In this first book to study Portuguese texts about Africa, Moorings brings an important but little-known body of European writings to bear on contemporary colonial thought. Images of Africa as monstrous, dangerous, and lush were created in early Portuguese imperial writings and dominated its representation in European literature.
Moorings establishes these key works in their proper place: foundational to Western imperial discourse. Attentive to history as well as the nuances of language, Josiah Blackmore leads readers from the formation of the “Moor” in medieval Iberia to the construction of a full colonial imaginary, as found in the works of two writers: the royal chronicler Gomes Eanes de Zurara and the epic poet Lu s de CamAes. Blackmore’s original work helps to explain how concepts and mythsOCosuch as the “otherness” of Africa and Africans Cooriginated, functioned, and were perpetuated. Delving into the Portuguese imperial experience, Moorings enriches our understanding of historical and literary imagination during a significant period of Western expansion.