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Imagining Columbus: the literary voyage

Stavans, Ilan
Imagining Columbus: the literary voyage
Imagining Columbus: the literary voyage

Imagining Columbus: the literary voyage

Stavans, Ilan
9,95€
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With the Columbian quincentennial have come a spate of books devoted to one or another aspect of the Italian mariner and his famous 1492 voyage. None, however, has taken the bold, creative approach of this new volume: to explore Columbus's "fifth voyage," the one depicted in hundreds of literary musings by writers worldwide over the past half-mille...
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With the Columbian quincentennial have come a spate of books devoted to one or another aspect of the Italian mariner and his famous 1492 voyage. None, however, has taken the bold, creative approach of this new volume: to explore Columbus's "fifth voyage," the one depicted in hundreds of literary musings by writers worldwide over the past half-millennium. Imagining Columbus: The Literary Voyage is Ilan Stavans's stunning contribution to the literature on Columbus. "My purpose," says Stavans, "is to revisit, to investigate, to play with the asymmetrical geometries of the admiral's literary adventures in the human imagination." Arguing that writers have portrayed Columbus in three ways - as prophet or messiah, as ambitious goldseeker, and as conventional, unremarkable man - Stavans examines a veritable treasure trove of poems, novels, short stories, dramas, and other works on Columbus. Organizing his material into two main parts, Stavans first takes up "Mapmaking," inspecting the two opposing views of the celebration of the quincentennial; discussing the most notable biographies of Columbus, including those by Washington Irving and Samuel Eliot Morison; and providing the necessary biographical data on Columbus's life and achievements. Then, in "The Literary Character," Stavans takes up the geographic and historical development of Columbus as a narrative figure in literature, devoting a chapter to each of the three literary views of the admiral - portrayals by writers as diverse as Walt Whitman, Alejo Carpentier, James Fenimore Cooper, Friedrich Nietzsche, Nikos Kazantzakis, Ruben Dario, Michael Dorris and Louise Erdrich, Philip Freneau, Stephen Marlowe, and scores of others. In a brilliantly imaginative conclusion, Stavans attempts to foresee what the future might bring. "My goal," he says, "is to describe some of the unwritten books on the mariner, the apocryphal titles that are likely to be published in the next 100 years." A hallmark testament to the potential