8206 - Elegies for a Homeland: A Baroque Chronicle, A Marxist Critique, and Conflicting Identities in Colonial Guatemala

In his Recordacion Florida , Francisco Antonio de Fuentes y Guzman (1642-1699) has left us with a giddying array of observations about life in colonial Guatemala. In word and deed he epitomizes the rivalries and tensions that arose over time between Spaniards and criollos. The latter exhibit marked conflicts of identity, venerating their Hispanic roots while at the same time struggling to assert themselves, New World born and raised, as separate and distinct from, but just as worthy as, their peninsular Spanish forebers. They had no more representative a spokesman than Fuentes y Guzman. The tenacious Severo Martinez Pelaez (1925-1998) mines the Recordacion Florida, flaws and all, and makes its author a pivotal character in La Patria del Criollo (1970), his Marxist critique of how Guatemala came to be. Examining he ways in which one key textinfluenced another affords us a glimpse of conflicting identitries in the Spanish scheme of empire, and beyond.

Keywords: Fuentes y Guzman; Recordacion Florida; Martinez Pelaez; La Patria del Criollo

Author: Lovell, W. George (Queen's University, Canada, Canada / Kanada)


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