah H. Beckjord's Territories of background explores the lively yet mostly unacknowledged spirit of mirrored image, debate, and experimentation found in foundational Spanish American writing. In ancient works through writers equivalent to Gonzalo FernÃ¡ndez de Oviedo, BartolomÃ¨ de Las Casas, and Bernal DÃÂaz 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 technological know-how and faith within the New international 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 heritage. as a result of a convergence of frequently contradictory info from numerous sources--eyewitness debts, historiography, innovative literature, in addition to broader philosophical and theological influences--categorizing old texts from this era poses no effortless job, yet Beckjord sifts in the course of the info in a good, logical demeanour. on the center of Beckjord's learn, although, is a primary philosophical challenge: the slippery nature of truth--especially whilst dictated by means of tales. Territories of historical past engages either a physique of rising scholarship on early glossy epistemology and empiricism and up to date advancements in narrative concept to light up the significance of those colonial authors' severe insights. In highlighting the parallels among the sixteenth-century debates and poststructuralist ways to the research of historical past, Beckjord uncovers a tremendous legacy of the Hispanic highbrow culture and updates the examine of colonial historiography in view of contemporary discussions of narrative concept.
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Extra info for Territories of History: Humanism, Rhetoric, and the Historical Imagination in the Early Chronicles of Spanish America
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.
In De ratione dicendi, Vives expands on the points made earlier from the perspective of writing history. He proposes guidelines to be applied to any kind of history—whether sacred or human. He distinguishes description (of ﬁxed things) from narration (of things or events as they move in time), and categorizes narrative types according to their intended end or goal, which can be either to teach or explain, to persuade, or to capture the reader’s or listener’s attention, although he notes that these goals are often mixed.
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.