San Juan, P.R. — Ponce’s Grave

November 17, 2014

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My day job as an early Americanist, when not not goofing off on this Road Course, is recovering the antebellum literature of Florida.¬†Historians have worked this field for decades, but the literature — a study in obscurity. Take Juan de Castellanos’¬†Elegia a la muerte de Juan Ponce de Leon, largely ignored in English until PMLA ran my translation.

Where does the literature of what became the mainland United States begin? I claim San Juan, Puerto Rico, via Cuba. From a Spanish-born poet who spent most of his life in Tunja, Columbia.

Transatlantic? Hemispheric? Indeed!

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