By Angela Perez-Mejia, Dick Cluster
Unravels the wealthy complexities of the colonial commute event.
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Extra info for A Geography of Hard Times: Narratives About Travel to South America, 1780-1849 (Latin American and Iberian Thought and Culture)
Really, this is direct scientific observation without the evaluative judgments that accompanied the observations of the first pages of his text. The narrator is alone before his sleeping object of 36 THE SCHOLAR AND THE BARON scientific desire, that American nature which he had made into discourse, and which had enveloped him and given him fame and fortune in return. In 1791 the expedition moved at last to Santa Fe de Bogotá because Mutis fell ill. There he would work for ten more years, but he would not write any more in the notebooks that he called journals.
He withstood the harsh rains and suns of this countryside. In a word, he was what I wanted and what I needed. (Diario de observaciones, libro II: 626) What Mutis desired in those who made up his expedition was physical strength and an ability to travel and collect. He reserved for himself the authority of enlightened traveler and of scientific knowledge. Nonetheless, the authority of the narrator of the opening text is transformed by the experience of the voyage. When Mutis arrives in Nueva Granada he has enormous confidence in his accoutrements of the European Enlightenment, but his faith in science will not remain completely loyal to him.
Diario de observaciones, libro I: 87) For months he keeps up the stories of how diseases and the bites of tropical animals are treated, and little by little local knowledge comes to occupy a good many of his pages. At first he ends every story with comments that disqualify the narrated remedy, such as, “I cannot understand such medicine” (Diario de observaciones, libro I: 108), or, “a story very similar to many in this country, which deserve eternal disdain” (Diario de observaciones, libro I: 94).
A Geography of Hard Times: Narratives About Travel to South America, 1780-1849 (Latin American and Iberian Thought and Culture) by Angela Perez-Mejia, Dick Cluster