20 October 2010

European History

Yesterday I was reading for my Latin American Lit. class about Fernández de Oviedo, a conquistador and writer (I guess that's the best way to put it, there's a better word to describe him in Spanish :p) and actually I was reading one of his diary entries about a few of the American Isles. He was describing Cuba and Hispaniola. In part of the writing he compared Santo Domingo (the capital of the Dominican Republic) to Barcelona because of the way that the houses and buildings were built with old rock. He wrote that Barcelona was much prettier and held more of his attention, but the city atmosphere of Santo Domingo had a similar charm.
It kind of took me back a little bit, like wait. I was just in Barcelona...this guy is writing in the early 1500s about the same city? Whoa.
Isn't it strange to think that the cities here that I am visiting and living in were around before America was even thought of?! Even just thinking about the words "Europe" and "Barcelona", those words existed and were established hundreds, if not at least a thousand, years before the word "America".
It's a weird concept and I don't even know if I have grasped it fully yet. There is a level of history here that, as an American, is very outside of my realm. Whenever I've been in history classes in the past or heard dates of events, I mostly have pushed them aside and not taken the time to realize how long ago that actually was....because there wasn't any real world application. Here, I'm surrounded by it! I keep saying how my classes are difficult because I don't know much European history, so the context of all my knowledge is skewed, but it makes a lot of sense as to why Europeans know so much history...they have it! ha!
I'm still a little flabbergasted, so I'm not sure if my thoughts make sense...

So much for not having much homework, I have 110 pages to read tonight! In Spanish. Better get to work...


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