By Kimberle S. López
Lopez proposes that the anxiety of identification expressed within these novels entails a fear of losing ego boundaries, which provokes the simultaneous fascination and aversion felt by the colonizer toward the colonized. The fictionalized and would-be conquistadors all identify with certain aspects of Amerindian culture -- significantly, those elements that are most distinct from European culture, such as cannibalism and human sacrifice -- but also feel the need to distance themselves from these "others" in order to protect their own European cultural identity. In most cases, the conquistadors themselves are represented as outsiders within the enterprise of imperialism, due to ethnic, religious, or sexual differences from the norm. This representation turns the gaze inward toward the "other" within European culture, underscoring the origins of Latin American cultures in theviolent encounter between the Amerindians and the conquistadors.
- Columbia, MO