Christopher Columbus's Naming in the 'diarios' of the Four Voyages (1492-1504): A Discourse of Negotiation

By Evelina Gužauskytė

© 2014

In this fascinating book, Evelina Gužauskytė uses the names Columbus gave to places in the Caribbean Basin as a way to examine the complex encounter between Europeans and the native inhabitants.

Gužauskytė challenges the common notion that Columbus’s acts of naming were merely an imperial attempt to impose his will on the terrain. Instead, she argues that they were the result of the collisions between several distinct worlds, including the real and mythical geography of the Old World, Portuguese and Catalan naming traditions, and the knowledge and mapping practices of the Taino inhabitants of the Caribbean. Rather than reflecting the Spanish desire for an orderly empire, Columbus’s collection of place names was fractured and fragmented – the product of the explorer’s dynamic relationship with the inhabitants, nature, and geography of the Caribbean Basin.

To complement Gužauskytė’s argument, the book also features the first comprehensive list of the more than two hundred Columbian place names that are documented in his diarios and other contemporary sources.

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Product Details

  • Series: Toronto Iberic
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 296 pages
  • Illustrations: 13
  • Dimensions: 6.2in x 0.9in x 9.2in
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SKU# SP003702

  • PUBLISHED APR 2014

    From: $51.75

    Regular Price: $69.00

    ISBN 9781442647466
  • PUBLISHED APR 2014

    From: $51.75

    Regular Price: $69.00

Quick Overview

In this fascinating book, Evelina Gužauskytė uses the names Columbus gave to places in the Caribbean Basin as a way to examine the complex encounter between Europeans and the native inhabitants.

Christopher Columbus's Naming in the 'diarios' of the Four Voyages (1492-1504): A Discourse of Negotiation

By Evelina Gužauskytė

© 2014

In this fascinating book, Evelina Gužauskytė uses the names Columbus gave to places in the Caribbean Basin as a way to examine the complex encounter between Europeans and the native inhabitants.

Gužauskytė challenges the common notion that Columbus’s acts of naming were merely an imperial attempt to impose his will on the terrain. Instead, she argues that they were the result of the collisions between several distinct worlds, including the real and mythical geography of the Old World, Portuguese and Catalan naming traditions, and the knowledge and mapping practices of the Taino inhabitants of the Caribbean. Rather than reflecting the Spanish desire for an orderly empire, Columbus’s collection of place names was fractured and fragmented – the product of the explorer’s dynamic relationship with the inhabitants, nature, and geography of the Caribbean Basin.

To complement Gužauskytė’s argument, the book also features the first comprehensive list of the more than two hundred Columbian place names that are documented in his diarios and other contemporary sources.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: Toronto Iberic
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 296 pages
  • Illustrations: 13
  • Dimensions: 6.2in x 0.9in x 9.2in
  • Reviews

    ‘This is an interesting book and a worthy addition to the growing volume of scholarship on Columbus.’


    William D. Phillip Jr.
    Renaissance Quarterly vol 68:03:2015

    Christopher Columbus’s Naming in the diarios of the Four Voyages is an ambitious and intriguing book. Gužauskyte’s approach is original, rich, and interdisciplinary, bringing new perspectives to the understanding of Columbus’s writing by exploring the relationship between narrative, culture, and the visual arts, whether from the mappa mundi or medieval religious art.”


    Asela Laguna, Department of Spanish and Portuguese Studies, Rutgers-Newark

    “Evelina Gužauskyte shows in this fascinating book how Columbus’s discourse of naming reveals how power was negotiated between Columbus and the indigenous people he encountered. Most intriguing is her contention that the Tainos influenced that discourse and, more generally, ‘the Western mind.’ The appendix of place names is a valuable contribution to Columbus studies.”


    Elise Bartosik-Vélez, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Dickinson College
  • Author Information

    Evelina Gužauskytė is an associate professor in the Spanish Department at Wellesley College.
  • Table of contents

    Editions

    List of Illustrations

    Introduction

    Chapter One: “Named Incorrectly”

    Chapter Two: Words and the World

    Chapter Three: “Y saber dellos los secretos de la tierra”

    Chapter Four: Heavenly Bodies and Metallurgy in Columbian Toponymy

    Chapter Five: Iguana and Christ

    Chapter Six: Infernal Imagery

    Conclusion

    Appendix. Listing of Toponyms

    Bibliography

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