Aguirre: Recreation of a Sixteenth-century Journey Across South America (PAPERBACK)

Aguirre: Recreation of a Sixteenth-century Journey Across South America (PAPERBACK)

by StephenMinta (Author)


In the late 1550s a Basque adventurer named Lope de Aguirre set out in search of El Dorado. He joined an expedition led by Pedro de Ursua and embarked upon a great journey that would take them across the whole width of South America from the Pacific to the Atlantic. In 1987 Stephen Minta set out on the trial of this expedition. Drawing on the writings of the chroniclers of that time, on eye-witness accounts and on more modern literary allusions, he reconstructs the adventure, charting its tempestuous progress along the Amazon where death and destruction lay in its wake. He relives the atmosphere within the ranks as, in the face of increasingly hostile terrain, illness and inadequate supplies, hopes and aspirations give way to treachery and dissent. The author's own journey takes him from Cuzco in Peru, a city where you can feel the pain of oblivion , across the Andes, through the heart of Amazonia until Peru vanishes into Brazil, then to Margarita Island, off the mainland of Venezuela. In each town and village he evokes a strong sense of history which, combined with anecdotes and unexpected encounters, makes this a remarkable story in itself. Minta moves between 16th-century and contemporary South America; he draws parallels as he goes and enriches our understanding of this land and its people, past and present.


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More Information

Format: Paperback
Pages: 200
Publisher: Jonathan Cape Ltd
Published: 06 May 1993

ISBN 10: 0224024701
ISBN 13: 9780224024709

Author Bio
Stephen Minta has travelled extensively through Cetral America working closely with the El Salvador Committee for Human Rights and the Nicaragua Health Fund. In the mid-1980s he began his travels through the Andean countries of South America before embarking on the journey that is the subject of this book. He now teaches comparative literature at the University of York.