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The Unsettlement of AmericaTranslation, Interpretation, and the Story of Don Luis de Velasco, 1560-1945$
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Anna Brickhouse

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199729722

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199729722.001.0001

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The Good Neighborly Don Luis

The Good Neighborly Don Luis

Roanoke, AjacÁn, and the Hemispheric South

(p.240) 6 The Good Neighborly Don Luis
The Unsettlement of America

Anna Brickhouse

Oxford University Press

Chapter 6 examines two literary works about English versus Spanish colonial priority produced during the era of Roosevelt’s Good Neighbor Policy: Paul Green’s The Lost Colony and James Branch Cabell’s The First Gentleman of America – a now little-known work that features Don Luis as its protagonist. Both texts rewrite historical instances of unsettlement as foundational stories of U.S. national becoming. The Lost Colony articulates Roanoke as the antithesis of Virginia, as the true colonial origin of the U.S. nation, and, finally, as the tragic site of a Spanish atrocity that sharply differentiates the U.S. South from its hemispheric counterpart. Cabell’s novel, published within weeks of the U.S. entrance into World War II in late 1941, enacts a broad investigation and rebuttal of the “Western Hemisphere idea.” For Cabell stages his recovery and retelling of Don Luis’s story as an ironic encroachment of the hemispheric South upon the historical consciousness of the U.S. “Old South,” his act of unsettlement as a triumph over the Spanish, a victory that left “America” free, after settlement by the English, to become Anglo- rather than Latin American.

Keywords:   U.S. South, hemispheric South, Paul Green, James Branch Cabell, Western Hemisphere idea, Good Neighbor Policy, irony, Atlantis, mestizaje, Croatans

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