This article examines the historicist thought of Jorge Basadre (1903–1980). Basadre was Peru’s leading twentieth-century historian, and his brilliant and voluminous opus continues to exert a strong influence in Peru today. Basadre developed a “theory of Peru” that creatively drew upon concepts developed by European philosophers (Pascal, Fichte, Hegel, Dilthey, Renan, Ortega y Gasset, and Croce) but which was singularly Peruvian, since as an affirmative historicist apprehension of the collective subject or self named “Peru” it was “homologous with its own formation.” Nevertheless, this article argues that Basadre’s homologous “Peruvian history of Peru” admits ahistorical heterogeneity or “the abyss” as its founding (un)reason for being.

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