El problema de colon en la Historia de las Indias
Wise, Carl Austin
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Bartolomé de Las Casas annotates and includes almost all of Christopher Columbus’ account of the discovery within his historical treatise Historia general de las Indias. Columbus, who stars as the hero in the majority of Historia, is characterized by his exemplary virtue and keen observation skills in an attempt by Las Casas to make his primary source of the discovery seem reliable. While Columbus is the hero of the Historia, however, his actual text, when analyzed apart from Las Casas’ editorial influences, presents an ideology that is sometimes diametrically opposed to Las Casas’ purpose for even writing the Historia. Most problematic for Las Casas, who adamantly denies Spain’s rights to own land in the New World without the Indians’ consent, occurs when Columbus actively “takes possession” of the Indies for the Spanish crown. This study analyzes the rhetoric of Las Casas’ editorial comments that minimize Columbus’ actual meaning of “to take possession” and transform the Colombian rhetoric into a completely different act that fits perfectly in the author’s purpose for Historia de las Indias.