Item description for Chronicle of the Narvaez Expedition (Penguin Classics) by Alvar Nunez Cabeza De Vaca, Fanny Bandelier & Harold Augenbraun...
Overview Presents an account of the trouble-plagued expedition that led Spanish explorer Cabeza de Vaca from Santo Domingo to Florida to Texas to Mexico at the end of the sixteenth century.
Publishers Description This riveting true story is the first major narrative detailing the exploration of North America by Spanish conquistadors (1528-1536). The author, Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, was a fortune-seeking Spanish nobleman and the treasurer of an expedition sent to claim for Spain a vast area of today's southern United States. In simple, straightforward prose, Cabeza de Vaca chronicles the nine-year odyssey endured by the men after a shipwreck forced them to make a westward journey on foot from present-day Florida through Louisiana and Texas into California. In thirty-eight brief chapters, Cabeza de Vaca describes the scores of natural and human obstacles they encountered as they made their way across an unknown land. Cabeza de Vaca's gripping account offers a trove of ethnographic information, including descriptions and interpretations of native cultures, making it a powerful precursor to modern anthropology.
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Studio: Penguin Classics
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.76" Width: 5.14" Height: 0.42" Weight: 0.3 lbs.
Release Date Jun 25, 2002
Publisher Penguin Classics
ISBN 0142437077 ISBN13 9780142437070 UPC 051488012009
Availability 0 units.
More About Alvar Nunez Cabeza De Vaca, Fanny Bandelier & Harold Augenbraun
Ilan Stavans is Lewis-Sebring Professor in Latin American and Latino Culture at Amherst College and the author or editor of numerous books.
Reviews - What do customers think about Chronicle of the Narvaez Expedition (Penguin Classics)?
Impressive story about exploration and survival Jun 29, 2007
I didn't know anything about this real story until I watched BBC Conquistadors. When I learned about Cabeza de Vaca, I was eager to read the account of his years lost, wandering in the south part of North America for 9 long years until he found some "Christians" in the northwest part of Mexico. Although the book is short and simple, the information provided is invaluable, especially with the descriptions of the Indians in this region, its customs and way of living. One thing that called my attention was all the hardships he had to endure during his long journey, going naked and feeding mostly of fruits and roots, proving in this case that he was a survivor by nature since others were not that lucky in the same precarious environment. And yes, what a strange name.
fascinating and frustrating by degrees Apr 28, 2004
I was intrigued by this strange chronicle when i lifted it from the dusty shelf of my local bookstore. I had never heard of it and I was surprised that such a thing even existed. A first-hand account of a 16th century conquistador expedition to the new lands of the Americas no less!
The book is short enough to hold the attention and the fact that it is a true tale holds the attention through periods of drab text and detailed descriptions of the lay of the land. In fact, two distinct points capture the attention, firstly the matter-of-fact way in which cabeza de vaca views the monstrosities he is faced with, from shipwreck to torture and hunger. Secondly, the altogether human way in which the natives are protrayed; they are not seen as unthinking savages but as children, scared and uncertain, that need to be cared for. This is certainly not the tale of a gross escapade to conquer primitive peoples, rather it is an 'expedition' in every respect and it is fascinating as a result.
At times it is a chore to plough through, but i believe the overall and lasting impression that the book leaves is a sufficient reward for the time spent on it.
And, hang on a minute, doesn't the name of the author mean 'head of the cow'? How strange....