Fernández de Oviedo's Chronicle of America: A New History by Kathleen Ann Myers

By Kathleen Ann Myers

Gonzalo Fernandez de Oviedo (1478-1557) wrote the 1st complete heritage of Spanish the United States, the Historia common y traditional de las Indias, a sprawling, consistently revised paintings during which Oviedo tried not anything lower than an entire account of the Spanish discovery, conquest, and colonization of the Americas from 1492 to 1547, in addition to descriptions of the land's plants, fauna, and indigenous peoples. His Historia, which grew to an marvelous fifty volumes, contains quite a few interviews with the Spanish and indigenous leaders who have been actually making background, the 1st huge box drawings of the US rendered via a ecu, reviews of unique creatures, ethnographic descriptions of indigenous teams, and specific studies concerning the conquest and colonization process."Fernandez de Oviedo's Chronicle of the USA" explores how, in writing his Historia, Oviedo created a brand new historiographical version that mirrored the vastness of the Americas and Spain's company there. Kathleen Myers makes use of a sequence of case reports - targeting Oviedo's self-portraits, drawings of yankee phenomena, ways to delusion, strategy of revision, and depictions of local american citizens - to research Oviedo's narrative and rhetorical suggestions and express how they relate to the politics, historical past, and discursive practices of his time. Accompanying the case stories are all of Oviedo's extant box drawings and a big variety of his textual content in English translation. the 1st research to ascertain the complete Historia and its evolving rhetorical and old context, this publication confirms Oviedo's statement that "the New global required a distinct type of heritage" because it is helping smooth readers know how the invention of the Americas grew to become a catalyst for ecu historiographical switch.

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Extra info for Fernández de Oviedo's Chronicle of America: A New History for a New World

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35 Parts II and III were composed between at least 1535 and 1542, revised and augmented from 1542 to 1549, and published in full only in the 1850s, in spite of the editorial success of part I. 36 He now turned to European subjects and new genre types, especially dialogue and poetry. He completed the Batallas in 1552, a work in the tradition of the biographies of illustrious Spanish aristocrats written by Pérez de Guzmán and Hernando del Pulgar. Oviedo, in the persona of his role as alcaide, interviews a night watchman (sereno), and each of the 150 interviews, or dialogues (three sets of 50 quinquagenas), gives a biographical sketch of the life and achievements of Spanish aristocrats whom Oviedo had met.

In the ten years since Oviedo’s first trip to America, Cortés had overthrown the great Aztec empire (1521), and Ferdinand Magellan and his men had circumnavigated the globe (1519–1522). During his stay in Spain, the chronicler attended an important general meeting of the Castilian parliament (cortes) in Toledo and Charles’s royal wedding to the sister of the king of Portugal, Isabel, in Seville, an event that strengthened ties between the two countries. In addition, Oviedo interviewed Francis I, king of France, who had been taken captive when Charles’s army defeated the French at the battle of Pavia in 1525.

Although based in America for much of his career, Oviedo actively participated in this development of the historian playing a stronger role within the empire’s political agenda and of the historian carving out a strong authorial presence for himself within the text. While the royal chronicler of the Indies blended elements from the various historiographic traditions, he also deviated significantly from the trend of writing a more international, learned history in Latin. Most notably, Oviedo chose to write in Castilian, unlike his only predecessor as royal chronicler of the Indies, the Italian humanist Martyr.

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