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
>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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