It’s not just that the Spanish lost the war. This poem is about how wrong they were to have fought it in the first place. … All of which is to say, don’t let anybody tell you the Spanish didn’t know what they were doing. Don’t let anybody remind you to judge people by the standards of their time as if nobody in history ever had a conscience. Alonso de Ercilla y Zúñiga knew what was up.
In the latest issue of my LatAm newsletter, we’re talking about the epic poem that blew up Spanish politics in the 16th century. Like ya do.