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By John A. Ochoa

Whereas the idea that of defeat within the Mexican literary canon is often said, it has not often been explored within the fullness of the mental and non secular contexts that outline this element of "mexicanidad." Going past the straightforward narrative of self-defeat, "The makes use of of Failure in Mexican Literature and identification" provides a version of failure as a resource of information and renewed self-awareness. learning the connection among nationwide identification and failure, John Ochoa revisits the foundational texts of Mexican highbrow and literary background, the "national monuments," and provides a brand new imaginative and prescient of the pivotal occasions that echo all through Mexican aesthetics and politics. The makes use of of Failure in Mexican Literature and identification encompasses 5 centuries of suggestion, together with the works of the Conquistador Bernal Diaz del Castillo, whose sixteenth-century "True historical past of the Conquest of latest Spain" shaped Spanish-speaking Mexico's early self-perceptions; Jose; Vasconcelos, the essayist and flesh presser who helped rebuild the kingdom after the Revolution of 1910; and the modern novelist Carlos Fuentes. a desirable examine of a nation's risky trip in the direction of a feeling of self, "The makes use of of Failure" elegantly weaves moral matters, the philosophical implications of language, and a sociocritical exam of Latin American writing for a gleaming addition to the discussion on worldwide literature.

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In anthropological terms, the old soldiers resisted their reincorporation from the liminal state. In fact the whole Historia verdadera—including both Bernal’s Oedipal struggle with Gómara and the aging soldiers’ challenge to the authorities—can be read as a perpetual mock-battle, much like the one 42 THE CONQUEST: ‘‘ THE PAPER WARRIOR’’ in the Grand Plaza. Like the performance that evening, the book attempts to come to terms with reality through high artifice. 16 Unfortunately for them, the soldiers eventually learned the hard way that they were not in an eternal carnival.

Instead he refuses to go beyond the familiar: ‘‘Aquí es donde dice Francisco López de Gómara . . que eran los santos apóstoles señor Santiago o señor san Pedro . . en todo nos ayudaba . . e yo, como pecador, no fuese digno de verles; lo que yo entonces vi y conocí fue a Francisco de Morla en un caballo castaño’’ (65) [It may be that as Gómara says the Glorious Apostles, St. James or St. Peter . . came to our aid . . I, a mere sinner, was not worthy of seeing them. What I saw was Francisco de Morla on a chestnut horse] (1:121).

This theatrical defense of Rhodes offers numerous resonances with the rest of the Historia verdadera: the mock battles recall the endless, and very real, battles fought on that same plaza. Cortés’s foot-wound 40 THE CONQUEST: ‘‘ THE PAPER WARRIOR’’ echoes the leg wound he received in the final fight to capture the city. These resonances give the sense that the performance is a summation, a valedictory reunion for the Conquest. The old conquistadores, going to seed, have gathered to celebrate a transition from one war to another.

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