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 trip event.

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Humboldt tells us that it was substantial when he went to visit Mutis in Santa Fe in 1801, but neither Humboldt nor even Mutis’s biographer tells us anything more. Still, we can say with assurance that this fortune allowed him to join Nueva Granada’s high society and to modify his judgment in some ways. The country previously seen as “where rationality is so scarce” becomes, now, the soil that offers him a chance at a private enterprise and the society that has named him university professor and recognized him as a teacher.

How many relationships! How many characteristics! How many rays of light essential to discerning these distinctions could be supplied by that Linnaeus of the new world! ” To them he is part of paradise and not a visitor there. Mutis is, without doubt, a European traveler within the line of those who contributed to the scientific reinvention of tropical America, but nonetheless his circumstances were unique. 5 He was not sent by the crown to do his research, like La Condamine, nor sent on a diplomatic mission, like Boussingault,6 nor did he travel as head of a scientific expedition, like Humboldt.

Humboldt’s text is the first total vision of the territory through which the pro-independence and royalist armies marched and countermarched in their struggle for dominion over the colonies. The map Bolívar used in his campaign to reconquer Nueva Granada had been made possible by Humboldt. ” The Orinoco was also the first territory that Bolívar declared open to commerce, in the pages of El Correo del Orinoco, a newspaper he founded with Francisco Antonio Zea (Bernal Medina, 75–80). On the other hand, Humboldt’s project had much wider ambitions, indeed planetary ones.

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