José María Arguedas, traductor del Manuscrito de Huarochirí.

Laura Leon Llerena

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The study of colonial documents written in Amerindian languages requires a careful evaluation of translation as practice but also as a concept that articulates the dynamics of the “contact zone”. Considering the most recent re-editions of the first Spanish translation (1966) of the Huarochirí Manuscript, a document written in Quechua by the end of the sixteenth century, I revisit in this essay the debates provoked by that translation, work of the novelist and anthropologist José María Arguedas. Disqualified by some critics as a “literary” and a “poetic” translation, the critical reconsideration of the intertext and context of Arguedas’s work that I present here makes it possible to reevaluate that work of translation as a practice that attempts to go beyond the mere interlinguistic process and become an aesthetic-political intervention in two fronts: by evincing the process of reduction that was imposed onto the Quechua language in the colonial era, and by proposing the semantic and the social expansion of that language in twentieth century Peru.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-89
JournalCuadernos del CILHA
StatePublished - Dec 2012


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