December 23, 2010


The government of these American fiefdoms has been assumed since Independence by the mestizo descendants of Ginés de Pasamonte.

Escolios a un Texto Implícito: Selección, p. 397


  1. The original Spanish is:

    El gobierno de estas ínsulas americanas fue asumido desde la Independencia por los descendientes mestizos de Ginés de Pasamonte.

  2. This aphorism contains two allusions to Don Quixote. The first has to do with the character of Ginés de Pasamonte (Part I, chapter 22). Ginés de Pasamonte was a notorious criminal whom Don Quixote freed as he was being transported to the king’s galleys to serve a sentence of ten years hard labor. After Don Quixote freed him, though, he and his fellow convicts robbed Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. He returns in Part II, chapters 25-27, as a puppet-showman.

    The second allusion has to do with the word "fiefdom," which is used to translate the Spanish ínsula. The word ínsula is an archaic word for “island” (isla is the usual word nowadays). It is associated in the Spanish-speaking world with the island granted in fief--and in jest--to Sancho in Part II of Don Quixote.