Mimesis and Empire: The New World, Islam, and European Identities

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In Mimesis and Empire Barbara Fuchs explores the intricate dynamics of imitation and contradistinction among early modern European powers in literary and historiographical texts from sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century Spain, Italy, England, and the New World. The book considers a broad sweep of material, including European representations of New World subjects and of Islam, both portrayed as 'other' in contemporary texts. It supplements the transatlantic perspective on early modern imperialism with an awareness of the situation in the Mediterranean and considers problems of reading and literary transmission; imperial ideology and colonial identities; counterfeits and forgery; and piracy.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...meticulously documented and superbly argued...significantly revise[s] our understanding of the cultural politics of colonialism in the early modern period."
-Modern Language Quarterly

"Fuchs reads many of her texts with probing insight and imagination, and the breadth of her knowledge is very impressive."
-Renaissance Quarterly

"Elegant and illuminating...an admirable work of literary and cultural theory and historiography."
-Zeitschrift fuer Anglistik und Amerikanistik

"Fuchs is an astute and imaginative reader of texts. Her emphasis on the circulation of 'counterfeited' identities...alone, is refreshing."

"To take the concept of miemsis as a cultural tool is a very powerful move and one Fuchs does with real elegance in this book."
-Studies in English Literature

"Recovering that sense of the self-evident importance of Islam to early modern Europe is a valuable project. Barbara Fuch's significant contribution to that begins as a corrective to recent writings on early modern colonialism; she rightly insists that European imperialism, and European identities, be seen not only in relation to the example of Rome, but also to Islam."
-Sixteenth Century Journal

"An intelligent and balanced book—and a necessary eye-opener on the triangulation of Europe, the Mediterranean and America in the early modern period."
-Seventeenth Century News

"...her text offers a lucid set of examples of an admirably original and, more importantly, useful insight into the nature of cultural and political influence both at the point of nationalism's emergence and in its present decline."
-Comparartive Literature Studies, Ryan W. Szpiech, Yale University

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Barbara Fuchs is Assistant Professor of English and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Spanish at the University of Washington, Seattle.

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Table of Contents

Note on translations
Introduction 1
1 Truth, fictions, and the New World 13
2 Literary loyalties, imperial betrayals 35
3 Lettered subjects 64
4 Virtual Spaniards 99
5 Faithless empires: pirates, renegadoes, and the English nation 118
6 Pirating Spain 139
Conclusion: Contra originality 164
Notes 167
Bibliography 196
Index 206
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