A Geography of Hard Times: Narratives About Travel to South by Angela Perez-Mejia, Dick Cluster

By Angela Perez-Mejia, Dick Cluster

Unravels the wealthy complexities of the colonial commute adventure.

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Extra resources for A Geography of Hard Times: Narratives About Travel to South America, 1780-1849

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A reading of this text from the perspective of the subjectivity, desire, and transformations that make themselves felt in the journal allows us to look at another facet of the ambiguous desire of those Europeans who contracted the malady of America. It contributes, too, to an analysis of how the texts generated by their travel fed the consciousness of national geographies and the discourses of Independence. THE ENLIGHTENED TRAVELER Mutis was born in Cádiz. This Atlantic port had a particular importance for the Spanish eighteenth century, which opened with the defense of empire in a sea infested by pirates and privateers, and closed on the point of the loss of the empire overseas.

Diario de observaciones, libro I: 100) At the same time as Mutis began to doubt that the viceroy would be of any use to his enterprise, local authorities started to recognize him and give him academic opportunities. In 1762 he took occupancy of the chair in mathematics in the Colegio de Rosario de Santa Fe de Bogotá, which he would continue to hold until 1766. The Colegio was the first institution in the kingdom to teach the mathematical discoveries of Newton and the physics employed in the exploitation of mines.

If it might have been of some novelty at the end of the eighteenth century because it partially imitated the clock of the Flora conceived by Linnaeus in Upsala, today is completely lacking in scientific importance. (Gredilla 1992, 362) The text consists of consecutive daily entries in which there is no observing subject, only the plants, which sleep and wake. Their anatomy is described in infinite detail and their reactions are perceived and told by the writer in a lyrical tone closer to poetry than to science.

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