Isacio Pérez Fernández’s The Name, Life and Adventures of the ‘Anonymous Conqueror’ Vinko Paletin, Author of the Narratives on New Spain has been translated from Spanish into Croatia by Tuga Tarle and published by Matrix Croatica in its Historia Series
In the introduction to his book Fernández notes that the famed Narrative of Some Things of New Spain was penned in the mid-sixteenth century by an anonymous author and, since being rediscovered in the eighteenth century, has become a widely known, valued and often cited work among Americanist scholars.
He notes that the author of this work is referred to as “The Anonymous Conqueror”. In spite of many efforts to discover the identity of this author the results in this regard are not yet considered to be conclusive. Fernández writes that his work, dedicated to this effort, that his critical research has established that the Anonymous Conqueror was in fact a Croatian adventurer that travelled through the Caribbean.
He was, he asserts, truly a conquistador, but not in New Spain, but rather in Yucatan. He was later a monk at a Dominican monastery in Mexico, writes Fernández, adding that he later returned to Europe and was in Italy when he penned the famed Narrative, launching his literary career.
This adventurer toured Europe seeking permission to publish his writings and finally returned to his homeland to die.
He identifies the adventurer as Vinko Paletin of Korčula or, as he was referred to in the Indies, Spain and Italy, Vicente Paletino de Curzola.
The Name, Life and Adventures of the ‘Anonymous Conqueror’ Vinko Paletin, Author of the Narratives on New Spain (195 pages) is divided into fifteen chapters (What the Narratives Discuss; Publication; The Narratives; A History of the Narratives; The Issue of the Author; The Adventurer; The Adventurer Becomes a Conqueror; The Conqueror Becomes a Dominican Monk; The Dominican Monk and Former Conqueror Returns to Europe; Beginnings as a Writer; Writing the Narratives; The Writing Continues; Returning Home; The Writer’s Intellectual Legacy; Publications of Paletin’s Writings and a section on Identifying Paletin’s Geographic Maps). The bibliography on Vinko Paletin is followed by Paletin’s Narratives on New Spain in Spanish and Croatian.
Isacio Perez Fernández (Valduvieco, 1922 – Madrid, 2003) was a lecturer at leading universities in Spain and Italy. He authored numerous works in the domain of metaphysics and the philosophy of history and other critical works, reviews and studies on leading Dominicans and the Spanish conquest of the New World in the first decades following the opening of the Americas.