Hester publishes article on baroque poetry about Christopher Columbus
This essay examines Girolamo Graziani’s well-received epic poem, Il Conquisto di Granata (The Conquest of Granada, 1650), as a compelling piece of an Italian genealogy of New World Italian epic poetry, to which corpus the Conquisto belongs, despite its title. Indeed, in a convenient reworking of the historical timeline, the Columbus of this work returns to Spain from his first voyage to the Americas in time to fight the Moors of Granada, and he plays a decisive role in their defeat. The poetic project of the Conquisto incorporates three main aims: to address and remedy criticisms leveled against earlier Italian epic poetry about the New World, to establish Columbus as the narrative and ideological link between Conquest and Reconquest and, more broadly, to maintain the international status of Italian letters at a time when deeds and facts—expansion, colonialism—come to define the prestige of European proto-nations.
Hester, Nathalie. “Baroque Italian Epic from Granada to the New World: Columbus Conquers the Moors.” The Discovery of the New World in Early Modern Italy: Encounters with the Americas in the 16th-18th Centuries. Eds. Elizabeth Horodowich and Lia Markey. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2017. 270-287.