Fernández de Oviedos Chronicle of America: A New History for a New World

Paperback | August 11, 2010

byKathleen Ann MyersTranslated byNina M. Scott

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Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo (1478-1557) wrote the first comprehensive history of Spanish America, the Historia general y natural de las Indias, a sprawling, constantly revised work in which Oviedo attempted nothing less than a complete account of the Spanish discovery, conquest, and colonization of the Americas from 1492 to 1547, along with descriptions of the land's flora, fauna, and indigenous peoples. His Historia, which grew to an astounding fifty volumes, includes numerous interviews with the Spanish and indigenous leaders who were literally making history, the first extensive field drawings of America rendered by a European, reports of exotic creatures, ethnographic descriptions of indigenous groups, and detailed reports about the conquest and colonization process.

Fernández de Oviedo's Chronicle of America explores how, in writing his Historia, Oviedo created a new historiographical model that reflected the vastness of the Americas and Spain's enterprise there. Kathleen Myers uses a series of case studies—focusing on Oviedo's self-portraits, drawings of American phenomena, approaches to myth, process of revision, and depictions of Native Americans—to analyze Oviedo's narrative and rhetorical strategies and show how they relate to the politics, history, and discursive practices of his time. Accompanying the case studies are all of Oviedo's extant field drawings and a wide selection of his text in English translation.

The first study to examine the entire Historia and its evolving rhetorical and historical context, this book confirms Oviedo's assertion that "the New World required a different kind of history" as it helps modern readers understand how the discovery of the Americas became a catalyst for European historiographical change.

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Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo (1478-1557) wrote the first comprehensive history of Spanish America, the Historia general y natural de las Indias, a sprawling, constantly revised work in which Oviedo attempted nothing less than a complete account of the Spanish discovery, conquest, and colonization of the Americas from 1492 to 1547, along...

Kathleen Ann Myers is Professor of Literatures in Spanish at Indiana University in Bloomington.

other books by Kathleen Ann Myers

Format:PaperbackDimensions:344 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 inPublished:August 11, 2010Publisher:University Of Texas PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0292726120

ISBN - 13:9780292726123

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Table of Contents

List of IllustrationsAcknowledgmentsIntroduction: New World, New History and the Writing of America1. Between Two Worlds: The Life and Writings of Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo y Valdés2. A Reader's Guide to a New World History3. The Historian as Actor and Autobiographer: Tierra Firme 15144. Eyewitness to America's Wonders: Illustrating a Natural History of the Indies5. Amazon Women and New World Realities: Documenting an Expanding World6. Cortés and the Conquest of Mexico: Truth and Multiple Testimonies7. Native Americans in Oviedo's HistoryConclusionsAppendices A. Chronology of Fernández de Oviedo's Life and Works B. Map of Hispaniola and Tierra Firme C. Translations of Passages from Fernández de Oviedo's Historia general y natural de las Indias 1. Prologue, Part I, Book 1 2. Book 29, Chapter 6 (Tierra Firme) 3. Book 7, Chapter 16 (The Pineapple) 4. Book 6, Chapter 33 (Amazon Women) 5. Book 33, Chapter 54 (Interview with Juan Cano) 6. Book 29, Chapter 26 (Natives of Tierra Firme) D. Table. Historia general y natural Manuscript Locations and Illustrations/Woodcuts E. IllustrationsNotesBibliographyIndex