the works

L’Aigle Aztèque est tombé

Type: roman
Language: francés
Year: 1964
Publisher: plon
Place: París

Description:

From the jacket of the Plon edition, 1964

A .D. 1525. In the tropical forest of the Maya region, white hands runs a rope around the neck of a brass-skinned young man. The executioners are Spanish. The victim is a Mexican; his name, Cuauhtemoc, means “the eagle that falls, or that fells”; he is the eleventh and last emperor of Mexico. In this hour of weariness, the death of Cuauhtemoc is wanted by Hernán Cortés, who has brought down the Aztec empire and the eagle impersonating it. It is the dismal conclusion of an absurd and tragic story – almost a science-fiction story- which began when, in 1519, a few hundreds of Spanish soldiers landed on the east coast of the country: “beings”, and what was their nature? Why did they emerge from the seas’s abysses? Religious to the point of frenzy, of illness, the emperor Montezuma opened the doors of the empire to the man who he mistook for the incarnation of the Feathered Serpent god; later on, having succeeded to Montezuma after the parenthesis of Cuitlahuac, Cuauhtemoc tried, he himself, to close these doors. Alas! the “beings” have won, the eagle has bitten the dust...
This great novel, rigorously based on historical documents of difficult access, is the voice of Cuauhtemoc rising during his long night in the Maya forest: his autobiography and, at the same time, the portrait of a world and an epoch. But this noble and solemn evocation does not restrict itself to a single signification: it is also a drama, with very topical echoes, of racial and political misunderstanding (when people are “not like us”, they are nothing but “beings”, and dialogue seems impossible); it is a deep analysis of colonialism seen “from the other side”; it is also – in Carlo Coccioli’s grave and glaring way – the triumph of the Green Light: the mysterious intuition of God, that is present wherever man’s soul becomes conscious of itself.



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