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Durham University

Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS)


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Publication details for Dr Yarí Pérez Marín

Yarí Pérez Marín (2011). La tierra enferma: representaciones tempranas del Caribe y el discurso patológico. Estudios revista de investigaciones literarias y culturales 17(34): 261-285.

Author(s) from Durham


This essay traces the literary representation and discursive uses of disease as a trope in the historiographic materials surrounding Columbus’ second voyage to the Indies. Juxtaposing documents penned by Columbus himself with the accounts of other figures that accompanied him on that expedition, namely Diego Álvarez Chanca and Fray Ramón Pané, three dominant modes of understanding the topic emerge: illness as a real phenomenon, illness as a strategy for deception, and illness as myth. By comparing how and when each one is deployed, by whom and to what ends, the piece argues that, in contrast to portrayals that underscored the marvelous, pathological discourse provided a counter ciphering of the American landscape that early on already began to dismantle the notion
of the New World as paradise.


This article was accepted for publication in February 2010 and published in 2011. 2009 is displayed on cover of the issue to maintain the sequential order of the journal's issues.