Racial Scorn and Critical Contempt Nueva corónica y buen gobierno by Guaman Poma de Ayala Review by: Rolena Adorno

Diacritics, Vol. 4, No. 4 (Winter, 1974), pp. 2-7 Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/465117 . Accessed: 09/08/2012 12:07
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he has made political and sociological considerations the focus of a literary judgment which is founded on reaction rather than analysis. pO&6 sy w • werpe L 0 0* A . racial bias in criticism has been particularly responsible for exploiting this latter category of colonial texts to extract the "message that supports the party. Where works from the colonial period are concerned. A work is good if it sells or if its 'message' supports my party" (Puertas al campo. The authorship of works from the early Spanish colonial period runs the gamut from Europeans who never set foot in America. the consideration of the critical problems posed by their writings. as well as of the present. signal one of the major shortcomings of contemporary criticism of colonial writings. Textual illustration from Nueva cor6nica y buen cgobierno . 1936. it is necessary to add that it is the criteria of the past.ImAt1. p. Nueva cor6nica y buen gobierno. It is the last of these groups which arouses the passions of the critics. and it is the criteria of the present-commerce and politics. Like many other commentators. and full-blooded Indians known as indios ladinos for their competency in both indigenous and European languages. analytic discussion of the given text is neglected. The writings of the early colonial period often serve. Besides the issue of colonialism. which are called into play. the questions of race and ethnic origin have provoked the commentary on the earliest colonial authors and have obscured. 122). to mestizo writers like El Inca Garcilaso de la Vega. in an address to the Pen Club of New York. that is.2 Guaman Poma de Ayala. 10 April 1972 Neruda's remarks about Spanish American colonial literature. if not prevented. who spent years in the colonies devoted to the Indians' cause. Pablo Neruda. Ik .idjsibo t f t( o reva 1o --- 10 co * P . as a pretext for debating the broad historical issues that faced the colony. p q O fon so V. Reprint." Rolena Adorno is presently working on a critical edition of the Nueva cor6nica. 4 44j 4t4 Rolena Adorno 40 POBRETELODSIIi (0Sr 7 eZ. Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Aut6noma. and those like Las Casas and Domingo de Santo Tomas. buying and selling and propaganda-which serve to judge art. One only has to look toward the Spanish Empire in America where I can assure you that three centuries of domination produced no more than three writers of merit in all of America. born in America after the Conquest. like Hernain P6rez de Oliva. Paris: L'Institut d'Ethnographie. The colonies of the most brilliant countries have left a legacy of centuries of silence: colonialism seems to kill fertility and brutalize the power of creation. Octavio Paz points to this practice as one of the general problems of Spanish American criticism: "Art forms part of the present.fA 14tij. in the critical forum. based on the rejection of colonialism as a political phenomenon. 1968. 1966.

To support the opinion that the author's ethnic origin was. and a utopian treatise on the Peruvian kingdom of the future." manifesting itself as the two sides of racism. 61).] thus maintaining." written by an author who "exhibits all the characteristics of the aborigine". The obvious fallacy of this "interpretation" is its assumption that Guaman Poma's prose obscures and subverts what he intended to write. reprinted in 1968. is unusually complex. and an understanding of his ambivalent point of view is essential to the faithful rendering of the text. is that the "Biblical sentences" are not mere gloss but rather one of the main fibers of Guaman Poma's text. Tello published Las (Lima: primeras edades del Pert! por Guaman Pomina Museo de Antropologia. Unlike the chronicles of Peru which utilize a limited number of illustrations complementary to the written text. pp. can be directly attributed to the efforts of literary critics. complete with the illustrations and Spanish translations of the Andean languages (Arturo Posnansky. Tello performs major surgery on the text. or should have been. removing all those elements that reveal the influence of the conquistadores. the controlling factor of his literary creation. The desire to recreate Guaman Poma solely within the context of a local ethnic background results in a narrowly chauvinistic version of the text which subverts the comprehensive outlook of Andean history presented in the original. One commentator calls the book an "extensive and awkward cronic6n. Luis Bustios Gilvez' three-volume version of the Nueva cor6nica y buen gobierno is also designed to "interpret the true meaning of Guaman Poma's thought [ . In his preface to the edition. his modern editor has distorted the degree of anti-Inca sentiment in a text which. that which Guaman Poma wanted to say" (Lima: Editorial Cultura. Over and above the sheer impossibility of removing precisely those passages that reflect the "ideas of the conquistadores. completed around 1615. Aymara. 84. La Paz: Instituto "Tihuanacu" de Antropologia. because by opting for what the author "wanted to say" instead of what he actually wrote. which suggests that the book was intended for two separate audiences. from the brief remarks of the cultural histories of Latin America to the detailed discussion of the full-length monograph. The author's cryptic notation on the title page. That the Nueva cor6nica is almost unread outside Latin America. written by the Peruvian Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala. 436-1178). conveys an overall sense of Peruvian solidarity and portrays the Inca empire as the chief glory of the past and the model for the society of the future. 3-4). 1944). the original text describes the rule of Manco Capac as legitimate and rightful and calls all twelve emperors "capac apo legitimate inca by the law of peru" (pp. traditionally considered the first Inca of the historical dynasty. The tendency to invent the author and his work along lines of racial bias is in evidence in all the categories of critical commentary on the Nueva cordnica y buen gobierno. The title of the work indicates the dual nature of the text as a history of ancient Peru. from whom he does not claim descendence. 59. which is a facsimile reproduction of the entire manuscript. in order to discover the "true thought of Guaman Poma" (p. The theme of the "essence of the indigenous soul. to which he con- siders himself privy. was discovered in 1908 at the Royal Library of Copenhagen. Etnologia y Prehistoria. The various methods by which its own editors and commentators have suppressed the book reveal the pseudo-issues that have been substituted for criticism and that have been detrimental to the dissemination and the general reputation of the colonial literature of Spanish America. The voluminous text of 1200 pages includes some 450 fullpage drawings. the more popular trend of editorship has been to publish only sections of the work and to transform the text in ways which document the patterns of reaction that have substituted for bona fide editorial criticism. the Buen gobierno (pp. (Paris: L'Institut d'Ethnologie. With the exception of the Paris edition. the Nueva cordnica's sketches can be "read" in series as independent narrations. there are passages in Quechua. The manuscript of the Nueva cor6nica y buen gobierno. literate and illiterate. While the modern editor portrays the first Inca as an illegitimate usurper and calls all the Incas conquerors. in all its aspects. destined in part for a European audience. Thirty-five years ago.The extent to which contemporary debate on colonial issues has taken precedence over textual analysis in recent criticism is illustrated by the discussions of a seventeenth-century work. is one of the most popular hobgoblins of Spanish American criticism devoted to writers like Guaman Poma. 1936. corroborates the need to consider the visual narrations as an integral part of the text. 6). and several indigenous dialects which are difficult to translate because of their archaic forms. Tello describes Guaman Poma as an "Indian by blood and in spirit" (p. and a now out-of-print transcription of the original text.. 1956-66. 1939) which he appropriately called an "interpretative essay" of Guaman Poma's version of pre-Incaic Andean history. This unfortunate tendency of textual alteration has been continued even in the most recent edition of the work. While the narration is principally in Castilian. Guaman Poma's attitude toward the Incas. Julio C. The editor's preamble becomes an ironic postscript to the reader who has compared Bustios' interpretation with the original text. the Nueva cor6nica y buen gobierno. I. and all but unknown in foreign academic quarters. 117)." the attempt to do so represents not the editorial desire to reproduce the text but to recreate it in a preferred image.. The standard works of Peruvian literary history have consistently dismissed the Nueva cor6nica as the inarticulate product of an author who fits the racial stereotype of the Indian as an inferior being. Guaman Poma's "inside-out j diocriticsS/Winter1974 . the editor manages to distort significantly one of the work's most important viewpoints: the status of Manco Capac. What the modern editor misses in his search for the hidden and "authentic" second level of discourse. 5). ed. I. usurpers. or invaders (Bustios Gilvez. the Nueva cor6nica. by the author. 1-435). Although Guaman Poma consistently scorns his contemporaries who call themselves Incas as low-class Indians and declares that he himself is descended from the original pre-Incaic Andean dynasty.

p. By means of an elaborate fictional narration of history. the issue of who borrowed whose material is far from settled. Lima: Instituto RaPil Porras Barrenechea. is a study based not on the evidence of the text. Asunci6n: Editorial Guarania. In any case. El cronista indio Felipe Huamnan Poma de Ayala (Lima: Editorial Lumen. indigenous origin and cultural inferiority. The pervasiveness of the ethnic and racial consideration is demonstrated by the most lengthy studies made of the book. 306). In the commentator's quest for the complete identification of the author with indigenous tradition. but rather on the premise that indigenism represents chaos and a lack of culture. Luis Alberto Sainchez refers to Guaman Poma's "almost childlike narration. the bitter contempt with which Guaman Poma regards Murfia in his text may be due to the Spanish Mercedarian's covetous interest not only in the Peruvian chronicler's wife but in his manuscript as well (p. Porras concludes that the author of the Nueva cordnica is an exemplar of native backwardness. Ironically." as "a formless jargon. 126).LI Castilian and lack of syntax" are said to reveal an incipient culture and an infantile mind (Rub6n Vargas Ugarte. the critic concludes that European culture was entirely inaccessible to the spirit of the indigenous historians and that such narrators were merely the deficient expositors of the reality which they lived and of the ideals professed by the nations of their origin (p. One of these commentaries includes a painstaking collation of texts. for the ultimate purpose of proving that "the author of the Nueva cor6nica demonstrates. frequently makes a scapegoat of all colonial literature. the Nueva cor6nica draws the Andean world into the mainstream of Christian spiritual history. later. 1949. a peculiar ineptitude to make an adequate and coherent transposition of the narrations that he reproduces" (Ramiro Condarco Morales. and negates the highly touted religious justification of the Spanish invasion of America. with repeated frequency." Revista del Museo Nacional. 236). Fuentes." The phenomenon of colonialism conjures up a variety of platitudes which are elaborated at the expense of the literature of the period. such as those written by Zarate in the sixteenth century and. the biased reader would have found in Guaman Poma's writing a thoroughly sagacious interpretation of the events he narrates. Lima: Editorial Gil. by Rauil Porras Barrenechea. Indigenism becomes the battle line on which the war over foreign influence is waged. 296). extending beyond the authors with strong and controversial indigenous ties to include writers who would never be branded as "Indians. 19-20). the derogatory view of the European-imitation factor can be discerned in the statements of both Guaman Poma's supporters and detractors. The opinion that creativity cannot survive under a repressive political regime. 30. 906). What is unusual about the work-and here the irony implicit in the title "New Chronicle" is apparent-is that the more or less standard sixteenth-century versions of Peruvian history are replaced by a potpourri of Andean and Biblical lore that makes the Incas not the origin but the terminus of indigenous Andean history and the Spaniards a misguided band of hypocrites who cannot claim to be the original messengers of the Gospel in Peru. and with equally erroneous results on either side. two dozen portraits of Inca royalty. 123. The same subversive. p. anti-Spanish argumentation pervades the accounts of the post-Conquest civil wars which repeat entire passages from the chronicle X. 2nd. decisively counters the European view of the Indians as pagans and therefore subhuman barbarians. II. sefior y cacique. A particular aspect of this myth of artistic sterility is the belief that the use of European literary formulae by authors born and educated in America must be a submissive imitation of the foreign models. With regard to Father Murila. and the 450 illustrations are linked to Andean historical portraiture on the basis of Guaman Poma's . A second major obstacle to colonial criticism has broader implications. and one camp is constituted by those who deny the input of European ideas for the purpose of finding in the work the exclusive representation of a native American tradition. Murtia. 1961. 1969. Without such a predisposition mediating the examination of the text. ed. p. both for the colonial period and for all time. 1967. 1948). Echoing these sentiments. Mendizibal Losack makes the author the mechanistic and mindless imitator of the opposite cultural tradition. Adamant about disassociating Guaman Poma from the mechanistic adherence to foreign models. satirical. The importance of the new ideas brought by the European domination has been discarded by the opposite camp which longs to equate. As in the recent editions of the work. and historical-are not even the result of an artistic impulse but are instead "predetermined by the function of painting in the Incaic historiographic tradition" (Emilio Mendizibal Losack. Historia del Perd. pointing out that Guaman Poma lifted passages from the European chronicles of Peru. 308). 1945. The title of one of the only monographs devoted to Guaman Poma's work immediately places before the reader the issue of the author's race and forecasts its looming importance in the pages that follow. Lima. for example. who was a contemporary and personal acquaintance of Guaman Poma. "Don Phelipe Guaman Poma de Ayala. In the effort to make of Guaman Poma the last of a line of Inca narrative painters and historians. The context of this absurdly extreme attitude is to be found in other of Porras' writings in which indigenism is called a backward cult of the past and mestizaje is identified with the critic's view of the highest ideals of Peruvian nationalism (El sentido tradicional en la literatura peruana. pp. Oruro: Universidad Thcnica. the entire written text has to be ignored as irrelevant to the author's task. marred by indigenism and developed in a barbarous syntax" (La literatura peruana. he claims that these hundreds of drawings-sacred. el ultimo quellcacamayoc. Protohistoria andina. the intellectual ineptitude of the indigenous author is again put forward in a tautology of prejudiced thinking. One of the most extreme examples of this approach is the argument that Guaman Poma's book is the ultimate artifact of a defunct Andean tradition of pictorial historiography.

represent only a few of the unexplored territories of this monster of creative ebullience. in this case the "son and grandson of the great lords and kings of ancient times and captain general and lord of the kingdom. together with an introductory chapter that narrates how the writing of the Nueva cordnica came about. If the use of the prologue ended here. Thus introduced to the King according to the rules of literary protocol. 8-10). prayers. as the viceroy of Huascar Inca. 411). the second text among these prologues. Among the most striking features of the rhetoric is the appearance of no less than twenty prologues which are found at various junctures of the narration. the futility of the polemical orientation becomes apparent. a willing and loyal member of the Spanish Empire and that the Indians are the sovereign land owners of Peru. the reiteration of the prologue form throughout the work means that these "introductory" texts perform a supplemental function. The generic heterogeneity of the work alone draws the reader's attention to the extraordinary fabric of the text. the problematics of the fictional history. the text itself possesses a richness and a depth which render all the more superfluous the banalities that have almost exclusively constituted the work's critical wages. directed to the Pope and the King of Spain. briefly introducing the work and reiterating its format and purpose for the benefit of the general audience (p. In addition to creating the work's audience. legal. sets up an intratextual relationship through a lengthy and detailed presentation of a literary character who will appear as one of the central historical protagonists and moral archetypes in the work. The first of the letters is addressed to the Pope and signed by the author. in diametric opposition to those that have already been examined. and the study of Guaman Poma's rhetoric in general. 11). However. Since the stated project of the Nueva cordnica y buen gobierno is to preserve the kingdom of Peru from destruction and the Indian race from genocide. The letter is clearly the invention of the author. Don Martin repeatedly appears as the model of the Indian lord. and natural law (p. he proceeds. The multiplication of prologues insistently implicates the reader in the discourse of the book. Guaman Poma contends that Peru had been. Her conclusions. 5)." but as the springboard for a radically different point of view. in the last epistolary prologue. Elvira Tundidor creates Guaman Poma as a gentlemanly adherent to European ways of thinking in her latter-day effort to justify the Spanish Conquest of Peru as a liberation from Inca tyranny and despotism ("La queja indigena de don Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala. This catalogue of divergent and opposing claims about the nature of the work and its author reveals that the sixteenth-century polemic on the dignity of man and the morality of imperial conquest and colonization is still being waged in the pages of cultural criticism devoted to the colonial period. 958). The expository narration is punctuated by biographies. 39-101). the author attempts. 3. both didactic and satiric. maxims.of Agustin de Zirate. these "introductory" texts can serve as a focal point for a critical introduction to the work. The Peruvian chronicler can hardly be called a deficient expositor of his own reality but might better be described as an ingenious auto-didact who manipulates the moral. and a general prologue for the "Christian reader" (p. who beseeches pontifical protection for "this kingdom of peru of the indies" (p. This excelentisimo senfor is later portrayed as the lord who led the loyalist Indian forces in defeating the Spanish rebels who plagued the kingdom with civil wars (pp. who will 5 dlcritics / Winter 1974 . as well as by monologues and dialogues. not as "incoherent transpositions. Guaman Poma as an author cannot be pigeon-holed into either of the easy categories of the aborigine-deified or barbaric-or of the colonial convert-rarefied or hack. from 1532 onward. who appears fashioned in the guise of a distinguished personage. devoted to his people and the preservation of the Christian faith and civil justice. As the smoke of battle settles. Throughout the work. are the final footnote in this documentary survey of a type of critical commentary that has failed conclusively to bring the rigorous examination of the text of the Nueva cordnica y buen gobierno into consideration. Estudios de seminarios americanistas. 21-33. the use of Quechua for various types of discourse." Trabajos y conferencias. according to the precepts of Divine. is presented as an introduction of the author and a recommendation of his work to the monarch by "don martin malque de ayala" (pp. it would be of little interest beyond its function as a literary convention. Madrid. 4. Don Martin Malque de Ayala becomes the fictional fulcrum on which Peruvian Conquest history turns. Such possibilities for fruitful discussion as the role of illustration as text. by means of such a vast and complex formal network to draw his most influential (and potential) readers into the monumental task by subtly apprising them of their moral responsibilities. sermons. Guaman Poma's lack of capitals is being preserved here). The exposition of the Nueva cordnica y buen gobierno is prefaced by three epistolary prologues. and religious principles that the colonists professed as the rules by which to play his own game. The only critic to consider favorably Guaman Poma's link to European culture has completely warped the evidence of Hispanization in the work. Through another complicated series of historical inventions that exploit the main tenets of sixteenth-century theories of war and conquest. 375-76. destined for the Spanish King and bearing the signature of the author's father. 5-7). subjecting anonymity and indifference to powerful scorn. to set forth for Philip his grandiose narrative plan in a posture of feigned modesty (pp." who intercedes with the royal reader on behalf of the properly humble Guaman Poma (p. The second epistle. The prologue to the Christian reader which follows bears the stamp of the conventional prologue. as the heroic figure who allegedly established peace between Spain and Peru in 1532 by transferring Peruvian sovereignty. and songs. 1959. they establish the formal context within which an extraordinarily elaborate discourse addressed by the author to the reader will be developed throughout the work. to the Spanish monarchy. myths. the incessant return to the same rhetorical code links the readers to the discourse with an insistence that denies their anonymity and scorns their indifference. canon. 432-33).

The prologue continues to serve as the expressive mode for mediating interaction. is resolved at the fictional level. and a series of biographies of the first nine viceroys introduces the utopian treatise of the Buen gobierno. effectively converting what Guaman Poma continues to call the prologue from preamble to postlogue. not the chronological narration of events. In its conventional location. who are constantly reminded of their obligation to respond to those events. the unorthodox placement of the prologue serves to launch a surprise attack on the reader. In every prologue. Guaman Poma's biographies are defined by the themes of the personal. While these brief narrations set forth the legendary historical deeds of each Inca and coya as the author may have heard them from his informants. as witness and informant of the events he narrates. Guaman Poma's displacement of that prologue awaits the reader after the main exposition has been read. continually spanning the gap between the book and historical society. "Nueva cor6nica y buen gobierno de Don Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala. Guaman Poma "creates" his readers and proceeds to engage in a monologue that variously consoles. 16." in Tello. more than the public. praises. 95). and serving as preamble to the task of saving Peru and her people from annihilation. If the central body of the work tempts the reader to skip the prologue. marking the coincidence of reading subject and narrative object. and the explicitly moral interpretation stands out when contrasted with the biographical narrations by other seventeenth-century historians of Peru. ending with an account of the subject's death and the number of their legitimate and illegitimate heirs. but the introductory composition undergoes a transformation that places it at the end of the chapter which it accompanies. 736. The biographies of the twelve Incas and their royal consorts. the use of the term "prologue" must be attributed to some rhetorical design. can be elucidated by an examination of one of the other literary genres that appears with frequency in the work: the biographical form of writing. the coyas. the major enterprise of the Nueva cordnica. gives the impression that Guaman Poma is indulging in an enthusiastic misuse of one of the stock forms of literary convention. The objects of these lessons range from the King and Pope and the ecclesiastical and civil authority of colonial officialdom to all the motley assortment of colonial opportunists. revisi6n sumaria. this emphasis is underscored by the appearance of a portrait of the subject that precedes every narration. as it is envisioned in the text. They appear at the conclusion of virtually every chapter or group of chapters devoted to a specific topic. between history and utopia. the prologues themselves seem to point to something beyond the text. implied by the etymology of the term. To what are these prologues anterior. Guaman Poma completes the creation of the triad of participating forces in the discourse: the author. The importance of biography in the narration has already been signalled by the presentation of the life of Don Martin Mallque de Ayala in the introductory texts that preface the work. The apparent redundancy of nineteen such texts.6 reestablish the kingdom of Peru as a sovereign state (pp. it is eventually dissipated into an lament of helplessness and despair. Concomitant with the elaboration of the authorially defined audience is a developing thematic which optimistically and zealously outlines a program for spiritual and social reform. on the rhetorical level. the question of anteriority. stands as the focal point of Guaman Poma's history. autobiographical Why." however. as the visible interlocutors of his exposition. which are really epilogues to the various expositions. The Inca biographies begin with the identification of the figure. The prologues are the direct link to extra-textual reality. followed by a minute description of the costume and royal regalia that appear in the drawings. With the presentation of this personage. The historical personality. and the fictional historical exemplar. Repetition and reiteration are Guaman Poma's basic rhetorical techniques for maintaining these three categories of formal protagonists. constantly reinforces the dynamics of reader-identification implicitly working in the exposition. Each of the prologues is directed to the contemporary social group which is the subject of the accompanying chapter. for whom the continuity of ac- . foreshadow the narration of Inca history. the various readers. The recurrent shift from expository object to object of address. and the engagement of an extratextual public. introduced in the initial set of prologues. or epilogue. and from the displaced nobility and civil officials of the Andean hierarchy to the lowliest tributary Indian and Negro slave. The lives of each of the royal personages are summarized in a single page. and that the written descriptions represent the features of the historical artifacts (Richard Pietschmann. lives of each figure. who negates the barrier between past and future and formalizes the utopian reality. p. if not to the composition of the text? In a work which constantly focuses on a world outside itself. the prologue would provide the reader with a destination in a chronological reading: the main exposition. the characterizations depart from the documentary mold and dwell instead on the features of the moral personality of each subject. does the author fail to use the appropriate title of "epilogue" for these short compositions? Since the evidence of his erudition clearly makes his ignorance of the term impossible. both through the fictional creation of that historical/utopian realm beyond the text. however. It has always been assumed that Guaman Poma's portraits are copies of original ones seen by the author. and provide the means by which to continue the dialogue with a reading public that is gradually and explicitly categorized as representing every relevant sector of a universal audience. The element of surprise created by the displacement of the form from its conventional location arrests the attention of the introductory reader by the jolting force of the label. harangues or condemns them. If. employed in key chapters devoted both to Inca and post-Conquest history. is that they serve-in addition to the functions mentioned-as an ordering device of the encyclopedic text. The manner in which the prologues specifically serve as a bridge between the world and the text. The nineteen concluding prologues of the Nueva cor6nica y buen gobierno are the introduction to action in the outside world. The effect of the "prologues. 818-19).

L.Regueiro Managing Jose' Editors: S. Gulldn. E. and Guaman Poma may have found a model in the fifteenth-century works of Fernin Perez de Guzmain and Hernando del Pulgar. The viceregal biographies also serve to join the two parts of the book by providing visual and verbal thematic continuity with those of the Incas. Guaman Poma establishes the first premise of his utopian program: the Indians of Peru. Seiver Subscription: $12. should follow the religious and moral precepts of Christianity in order to become worthy citizens of a new Indo-Christian state. In the prologue that follows the series of coya biographies. Together. This type of historical writing is reminiscent of the exemplary biography of the Middle Ages. subsequently set forth by the prologue as the explicit model for the future. The prologue that follows the presentation of the viceroys is dedicated to the Pope and the King. The biographical form is thus projected beyond its modest anecdotal and historical frame and united with a complementary discourse which grounds the utopianism of the work. 7 A Quarterly Journal Devoted to Research in the JIISPAIC E 1)IE ) Published of Romance by theDepartment Languages and Literatures Hispanic Languages General Editor: P. By combining the documentary portraiture of the Andean tradition with certain traits of the European medieval biography. even though Guaman Poma's specific proposals call for the reinstitution of Andean governance. and with which Guaman Poma's biographical writings share both format and many thematic features. with many of the viceroys clutching either rosary or sword. P. Guaman Poma's Inca biographies capsulize two dozen ancient personalities in highly individualized portraits which are only peripherally linked to the narration of the political history of the Inca empire by the chronological ordering of their reigns. providing a shift of emphasis to public morality from the intimate. A. "in many kingdoms. The author insists on the continuing obligation of these readers to provide for the welfare of the Peruvian kingdom. The entire work demands a reading that ignores the rulebook of sixteenth-century literary propriety and that possesses a readiness for textual surprises. he ends his remarks with an urgent entreaty that they alleviate the plight of the Indians of Peru. Armistead. G. The former becomes the framework by which to elucidate the positive and negative standards of conduct of the past. particularly the nobles who must set the example. G. The royal biographies go beyond history specifically by virtue of the prologues which conclude their presentations.Sebold Russell University of Pennsylvania Editor: M. 19174 dkClatifCS/Winter 1974 . Guaman Poma utilizes the biography and the prologue to carry out a didactic mission of enormous proportions. Earle. he urges his contemporaries to adhere to their ancient moral law and to take up the service of the Christian god. Pa. as the Incas had been pictured holding the staff of their office. The narration of the viceroys' public deeds is overshadowed by the consideration of the moral conduct of their leadership. This single example of Guaman Poma's rhetoric points to the complexity of the general narrative scheme and reveals the author's keen insight into the potentially creative power of the fixed forms of European literary expression. in a tone much more forceful than that of the original epistolary prologues. Out of the two series of biographies are projected the principles of personal living and of goVernance which stand as the foundation of the utopian design. and all the universal world" (p. empires. 486). personal morality that characterized the Incas and coyas.00 per year Williams Hall. The biography and the prologue function in tandem. The ancient biographies have their counterpart in the biographies of the Spanish viceroys that commence the discussion of contemporary Peruvian society. M. G. Having brought the subtle and implicit exemplary value of the biographies to the explicit level of a moral mission through the use of the prologues. Guaman Poma explicitly enumerates the noble and humble classes of the female Indian audience to whom he addresses himself. The examples of charity and vice that characterize all the royal biographies thus bear directly on the society of contemporary Indians. P. and delivers a more elaborate version of the same proselytizing message. Guaman Poma directs his Inca biographies to the male descendants of the Andean dynasty and preaches a lesson against the idolatry by which he has characterized their forebears. whose Generaciones y and Claros varones de Castilla were popusemblangas lar items in the sixteenth-century colonial book trade. these imperial authorities are still to be the ultimate arbiters of Christian justice. the ancient and modern series establish the formal symmetry of the work. Foley. Catron.tions takes precedence over the individual figures and the explication of personal characteristics is subservient to an interest in the social customs of Inca civilization in general. drawings are again used to precede each narration. Lloyd. E. G. University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia. Guaman Poma creates an unusual narrative document that establishes the focus of his utopian treatise. Sobejano Associate Editors: D.

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