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2 Comments | Jan 30, 2010

OTD Log – 1.30.10

Started to read the brief Columbus bio by Peter Riviere. I’ve determined that I ought to get a copy of the original Washington Irving biography of Columbus, published in 1828 (bidding on an early copy on eBay now). This will go on my reading list for this book, along with about 25 other books, mainly concerning either Columbus, the Inquisition, or both. I could spend my life reading in preparation for writing this thing! Also spent a bit of time thinking through the full scope of the story, viz, when to start and end it. I will begin with vignettes from the life of de Torres, de Triana, and Torquemada, all authentic historical characters with whom I mean to take prodigious fictional liberties. If I begin with the appointment of Torquemada as Inquisitor General in 1482, that makes de Triana 14 at the time. De Triana will be one of the main characters, and the one who a) has the companion falcon who follows him about and through whose eyes the boy can see (bit of magical realism that), and b) gives up his parents to the inquisition, for which weakness he suffers the remainder of his days. De Triana, upon fleeing his home town, will encounter de Torres in Seville, following which the two will join Columbus’s crew together. Columbus doesn’t depart Palos until August 3rd, 1492, leaving us plenty of time to develop characters and relationships, since the Alhambra Decree is issued in March of that year and doesn’t go into effect until July 31st. Another handy coincidence. At this point, I believe the end of the story will come with the massacre of the settlers at La Navidad (which includes de Torres, though I may concoct a way for him to survive).


BKS 11:50 pm - 30th January:

The Nina was originally called the Santa Clara. As for the other two, I don’t know off-hand, but I’m sure it will come up at some point in the ten billion pages of preparatory reading I am currently in the midst of.

Mary M Carlisle 10:43 pm - 30th January:

Oh recorder of Columbus’s history – what were the original names of the three ships he took to the new world?

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