Die Vermessung der Welt war einer der erflogreicheren Romane der letzten Jahre. Einen lesenswerten Kommentar über die Wissenschaftlichkeit, für die eine der Hauptfiguren steht, hat Obioma Nnaemeka geschrieben:
Like his fellow european travelers and explorers in Africa, Humboldt traveled and wrote in the name of science and, like them, one of his principal discursive strategies was to reduce America to landscape and marginalize its inhabitants: „After walking two hours, we arrived at the floor of the high chain of the interior mountains, which stretches from the east to the west; from Brigantine to the Cerro de San Lorenzo.“ Humboldt was a mining inspector who was specifically charged to look for precious metal deposits in Latin America. He traveled with large and heavy equipments that created the need for a large number of indigenouspeople (porters) in his party.Though Humboldt includes some manners- and custom portraits,he hardly mentioned the many indigenous people that traveled with him; they did not hold his interest. At the end of his work, Humboldt does not reminisce about the many indigenous people that helped him along the way; instead he fantasizes about a future America that will be the site for European capitalist expansion: „If then some pages of my book are snatched from oblivion, the inhabitants of the banks Oroonoko will behold with ecstasy, that populous cities enriched by commerce, and fertile fields cultivated by the hands of freemen, adorn these spots“
Aus: Obioma Nnaemeka, Bodies that don‘t matter, in „Mythen, Masken und Subjekte“.