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Writing from the Edge of the World, Writing from the Edge of the World, 0817315187, 0-8173-1518-7, 978-0-8173-1518-4, 9780817315184, , , Writing from the Edge of the World, 0817353399, 0-8173-5339-9, 978-0-8173-5339-1, 9780817353391, , , Writing from the Edge of the World, 0817382186, 0-8173-8218-6, 978-0-8173-8218-6, 9780817382186,

Writing from the Edge of the World
The Memoirs of Darien, 1514-1527
by Gonzalo Fernandez de Oviedo
Edited by Glen F Dille

Hardcover
2006. 232 pp.
5 maps
978-0-8173-1518-4
Price:  $44.95 s
Quality Paper
2006. 232 pp.
5 maps
978-0-8173-5339-1
Price:  $24.95 s

A stirring account of Spain’s incursion into the New World.
 
Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo is the 16th-century author of Historia general y natural de las Indias, a general and natural history of the peoples and places he encountered in his travels to Spanish America. Oviedo was educated at the court of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella and held several early appointments to the royal household, first as page to their son, John. In 1513, he accepted the appointment as warden of the gold mines of Castilla de Oro on the Isthmus of Panama in Darién, the first viable Spanish settlement on the American mainland. His first year at the very edge of the known world converted Oviedo into a lifelong resident of America and, more importantly, marked the beginning of his campaign to appropriate the topic of the Indies and become its interpreter to Europe.  
 
As G. F. Dille points out in his introduction, this work earned Oviedo the title of many firsts—first historian, first enthographer, first naturalist, first anthropologist, and first sociologist of the New World. Dille adds to that list first autobiographer and first novelist of the Americas.
 
This annotated translation contains the section of Oviedo’s work that recounts his experience in the New World during his service in Panama. Dille includes a brief introduction to Oviedo and provides general information on the political background of Spain and on the Spanish colonial system, the printing history of the text, a description of the reception of Oviedo’s work, and notes on the translation. 
 


G. F. Dille is Professor Emeritus of Spanish at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, and author of Antonio Enríquez Gómez, 1600–1663.

"The translation reads beautifully. . . . G. F. Dille focuses on a central but little studied section of the enormous history: Oviedo’s firsthand account of his experience in the conquest and settlement of Spain’s first colonies on the Main Land (known today as Panama), some two dozen years after Columbus’s first landfall in America.”—Kathleen Ann Myers, author of Word from New Spain: The Spiritual Autobiography of María de San José

"Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo's General and Natural History of the Indies, Peter Martyr's Decades of the New World, and Bartolomé de las Casas's History of the Indies are the cornerstone trilogy of new world history in the first half of the 16th century. Dille (emer., Spanish, Bradley Univ., Illinois) cleverly translates the Darién material from Oviedo's History for the first time ever in English. The narration begins in 1513, when Oviedo was appointed as warden of the gold mines of Castilla de Oro on the Isthmus of Panama in Darién, the first viable Spanish settlement on the American mainland. Darién was at the edge of the world between the already known Atlantic Ocean and the new discoveries and explorations of the South Seas (Pacific Ocean), Colombia, and Peru. Oviedo successfully narrates his firsthand impressions of the wonders of the new world, the abuse of the Native Americans, and the bloody and fruitless fight for power and wealth among the Spaniards. Oviedo's writings are powerful and convincing, engaging readers on his side in a participatory sense of witnessing and judging history at the moment of action. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries."
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