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Prophetic ‘Postcolonialism’: Performing the Disaster of the Spanish Conquest on the Stage of Jeremiah

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Chapter Summary

Though the truism is overused and far from always true, sometimes history is written by the victors. This chapter discusses two corpora that complicate this complacent truism: the little-known corpus of Spanish texts that agonised over the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries 'Conquest' of Latin America, and the book of Jeremiah. It is useful to compare a 'book' like the book of Jeremiah and the sixteenth century Spanish 'empire', and contrast both to modern networks of media, technology, and trade. The nineteenth century saw the consolidation of blocks and batches of time and space: the 'Western'/Abendland; 'modernity', 'the Renaissance', the century as a distinctive ethos, a temporal homeland that does in time what the nation state does in space. The chapter analyses synoptically and comparatively at the Florentine Codex and the book of Jeremiah. The Florentine Codex comes closest to the book of Jeremiah at the point of breakdown and loss.

Keywords: Florentine Codex; Jeremiah; Latin America; sixteenth century Spanish empire



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