2. For the best overview of the hybridity scholarship, see Juan Bruce-Novoa. He explains that "some critics affirm the experience from a romantic point of view—that is, the reintegration of civilized man with nature—while others underscore the conflict the imputed conversion caused for ANCdV [Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca] when he returned to civilization" (9). For Bruce-Novoa, this problem of reintegration misses the point of the narrative; we should, instead, think of Cabeza de Vaca as a forerunner of the modern-day Chicano/a who lies in the middle of two cultures and does not fit neatly into a binary system of relations (18-9). As such, Cabeza de Vaca's narrative should be read as a "founding as well as a fundamental text of Chicano literature and culture" (4). For a similar discussion, see Pollard. For reintegrationist views, see Todorov and Molloy. Viewing colonial figures as forerunners of a nascent American self has precedent in the ground-breaking work of Sacvan Bercovitch in the mid- and late-70s. See, in particular, The Puritan Origins of the American Self. For a counterview, one that prefers to read colonial texts in their cultural context and not in terms of a broad literary tradition, see Zamora.


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