LASA Author Presentation – Cambria Press Author José Antonio Mazzotti


Thank you all for coming. I know it’s a
difficult morning after the party everybody leaving Boston
unfortunately we should stay here for longer. I live here in Boston I teach at
Tufts University, so I’m very happy to see some old friends and make new ones
but I’m supposed to talk about the book and since I wrote it in doing research
on the subject of the book after the first Spanish version 2016 I have many
things to say I’ll try to summarize them what this book is about and why I think
it’s more this contribution the book departs from interest many years ago on the Inca Garcilaso the chronicler. I
devoted my doctoral dissertation written three books on Inca Garcilaso already.
However he is not just a chronicler, he is a people figure to understand the
routine history and in history Latin American history world history but a
Inca Garcilaso is better understood also if we keep into account the
repercussions of his work not only among but also on the other counterpart of the Reuben society which is the hegemonic part, the Creole groups,
so I decided to study the reception of in Inca Garcilaso on Creole offers from
very early after the publication of the Royal commentaries in 1609, the first
part. In the first evidence of the arrival of the book in the end this was
in 1612 and from then I started to look into other authors of epic poetry and I
found out great Creole savant equivalent to see when’s he gonna go to
Mexico he read the Inca Garcilaso very thematically. He used the second part of the commentaries to elaborate his great point, published in 1732 so I had to cover from early 17th century to mid 18th century a
series of authors and I talk about the reception of royal
commentaries by Inca Garcilaso and then I found out that these readings of Inca
Garcilaso were usually accompanied by other subjects of debate among Creoles
themselves particularly between Creoles and things so I started to elaborate an
interpretation of the role of Creole groups during at least 150 years of
Merari discursive production the role of the Creoles in the elaboration of a concept that I develop in this book which I call the
ethnic Creole nation. Very polemic turn because now we use the term the word
“nation” in the modern sense but the word nation itself is not narrative its
version of ethnos which means exactly the same–a
group with internal homogenic characteristics, religion, language, ancestry, social forms of relationships and I found that
Creoles in Peru, the descendants of the conquistadors mainly what are called beneméritos, the aristocracy of Creoles. They invent their own tradition and they present
themselves together as a group that is kind of a middle actor in the process of
colonization of the Andes in which the Spanish peninsulars are one extreme,
the dominating extreme, and indigenous subjects and African subjects of the other
one, so Creoles are kind of in the middle. they have to mediate between these two
important groups and they have to defend their own rights and their own
privileges–easily both. So the book is divided in six chapters mainly on authors
like Dona his view of the mapuche world 1596 then I talk in the second chapter
about what I call the collective narcissism of Creoles with their
exaltation of the Peruvian and the Andean world with its huge mines and rivers and
mountains.Then the first chapter has to do with the relationship between Creoles
and warfare–how Creoles participate in wars particularly the defense of the
Viceroyalty against this bad English Dutch Corsairs, which they call thieves,
these pirates, then a poem in Chapter four on Fernando de Valverde an Augustine friar, who published a beautiful and very good poem called “Santuario de Nuestra Señora de Copacabana” that’s about the Copacabana, a figure
that was worshipped and is still worshipped at Lake Titicaca. Chapter 5 is about a Baroque poem called “Fundación y Grandezas de Lima,” an exaltation of the city of the Kings
which was for over 200 years the capital of South America the Creole language is a mixture of
Latin and Spanish, so it’s not easy to read. And then the last chapter is about
Lima fundada, which explains the title in Spanish, the original Spanish is
of this book is Lima Fundida. The upwards–screwed-up Lima. That’s what it probably means. Lima cannot be understood, Creoles cannot be understood without acknowledging the importance of indigenous and African groups and also of peninsular elites. So it’s in many ways a history of
Peru, a history on the Andes, focusing on the specific role of the Creole elites and their discursive production over 200 years, I would say. So that’s what book is about. I don’t want to elaborate too much because we don’t have a lot of time and I would be more interested in knowing your questions and your comments not only on the book but also on the subject of Creolism in general or a confirmation of an Andean literary tradition. So the floor is open. Question from audience: What is the difference between the Spanish version and the English version? This is an expanded version. I re-elaborated chapter two which is the chapter about Creole collective narcissism. I offer more documentation and I also included 21 illustrations in the English
version which are not present in the Spanish version, so my preference goes to
the English version that I know that in Latin America but if you’re in the US
and you read English I recommend the English version first, but there are some differences. It’s not exactly the same book. Question from audience: My question is kind of a pop culture link to this. Since the movie Sama came out, people have been talking about this, the
stuckness of the Creole class, the Creoles in Latin America, it’s sort of
not being able to get ahead because of this Spaniard. Is this part of your book?
It’s part of the argument. Yes, definitely, it was a very real problem for many Creoles, this is something that is playing the book better I can summarize it. The word “Criollo” in Spanish comes from the Portuguese “Crioulo.” It was the term
applied to children of slaves, African slaves born outside Africa, so it was
a word that wasn’t very prestigious at all. It was a derogative term used for children of
African slaves. So when the conquistadors arrived in the Americas, first they have
mestizo children with indigenous women, but then the Spanish legislation legislation
encouraged Hispanics to marry Spanish women and that’s how the first Creoles
were born, children of Europeans born outside Europe, specifically outside Spain.This was also a derogative term for good reasons. From the peninsular point of view, because many of those children that were
included in the legislation of the Republika Espanola. This has been very well studied in the social arts. Many
of those children were still mestizos their parents recognized them–they
were children indigenous mothers but they were
included in the category of criollos by their parents. So when the new laws of 1542 were decreed, the laws that transformed the colonial world because they limited
the power and the tenure of lands by the conquistadors, the children of those Spanish conquistadors felt that there was a direct attack against their interests and they turned the word “Creole.” which was
derogative and assumed it in the 1560s when they were already grown ups in the
1570s and decided to call themselves Creoles
to oppose their identity to the peninsula they will still consider themselves they
would still consider themselves as Spaniards, but in the sense in the same
sense that Andalusians or Catalans or other regional groups in
Spain would call themselves in order to differentiate themselves from the Castilian political economy. So going back,
to some in the 18th century this dispute definitely continued and even a position
between Creoles and peninsulars particularly because Creoles were
subject to a lot of scrutiny. Their loyalty was questioned in many ways. Some of them did well. Very few Creoles accessed important
positions in the Spanish administration but just to give you a sample for
example in 1608 at a time of study around 48 Quora him en only six were Creoles, and if you revise
the history of the 40 viceroys of Peru so that reveals that the Creoles were
always underestimated and underprivileged according to the wrong field and they
said well our parents grandparents and great-grandparents were the ones who
were the ones who won this land for the crown when there was nothing change so it’s representative of this dispute
anyways. Question from the audience: I’m interested in the images. I wanted to know if you do a reading of the images or if you are using the images to inform other topics in the book. I would say both. There are 21 illustrations in the book. Maybe I can show you one. Some of them are, for example, very informative.This map of the
program Viceroyalty around 1650 of course give us an idea of the dimensions of Peruvian Viceroyalty in South America, how Lima was the wealthy administrative center that dominated the entire or almost the entire South
American territory, possession of the Brazilian Portuguese territory and
general Capitan Mia of Venezuela. All the rest was called Peru so this is on
chapter 2 where I talk about the transformation of the term Peru which
wasn’t exactly what we understand today as Peru which is very specific
territorial borders. The concept of Peru in the 16th and 17th centuries was much bigger. First it was considered like Naturals succession of the Empire of the Incas uses but then during the 17th century and
18th century Peru meant practically the entire South American subcontinent.
And there are even pictures… this is the frontice of the poem, one of the
poems that I analyze, Santuario de Nuestra Señora de Copacabana by Fernando de Valverde in which the virgin of Copacabana is standing over the globe. In the entire western hemisphere is South America with the
name Peru, so it’s a concept that mutates during this last 500 years but the
concept that Creoles in the 17th and 18th centuries used to not only to praise their land
but also to self-praise themselves because they said, well, we are born in
the richest land, in the most beautiful land in the world, so we are better than everyone else. And that is a concept I call “collective narcissism” that in many ways has prevailed in the Republican period in the 19th and 20th century, which is placed very well why problems like discrimination or racism and others are
still everyday experiences in countries like that but yes I used the pictures in both
ways to illustrate the arguments but also to bring in arguments in the book. Question from the audience: Are you mainly focusing on Creolism in Lima? I mainly focus on limeño Creoles because they are probably the most important group at that moment but
I acknowledge that there were other groups of Creoles like in Cusco and other cities of the Peruvian Viceroyalty, like Santiago. Unfortunately to cover all those groups will be
probably a project that would entail a few other books, which maybe some day I will try to write. For the moment, this is a first
step. And then the other question about the time frame. I stopped in the 1730s in respect to texts that I analyze. The last one is Lima Fundada which was published in 1732 but the epilogue is a reflection
or a clip of the book is a reflection on how there’s continuity in the paradigms that Creoles elaborated during the 17th and part of the 18th century that have prevailed in
their behavior towards other social groups, so the book includes even quotes by Alan García in the 20th century, in how he refers to indigenous groups as citizens of the second class and I explain that kind of political position with a historical background. So it’s a book that is kind of ambitious, but I don’t analyze in depth texts from the 19th century or 20th century because that would be too much. But going 400, 500 years, this is confirmation that many Creole problems in Peru and in Latin America come from Creole agency. we can see for example the position by
someone like also meritorious indigenous people but I see also Indians to
maternity leave behind tradition their language that’s a very Creole this
position that you can find yeah even before the last two years the
classical words realism from varying Mexico we have many others the already
work in the 1980s and 1990s the Creoles not only as product of discourse and
behavior of the children of conquistadors but of some conquistadors
himself Creole lies themselves when they found to be what they called
señoras dear Lords of the land they become like very important very rich
members of not like one in society and they wanted to defend their interests
against the crown so that’s a Creole sentiment in more recent years there
have been other contributions of course Dulli Mexico there are being a few other
works but I don’t go too much into those books because they are not part of the
subject regarding the route there is a wonderful
initiative there all right well so I just have to
recommend the book

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