On Reading Christopher Columbus

In fourteen-hundred-and-ninety-two, we’re taught, Christopher Columbus crossed the ocean blue. (There’s apparently a longer poem behind that, and I consider it an unfortunate example of literary work. I have no idea who wrote it, and I think it is objectively bad.) I have never been quite what one might call a fan of Columbus’s, but I also never really thought about him, at least in … Continue reading On Reading Christopher Columbus

Columbus, de las Casas, and the Undiscoverable Land

Once upon a time, in Iberia in the fifteenth century, there was a Genoese man with fanaticism in his soul and a dream in his heart, a dream of sailing West to go East. This made absolutely no sense to anyone but our hero, because the Iberian Peninsula, thanks to its years as several Moorish caliphates, was well-versed in science. One did not sail west … Continue reading Columbus, de las Casas, and the Undiscoverable Land