[Jan Van der Straet: Amerigo Vespucci meets America

Versions of South America in English Literature
from Aphra Behn to the Present Day


John Mackenzie Ross

Ph D
University of Edinburgh

This blogsite presents a - very slightly updated - version of my PhD thesis, written while I was studying at the University of Edinburgh between 1986 and 1990. It also includes, as appendices, a few published articles which I carved - with certain revisions and modifications - out of the body of the thesis between 1988 and 1995. You can find some general reflections on the experience of working on it here.

For the moment, though, all I want to say is that if you're intrigued by the idea that there might be a region of the mind called "South America" which co-exists - in the European imagination, at any rate - with the actual geographical entity, then this set of essays could be of interest to you. I attempt to substantiate the existence of a set of tropes repeated from writer to writer (many of whom had never visited or even seriously studied any Latin American countries or peoples), then go on to try to provide a kind of conceptual map of this phantom "South America."

Clearly the same reasoning could be applied to a lot of other imaginary or semi-imaginary worlds of romance, and I guess my intention was always that this thesis might provide a template or blueprint for just such a set of comparative studies. Ambitious, no?

Anyway, check it out and let me know what you think.

- Jack Ross, Mairangi Bay, 22 July 2009

[Antonio Ruíz: El sueño de la Malinche
[Malinche's Dream] (1939)]

1 comment:

  1. hello... hapi blogging... have a nice day! just visiting here....