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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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The Proper Name of El País de los Incas

The Proper Name of El País de los Incas

(p.82) 4 The Proper Name of El País de los Incas
History's Peru

Mark Thurner

University Press of Florida

This chapter retraces the enlightened naturalist and historicist configuration of Peru, in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, as an ancient and universal “country” of prescient “genius,” primarily through the texts of José Hipólito Unanue (1755–1833) and Mariano Eduardo de Rivero y Ustariz (1798–1857). In the middle to late decades of the eighteenth century, an enlightened Bourbon and Creole project of imperial revival set out to recover the fading grandeur and prestige of “Spain” and “Peru.” To use the naturalistic metaphors of that project, it provided fertile soil for the erudite cultivation of a verdant patriotism rooted in a historical, scientific, and practical discourse on the country. In Peru, the proper “Peruvianization” of two ancient topoi contributed strongly to the naturalization and temporalization in historical discourse of Peru as a country: “clime” and “soil.” Peru contained within itself all of the world's climes and was thus a complete microcosm of the entire universe.

Keywords:   El País de los Incas, Peru, late eighteenth century, Bourbon, Creole, Spain, naturalistic metaphors, Peruvianization, ancient topoi, temporalization

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