Posts tagged Mexico
From the publisher’s page for City: Bolshevik Super-Poem in 5 Cantos:
Manuel Maples Arce was born in 1898, and studied law in Mexico City. He was a judge and later Secretary General of the Government in the city of Xalapa, state of Veracruz, under the controversial revolutionary General Jara. During this same period he became the central figure in the Stridentist Movement, a very ambitious avant-garde group that flourished under General Jara’s protection. Composed of a small group of poets and visual artists (especially engravers and printmakers), Stridentism bore resemblence to both Futurism and Dada, as well as many similar groups throughout Latin America, but was much more radical, politically, and came much closer to the realization of many of their goals, since they effectively were the government in Xalapa for a brief period in the 1920’s. General Jara was eventually deposed and murdered and the group dispersed. Maples Arce went on to become a diplomat, serving as the Mexican ambassador first to France, then Canada. He continued writing poetry as well as essays and criticism. His collected poems was published in Mexico in 1971. Maples Arce died in 1981.
No one reads Bernardino de Sahagún, in whose books you can find passages from the Aztec like this:
it becomes long, deep; it widens, extends, narrows. it is a constricted place, a narrowed place, one of the hollowed-out places. there are roughened places; there are asperous places. it is frightening, a fearful place, a place of death. it is called a place of death because there is dying. it is a place of darkness; it darkens; it stands ever dark. it stands wide-mouthed; it is widemouthed. it is wide-mouthed; it is narrow mouthed. it has mouths which pass through. i place myself in the cave. i enter the cave.
From “the cave” via airform archives
From wikipedia: “Born in Sahagún, Spain, in 1499, he journeyed to New Spain in 1529, and spent more than 50 years conducting interviews regarding Aztec beliefs, culture and history. Though he primarily dedicated himself to the missionary task, his extraordinary work documenting indigenous worldview and culture has earned him the title ‘the first anthropologist.’ He also contributed to the description of the Aztec language Nahuatl, into which he translated the Psalms, the Gospels and a basic manual of religious education.”
A link to Amazon for the many volumes of the Florentine Codex.
Maybe this post should be titled “No one reads the Aztecs.” I know I don’t, though now I want to.
Juan José Arreola Zúñiga (September 21, 1918 – December 3, 2001) was a Mexican writer and academic. He is considered Mexico’s premier experimental short story writer of the twentieth century. Arreola is recognized as one of the first Latin American writers to abandon realism; he uses elements of fantasy to underscore existentialist and absurdist ideas in his work. Although he is little known outside his native country, Arreola has served as the literary inspiration for a legion of Mexican writers who have sought to transform their country’s realistic literary tradition by introducing elements of magical realism, satire, and allegory. Alongside Jorge Luis Borges, he is considered one of the masters of the hybrid subgenre of the essay-story. He published only one novel, La feria (The Fair; 1963).