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History's PeruThe Poetics of Colonial and Postcolonial Historiography$
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Mark Thurner

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780813035383

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813035383.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 27 September 2021

The Founding Abyss

The Founding Abyss

(p.1) 1 The Founding Abyss
History's Peru

Mark Thurner

University Press of Florida

This chapter is an inquiry into the series of events that named and configured Peru as a subject of empire and history and, in particular, into Inca Garcilaso de la Vega's (1539–1616) founding exegesis of “the origin and principle of the name of Peru.” “Peru” is a proper name or signature of history, but before 1500 there was nothing in the world named “Peru.” By the early 1600s, however, “Peru” was one of the most famous names in the world, thanks in part to the words and things engendered by the long reach of the Spanish empire, and to the keen interest of rival European powers and readers in that empire. This chapter tells why Peru's meteoric rise to fame was not a calm affair. Indeed, Peru's violent and resonant founding as a subject of history is of unusual interest precisely because it heralded the sudden birth of globality and its new, universal history.

Keywords:   Peru, Spanish empire, Inca, European power, sixteenth century

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