The History of the Conquest of New Spain
Historia verdadera de la conquista de la Nueva España I (True story of the conquest of New Spain I) recounts the American experience of Díaz del Castillo. In 1514, when Bernal Díaz embarked to the New World, he was not yet even 23 years old, and three years later he participated in the expedition led by Hernán Cortés to Mexico, where a few Spaniards, in just under two years, managed to defeat the Empire. Aztec. Forty years later, Bernal Díaz recounts, with an eagerness of fidelity as tenacious as it is problematic, one of the great expeditions that has most marked the western imaginary: the challenges posed by power, the tactics of Cortes to approach the empire of Montezuma and , later, to Cuauhtemoc, the clash of beliefs, the exploitation of the natives to get gold and other treasures, or the battles that were fought until the fall of Mexico. The true story of the conquest of New Spain is, if not a reliable account of what happened, one of the works of literature of the Conquest – along with the Diaries of Columbus, the letters of relationship of Hernán Cortés and the A very brief account of the destruction of the Indies by Father Bartolomé de las Casas – which best testifies to the Western mentality of the time. If, as Todorov pointed out, the conquest of America is «the most amazing encounter in our history. In the «discovery» of the other continents and of other men there is not really that feeling of radical strangeness» (The conquest of America: the problem of the other), it is very possible that this radical strangeness was the only thing that men shared. participated in that meeting.