The Mexican Dream Or, the Interrupted Thought of Amerindian Civilizations

By Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio; Teresa Lavender Fagan (Translator)
(University of Chicago Press, Hardcover, 9780226110028, 221pp.)

Publication Date: December 1993

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Description

Winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize for Literature, J. M. G. Le Clézio here conjures the consciousness of Mexico, powerfully evoking the dreams that made and unmade an ancient culture. Le Clézio’s haunting book takes us into the dream that was the religion of the Aztecs, a religion whose own apocalyptic visions anticipated the coming of the Spanish conquerors. Here the dream of the conquistadores rises before us, too, the glimmering idea of gold drawing Europe into the Mexican dream. Against the religion and thought of the Aztecs and the Tarascans and the Europeans in Mexico, Le Clézio also shows us those of the “barbarians” of the north, the nomadic Indians beyond the pale of the Aztec frontier.

 

Finally, Le Clézio’s book is a dream of the present, a meditation on what in Amerindian civilizations—in their language, in their way of telling tales, of wanting to survive their own destruction—moved the poet, playwright, and actor Antonin Artaud and motivates Le Clézio in this book. His own deep identification with pre-Columbian cultures, whose faith told them the wheel of time would bring their gods and their beliefs back to them, finds fitting expression in this extraordinary book, which brings the dream around.

“We are lucky to have in Le Clézio a writer of great quality who brings his particular sensibility and talent here to remind us of the very nature of the rituals and myths of the civilizations of ancient Mexico; he provides us with descriptions as precise as they are mysterious.”—Le Figaro

 

 

  



About the Author
Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clzio, recipient of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Literature, was born to Mauritian parents in 1940, in Nice. At age eight the family moved to Nigeria, and on the long voyage Le Clzio began his authorial career with two short novels and a prospectus of forthcoming titles. Returning to Nice at age ten, he was awarded a Bachelor's Degree from Institut d'tudes Littraires and a Doctorate from the University of Aix-en-Provence. Le Clzio is the author of more than thirty adult and children's titles, including his breakthrough 1980 novel, The Desert, and The Prospector.

Teresa Lavender Fagan is a freelance translator living in Chicago; she has translated numerous books for the University of Chicago Press and other publishers.
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