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Instituto Franklin > Publications > Camino Real Journal > Articles > The Sense of Place in Gaspar Pérez de Villagrá’s Historia de la Nueva México

The Sense of Place in Gaspar Pérez de Villagrá’s Historia de la Nueva México

In this essay I propose to explore when, how and where allusions are made to space in Gaspar Pérez de Villagrá’s Historia de la Nueva México. In order to appropriately discuss such a concept, I first contextualize the text in critical and literary historical terms. Next, I examine the various references to physical landmarks along the route from central Mexico toward New Mexico, paying close attention to how and why such references are made. Then I discover that there is a pendulum effect between geographical space and mythic allusion. The end of the poem concentrates on action that takes place within the walls of the Acoma Indians and the events — including thought processes — involving the Spaniards. The oscillatory structure helps describe how the text struggles with conflicting interests between a military chronicle and a morality play.

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