Long have I waited to read the diaries of Columbus and Cortes. Though there is much other research that is need to be investigated before I can have legitimate opinion about the transcripts and events, I go into this reading with a state of enmity and conflict. I think a lot of Latinos feel the same. On one had, the reading of our ancestors being so easily beguiled by the Spaniards is cause for natural resentment; on the other, due to that natural resentment I conceive a internal conflict since my cultural base is revolved around the Spanish inheritance. Thus is the historical and relative crossroad of an emotional and intellectual experience.
Upon reading Columbus’s diary, I could not help and feel that my sentiments romanticized that virginity of the naked aboriginals and their innocent curiosity. Though that sentiment appeared in fleeting waves of description, the narrative was clear with bigotry and exploitation. Though I had already entered the reading with my own and additional context due to the watching of the week two video, I could understand the that Cortes was a man with a mandate and with reputation to improve on. The human condition, which we all endure, was shown in this descriptions. He attempted to comprehend what was incomprehensible. He tried to factionalize the fictional with hypothesis and blind faith. All of which is rational and I believe it is safe to say that it would of been committed almost in the same way by anyone in that position.
I think what struck me the most of Columbus’s diary is the fact that the words can bring me to that moment and because of that, I feel like I would have to read it a few time so I could have a better intellectual understanding rather an emotional. One thing that I am always interested in is the religious factor. I left the Catholic church over ten years ago and one of the main reasons was because I could believe in a system that abolished something that my ancestors believed in because they were practicing the word of God, and saving souls from damnation. One of Columbus’s first idiosyncrasies upon seeing the aboriginals was that they would convert and make good Christians. It is interesting to think that that was one of his first conceptions and then in comparison to think about Nietzsche’s 19th century claim that God is dead.
It make’s me wonder if everything the Spanish did was all in vain in regards to saving the damned? Did they kill God by conquering the Americas? Are we saved by separating from our historical inheritance?