Colonial Spanish bureaucracy produced masses of autobiographical texts ('relaciones de méritos and servicios') which forced/invited individuals to present themselves as perfect subjects of the King in order to be rewarded. Bureaucracy produced the officials of the colonial regime, and, at the same time, it provided individuals with the possibility of exploring the literary potential of writing ones curriculum vitae. This book helps contextualize a body of often-used yet understudied historic sources; it indicates that the fabric of early modern society was held together by a pervasive economy of 'mercedes' (rewards); and it shows that the tension between state-induced production of autobiographical documents and the individuals endeavor to outsmart this system is at the origin of modern forms of literature.
About the Author:
Robert Folger, Ph.D (1999) in History, University of Rostock, and Ph.D. in Spanish literature (2001), University of Wisconsin-Madison, is Professor of Spanish at Utrecht University. He has published on a broad range of topics in Spanish and Latin American literatures and cultures, with a particular focus on the medieval and early modern period.
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