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The Transformations of Araucania from Valdivia's Letters to Vivar's Chronicle


Maria de Jesus Cordero

This book is a study of the representations of the conquistador, the native inhabitants, and the landscape in two accounts of the conquest of Chile – Pedro de Valdivia’s Cartas de relación written to the Emperor Charles V between 1545 and 1552 and Gerónimo de Vivar’s chronicle completed in 1558. Having had access to Valdivia’s letters, Vivar transformed the conquistador’s images of the conquest to suit his very different purpose for writing, his audience, and the genre in which he wrote. In order to set forth their different interpretations of this historic event, both writers availed themselves of rhetorical devices and techniques as well as familiar modes of narrative construction.