Potosi Chronicles, a colonial text regarded as the inaugural work of the Bolivian literature

Jorge Soruco reports for La Razon:

Potosi Chronicles of Arzans will be presented in March

Heritage. The colonial text is regarded as the inaugural work of the Bolivian literature

PotosiAfter almost 50 years of absence in libraries and bookstores in the world, the three volumes of the tales of the Villa Imperial of Potosi from colonial chronicler: Bartolomé Arzáns de Orsua y Vela, will be published and presented at the beginning of March [2013].

“This is a seminal work in the country to understand the conception of the national structure and conformation of Potosi society in particular,” noted  for La Razon, Edgar Arandia, acting Executive Secretary of the Cultural Foundation of the Central Bank of Bolivia (FCBCB), institution that finances the publication.

The text is the result of the work of the “Plural” editing company, the FCBCB and the National Mint House. The Edition is a facsimile of the one published in 1965 by Brown University, thanks to the work of Gunnar Mendoza and Lewis Hanke.

That Edition did not sell in the country, although some people got copies. Other authors included fragments of the Chronicles of Arzans to be included in texts about the history of the mining city.

The Chronicle consists of three volumes, in which the author describes some of the most important principles of 18th century historical facts, in addition to describing the daily life of the majority of the population.

It reads like a novel and has very important facts about the formation of the society in that city, perhaps the most important during the colonial era,” added Arandia. In that sense, the historian Alberto Crespo Rojas mentioned in 1979 that a significant proportion of the text of Arzans is “truly historical”, but it is mixed with another part of fiction.

“In any case, can not be disdained the part that corresponds to the fiction, even less now that historical studies are interested in investigating and fix the communities or groups mentality.” Somehow, what he believed and thought Arzans was part of the mentality of the other men in his environment and his time”, indicates the text reproduced in the Bolivian Cultural Dictionary portal.

No exact date for the presentation of the work. However, Arandia said that this will take place during the first days of March in the National Mint House.

Of Spanish descent and self-taught, Bartolomé de Arzáns Orzúa y Vela, began writing in 1705, work which did not abandon until his death. The studious Blanca Wiethuchter, at the time to write a critical history of literature in Bolivia, referred to the Chronicles of Arzans as “the first work of literature in Bolivia, because a considerable amount of further work retake it, beyond the poetics that register”.


Happy reading!! The picture I share here with you, I bought the painting some 25 years ago in El Prado, La Paz, beautiful isn’t it?!

Published by Bolivian Thoughts

Senior managerial experience on sustainable development projects.

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