Imagining Columbus

The Literary Voyage

  • Authors
  • Ilan Stavans

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xviii
  2. Mapmaking

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Ilan Stavans
      Pages 3-14
    3. Ilan Stavans
      Pages 15-30
    4. Ilan Stavans
      Pages 31-46
  3. Lives of a Literary Character

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 47-47
    2. Ilan Stavans
      Pages 49-57
    3. Ilan Stavans
      Pages 58-77
    4. Ilan Stavans
      Pages 78-91
    5. Ilan Stavans
      Pages 92-114
    6. Ilan Stavans
      Pages 115-120
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 121-169

About this book


Imagining Columbus is Stavans's contribution to the literature on Columbus. 'My purpose,' says Stavans, 'is to revisit, to investigate, to play with the asymmetrical geometries of the admiral's literary adventures in the human imagination.' Arguing that writers have portrayed Columbus in three ways-as prophet or messiah, as ambitious gold-seeker, and as a conventional, rather unremarkable man-Stavans examines numerous poems, novels, short stories, dramas, and other works on Columbus in this provocative book. In Part 1, 'Mapmaking,' Stavans explores the two opposing views of the celebration of the quincentennial, and discusses the most notable biographies of Columbus, including those by Washington Irving and Samuel Eliot Morison. In Part 2, 'Lives of a Literary Character,' Stavans takes up the geographic and historical development of Columbus as a narrative figure in literature, and devotes a chapter to each of the three literary views of the admiral. Stavans includes portrayals of other writers' views on Columbus like Walt Whitman, Alejo Carpentier, James Fenimore Cooper, Friedrich Nietzsche, Nikos Kazantzakis, Rubén Darío, Michael Dorris, Louise Erdrich, among others.

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Nature America Inc. 1993
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, New York
  • eBook Packages Palgrave History Collection
  • Print ISBN 978-0-312-24032-5
  • Online ISBN 978-1-349-63347-0
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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