Nahuatl Fiction / ficción Nahuatl

Bernard Ortiz de Montellano bortiz at EARTHLINK.NET
Thu Jul 22 02:01:21 UTC 2004

>on 7/21/04 6:37 PM, Archaeology Institute at institute at CSUMB.EDU wrote:
>>  Nahua language and culture discussion <NAHUAT-L at LISTS.UMN.EDU> writes:
>>>  I look forward to interacting with everyone here, and would
>>>appreciate it if
>>>  you could point me any existing works of fiction about the
>>>Nahuatls, to make
>>>  sure I'm not beginning to write something that already exists!
>>  The book by
>>  Gary Jennings titled "Aztec."  This work constitutes a remarkable piece of
>>  fiction (warts and all) pertaining to the Nahua (specifically, Mexica Aztec)
>>  peoples of pre-Hispanic central Mexico.
>On the other hand, there are numbers of knowledgeable people who were
>appalled by "Aztec." One responsible scholar, now deceased, felt that
>Jennings had misled her about what he was doing. In publicly thanking her,
>he appeared to put her imprimatur on a work she found outrageous. So take
>this novel on with care.
>As for me, after making my way through a few chapters of "Aztec" on an
>interminable flight from London to DFW, I chose boredom over experiencing
>any more of it and hesitated to even leave it on the plane for someone else
>to find.
>I suggest a work of nonfiction instead: Inga Clendinnen's 1991 book,
>"Aztecs:  An Interpretation," published by Cambridge University Press. She
>set out to convey what it was like to be a man, a woman, a child growing up
>in Aztec society, and she does it with color and intensity.
I second Frances' view. I actually read the whole thong as  well as
several others by Jennings. What most appalled me was Jennings'
distortion of the puritanical Aztecs to fit his formula writing-- sex
in all combinations of  numbers, genders, and species-- he does the
same thing to Marco Polo's China.

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