Cover of J.M.G. Le Clezio: The Mexican Dream

J.M.G. Le Clezio The Mexican Dream

Or, the Interrupted Thought of Amerindian Civilizations

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Book information

The University of Chicago Press










This title is the winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Literature. Not one dream but many unfold in J. M. G. Le Clezio's conjuring of the consciousness of Mexico, a strange and powerful evocation of the imaginings that made and unmade an ancient culture. 'What motivated me', Le Clezio has said, 'was a sort of dream about what has disappeared and what could have been'. A widely respected French novelist with a long history of interest in pre-Columbian Mexico, Le Clezio imagined how the thought of early Indian civilizations might have evolved if not for the interruption of European conquest. In an unprecedented way, his book takes us into the dream that was the religion of the Aztecs, which in its 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 Clezio also shows us those of the 'barbarians' of the north, the nomadic Indians beyond the pale of the Aztec frontier. Finally, Le Clezio'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 Clezio in this book. The author's 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.

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