As powerful, pointed imitation, cultural mimesis can effect inclusion in a polity, threaten state legitimacy, or undo the originality upon which such legitimacy is based. In Mimesis and Empire Barbara Fuchs explores the intricate dynamics of imitation and contradistinction among early modern European powers in literary and historiographical texts from sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century Spain, Italy, England, and the New World. The book considers a broad sweep of material, including European representations of New World subjects and of Islam, both portrayed as 'other' in contemporary texts. It supplements the transatlantic perspective on early modern imperialism with an awareness of the situation in the Mediterranean and considers problems of reading and literary transmission; imperial ideology and colonial identities; counterfeits and forgery; and piracy.

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