Figural Conquistadors: Rewriting the New World's Discovery and Conquest in Mexican and River Plate Novels of the 1980s and 1990s

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Bucknell University Press, 2006 - Literary Criticism - 194 pages
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This study explores the role of historical and fictionalized figures from the New World historiographically in eight novels (both New Historical and traditional historical) published in Mexico and the River Plate during the 1980s and 1990s. It pays particular attention to the fundamental role of fictional autobiographies and testimonials in reqriting historiographical discourses about the discovery and conquest and their relationship to contemporary politics and issues of national and cultural identity in Latin America. The writers and novels include Argentina's Antonio Elio Brailovsky (Esta maldita lujuria) and Abel Posse (El largo atardecer del caminante); Mexico's Eugenio Aguirre (Gonzalo Guerrero), Armando Roa Bastos (Vigilia del Almirante), and Uruguay's Napoleon Baccino Ponce de Leon (Maluco: la novella de los descubridores). This study shows how these novelists use major and marginal figures to reflect upon the ways that institutional powers have invokes episodes from the discovery and conquest to explain and legitimate the present. They also revisit this period to critique the recent historical past, especially in the case of Uruguay and Argentina, which endured military dictatorships in the 1970s and 1980s.

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About the author (2006)

Mark A. Hernandez is assistant professor of Spanish in the Department of Romance Languages at Tufts University in Medford.

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