Eighteenth-century Spanish American writing has been a misfit in the literary canon of Spanish America. Domesticating Empire seeks to explain why. According to Karen Stolley, “The historic lack of focus on the eighteenth century” among Hispanists can be attributed to a “discourse of domestication” prevalent in Spanish American writing of the eighteenth century (pp. 1–2). This discursive project had two main components. First, eighteenth-century writers took the “exotic or marvelous” elements of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century narratives and refashioned them into phenomena that were both “familiar” and “utilitarian” (p. 3). Second, these writers domesticated these phenomena by increasingly addressing their narratives to local readers in Spanish America. The emergence of this “discourse of domestication,” in part, reflects the historical consciousness of those eighteenth-century Spanish American writers, who recognized narratives of discovery and conquest as stories of their past rather than their present. Later,...

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