Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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CONTENTS

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PREFACE

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pp. vii-viii

Warm thanks go to my expert and attentive editor, Theresa May, and to everyone else who contributed to the book’s production; to Yolanda Martínez-San Miguel and Nina M. Scott for invaluable suggestions on the manuscript; to Sara Snider for exquisitely proofing it; and especially to the friends, students, colleagues, and family who have...

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INTRODUCTION: Road Map

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pp. 1-12

At the beginning of William Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom! (1936), the demon-horse-man figure of Thomas Sutpen “abrupts” onto the scene (4). Bit by bit, piece by astonishing piece, he begins to take shape before the readers’ eyes, first through the narrative of the haunted Rosa Coldfield. ...

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1. AGILE PLATFORMS OF THE SPECTACULAR CITY: The New World and the Old

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pp. 13-48

César Vallejo’s breakout book of poetry, Los heraldos negros [The black heralds] (Lima, 1918), gives off shock waves that convulse a received, stable world picture into an “ultranervous axis” (68). Los heraldos negros leads off with a section entitled “Plafones agiles,” which I loosely translate as “Agile Platforms.”1 ...

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2. ORDER AND CONCERT

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pp. 49-90

Before the Spectacular City, as its precondition and antagonist, there was the Ordered City. Decimating the concert and order that Hernán Cortés perceived in Tenochtitlán, the Hispanic Ordered City sought to subjugate the Indian world, razing and then rebirthing it in accord with the aims of the empire and in consonance with European paradigms. ...

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3. BALBUENA’S “LA GRANDEZ AMEXICANA” AND THE ADVENT OF THE SPECTACULAR CITY

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pp. 91-127

In the Eighth Eclogue of Bernardo de Balbuena’s pastoral novel Siglo de oro en las selvas de Erífile [Golden age in the forest of Erífile] (written in 1601, published in Spain in 1608), on his way back from the city to the bucolic forest of Erífile the shepherd Melancio makes a startling discovery. ...

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4. BALBUENA’ S SPECTACULAR CITY AND THE CREOLE CAUSE

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pp. 128-146

At the heart of the heart of present-day Mexico City, near the center of its Zócalo, stand the remains of the Aztec Templo Mayor, excavated in the late 1980s. The Templo Mayor breaks the vast sweep of the second largest city plaza in the world and claims a powerful place for Aztec culture in the value system of contemporary Mexico. ...

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5. ENGAGING PLURALITY: Baroque Plenitude and the Spectacular City in Mexico

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pp. 147-194

In protesting Spanish abuses of the Indians, El primer nueva corónica y buen gobierno [First new chronicle and good government] by the Peruvian Yarovilca Indian Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala relentlessly impresses on its readers that there are many more worlds in the New World than Balbuena and his cohorts admit. ...

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6. “TO KNOW THE ALL": The Spectacular Esoteric City in Mexico

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pp. 195-246

Over the course of the seventeenth century, a prosperous Mexico City experienced a veritable orgy of construction and renovation that rendered it indisputably spectacular in material terms. Agustín de Vetancurt remarks with awe in 1698 that more than twenty sumptuous churches and thousands of buildings had recently been constructed,...

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7. BABEL: Wild Work of the Baroque

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pp. 247-294

Irving A. Leonard’s watershed, prizewinning Baroque Times in Old Mexico (1959) purveys its subject in the spectacular terms that have excited readers, stimulated scholars, and, to no small degree, spurred the present study.1 ...

Appendix. CHRONOLOGY OF PRINCIPAL WORKS

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pp. 295-296

NOTES

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pp. 297-335

WORKS CITED

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pp. 337-353

INDEX

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pp. 355-367