Tu sueño imperios han sido de Álvaro Enrigue

de Álvaro Enrigue - Género: Otros
libro gratis Tu sueño imperios han sido


Hernán Cortés entra en Mehxicoh-Tenoxtitlan con sus nueve capitanes, sus dos traductores –el fraile Aguilar y Malinalli, intérprete y amante–, su tropa y sus caballos. Allí los agasaja con una comida la princesa Atotoxtli, hermana y esposa de Moctezuma, acompañada por los sacerdotes, y más adelante el propio emperador Moctezuma recibirá al caudillo Cortés. Unos no han visto jamás en su vida caballos, los otros nunca hasta ahora han probado el chocolate. Los españoles son bien recibidos en la ciudad, pero uno de los subalternos de Cortés, Jazmín Caldera, no se atreve a decirle que lo preocupante nunca había sido cómo llegar a Tenoxtitlan, sino cómo salir una vez que estuvieran adentro. El ocho de noviembre de 1519 se produce el encuentro entre Cortés y Moctezuma, a quien nadie puede mirar directamente a la cara si él no le da primero su permiso. Es el encuentro entre dos mundos, dos imperios, dos idiomas, dos cosmovisiones.

Reseñas Varias sobre este libro

I reviewed this for the LA Times. You can see my full review there: https://www.latimes.com/entertainment...

Spoiler: I loved it. Álvaro Enrigue's You Dreamed of Empires is sharp and also funny.

A quote from the review: "The intricacy of this series of events might have daunted many writers; it’s difficult enough just to portray it accurately and make it comprehensible. Even when someone has done their research — and Enrigue has done it admirably well — the story could easily become ponderous and overblown, a mothballed costume drama. Enrigue’s genius lies in his ability to bring readers close to its tangled knot of priests, mercenaries, warriors and princesses while adding a pinch of biting humor." historical-fiction mexico106 s1 comment Meike1,711 3,682

Shame on the International Booker for not nominating this (*rings bell: shame! shame! shame!*). The novel tells the fictionalized story of how the Spanish conquistadores around Hernán Cortés entered Tenochtitlán, which was the beginning of the end of the Aztec Empire under king Moctezuma II. Considering the historical facts around the Fall of Tenochtitlán, the whole set-up makes for a psychological chamber play, with two cultures struggling to interpret what is going on around them and the Aztec Empire under duress because of interior and exterior forces - but as this is literary fiction, Enrigue is not forced to follow through with how history played out. Also, until this day, the primary sources for the reconstruction of what happened are Cortes' letters to Charles V and other Spanish "eyewitnesses" - Enrigue, on the other hand, gives the indigenous side equal weight.

While the Spanish started out on an expedition to serve the interests of slave traders, they get more and more intoxicated by their territorial conquests and a sense of danger and adventure, losing grip on reality. Inside Tenochtitlán, Moctezuma has established a regime that also rests on ruthless power and bloodshed, and where hallucinogenics play an important role. Nevertheless, Enrigue manages to evoke a sense of wonder in the readers, as his atmospheric descriptions of sights, smells and sounds are the real stars of the text - this reader often felt she had also sipped some of that hallucinogenic chocolate and is now stumbling through an disorienting, dangerous, and captivating landscape and a labyrinth- palace. On the way, we encounter characters Moctezuma's sister-wife, an enslaved woman who works as a translator, as well as a shipwrecked friar - mind you, only one of the characters is fully fictional (Caldera). At some point, it feels only natural that the story digresses into the fantastical. Will the Spanish make it out alive of the city?

Time implodes, history spirals, Ramón López Velarde enters a dream, glam rock is playing while Moctezuma gets high on mushrooms and sees Enrigue writing his story. Throughout, the language is modern and vivid. Interestingly, the original title is Tu sueño imperios han sido, so "your dream empires have been", which allows for the twist that our human empires have been dreams all along (and most of them probably fever dreams). The line relates to Pedro Calderón de la Barca's Life Is a Dream, a drama from the Spanish Golden Age, which also features an imprisoned king and questions of fate and the construction of reality.

This - while not quite as good as Binet's Civilizations - is daring, fun, intelligent literature: A fantastical rendering of colonial history, a very dark comedy, and, as every good historical novel, a commentary on the present. Great stuff.

You can learn more about the book on the podcast (in German; translation: Von Königreichen hast du geträumt): https://papierstaupodcast.de/podcast/...mexico81 s4 comments Marchpane324 2,551

Shallow are the actions / Of the children of men / Fogged was their vision / Since the ages began

Psychedelic, quasi-historical, lightly-metafictional, blood-spattered, febrile, culture clash between the Aztec rulers and the Spanish conquistadores. Delectable.2024-releases read-in-202471 s1 comment Aletheia309 137

Este es el hipotético encuentro, novelado de la forma más ingeniosa posible, entre los castellanos-caxtiltecas y Moctezuma en Tenochtitlan... y me lo creo mucho más que todas las clases de historia que he recibido en mi vida.

Con una narración ágil y moderna, nos cuenta una escena histórica que funciona como un mecanismo de relojería; cada elemento está puesto con una función. Tiene pasajes divertidos, otros duros y otros muy evocadores que me hacen querer saber más sobre los personajes, sobre todo los mexicas, aunque sé que es muy difícil.

Poco diálogo y mucho de psicología de personajes, no entréis en ella buscando una crónica de la "conquista", ni una reivindicación de los nativos porque en este relato no hay buenos ni malos: recuerda más a una historia de ciencia ficción de primer contacto; nos sitúa en una ciudad impresionante al borde de una crisis política y religiosa a la que, de pronto, llegan unos extraños.

A Enrigue hay que leerlo, es refrescante y tan explosivo como Moctezuma.contemporanea lam mis-libros44 s1 comment Emily Coffee and ary570 221


A vivid and hallucinatory reimagining of the meeting between Hernan Cortez and Emperor Moctezuma. Playful and surreal, You Dreamed of Empires is a slow-motion collision course of ambition, colonialism, religion, and revenge. With prose that is as candid and engaging as it is fluid, this novel looks at history from a new angle; gives a breath of justice and dark humor to an empire that is often portrayed in pop culture but seldom truly understood or shown with good intentions. Fun and fascinating, with a serious call out to the centuries long harm done to cultures and nations due to colonialism at its core.magical-realism medieval-and-middle-ages46 s jeremy1,152 272

when somebody puts what's happening to us now in a book, he said, they'll think it's more chivalric romance bullshit. mexican author álvaro enrigue's latest full-length, written during the plague years, is a hallucinatory historical humor novel — a playful psychedelic reimagining (complete with a new ending!) of the infamous meeting between aztec emperor moctezuma and spanish conquistador hernán cortés.

it's hard to imagine a writer having more fun than enrigue must have had when composing each of you dreamed of empires (tu sueño imperios han sido)'s resplendent pages. set in the aztec floating capital city of tenochtitlán in late 1519, enrigue's story teems with vivid detail and description. but it's his characters that steal the show, and how! irreverence, indolence, and an impressive quantity of psychoactive mushrooms and cacti synergize to dazzling effect, a hummingbird's gorget refracting the sunlight.

plying the reader with a heady dose of comicality, enrigue is the trip sitter reframing imperialist conquest as an irresistibly lively tale of jocular iridescence. you dreamed of empires is far out fiction at its finest. these are days of blood and shit.
*translated from the spanish by natasha wimmer (enrigue's sudden death, bolaño, vargas llosa, restrepo, nona fernández, giralt torrento, et al.)fiction translation30 s2 comments Ruben574 54

I think I found my book of the year already. This has everything I love in literary fiction: an intelligent and original take on a perplexing history, presented in a bold, thrilling and slightly experimental narrative, with a cast of unbelievable characters that bring the story to life in a way non-fiction can't. And the brilliant twist at the end just lifted it from 5 to 6 stars.

The year is 1519, the place is Tenoxtitlán (now Mexico City) and the subject matter is the famous encounter between the conquistador Hernan Cortes (a boorish opportunist) and the Aztec tlatoani Moctezuma. I was familiar with the basic, tragic facts, but it's now a month since I finished it and I still can't get my head around the fact that this really happened...

In a sense this is a first contact novel, two completely different cultures meet each other after thousands of years of isolated development, and afterwards nothing will be the same.

I also d that the perspective is as much Aztec as it is Spanish, so we get a good bit of politics and palace intrigue in this completely alien, but at the same time completely human culture. The Mexica empire is experiencing various internal crises, and the tactical question how to deal with the arrival of the Spanish (risk or opportunity?) is one that Moctezuma - often high on drugs, giving the book a psychedelic quality too - seems to be taking wholly alone, to the desperation of his advisors and his wife/sister. The latter also secretly negotiates with the famous interpreter La Malinche, in an attempt to avoid the fall of the empire.

I am sure Enrigue has taken liberties that will have historians raise their eyebrows, but he has told an amazing story.26 s Tomes And Textiles358 554

EDIT: Full review on INSTAGRAM.

Is it too early to call my favorite book of the year? Full review to come but this exceeded all my expectations.

SECOND READ: I enjoyed it even more than I did the first time.2024 latinx-reads26 s1 comment Enrique449 226

Novela arriesgada y poco conservadora la de Alvaro Enrigue, con una imaginación desbordante por cierto. Eso es lo que más me ha gustado de la novela con mucha diferencia. Otros aspectos interesantes son lo bien documentada que está, así como la mezcla de hechos históricos con un toque simpático y hasta de humor fino que incorpora el autor: los nombres de los sacerdotes, algunas conversaciones o pensamientos de los protagonistas son muy buenos y divertidos.

La propuesta del final o esa para-historia alternativa que da, también es muy buena.
La trama, sin embargo, aun siendo buena, bajo mi punto de vista está falta no ya de contenido, sino de movimiento, me parece que tiene poca chicha a pesar del punto histórico y culminante que trata y del tratamiento novelado y alternativo que le da. Hace un derroche de imaginación por dotar de personalidad a personajes históricos como Moctezuma o Hernán Cortés, inventando otros, etc.  Quiero decir con esto que a pesar de la narración minuciosa en un espacio temporal muy corto, y a pesar de buscar ese estilo y formato claramente por Enrigue, a mi se me ha hecho un poco densa y lenta esa minuciosidad en las descripciones de personajes y estancias que hace el autor, ese discurrir de todos de una habitación a otra, a la alberca, etc.

Otra cuestión que se me hizo un poco árida y que sin quererlo rompe el ritmo narrativo fueron los nombres de los personajes en función de quien los nombrara, si los mayas o los conquistadores; ríete tú de los nombres y patronímicos rusos en comparación con estos.19 s Sarah-Hope1,219 143

I've been on a lovely roll with books lately, and Álvaro Enrigue's You Dreamed of Empires is keeping my winning streak going. You Dreamed of Empires is an imaginative recounting of single day: the day when Hernán Cortés met Moctezuma. Since actual accounts of that event are pretty much nonexistent, Enrigue gives himself permission to create his own truth about that day. This works well in two ways.

First, it means readers, even if they know the "standard" story of Moctezuma and Cortés, don't have any sort of certainty. Enrigue will take his tale in the directions he chooses, which means a) this book continually surprises and b) it offers an interesting thought experiment of ways this meeting might have played out. Second, as the novel progresses, the narrator becomes more active. What begins as fairly straightforward story becomes richer as it probes the various chains of action that could have been possible.

You Dreamed of Empires was written in Spanish, and I so wish my Spanish were good enough that I could read it in the original. I kept experiencing tantalizing glimpses of what the Spanish must have read . The good news is that the translation is brilliant. This is a book that makes use of voice, and Natasha Wimmer lets that voice expand in wonderful ways as the book progresses.

You dreamed of empires can be a quick read, but move through it slowly enough to let yourself savor it. Enrigue makes use of a good bit of Aztec vocabulary, which can make some monolingual readers feel a bit panicky. Read the introduction to the book (presented as a letter from Enrigue to Wimmer). Pay attention to both suggestions about pronunciation and also to Enrigue's notes on why understanding all this vocabulary does/doesn't matter. I tend to read at speaking speed, saying the words aloud in my head as I move along. This means I'm limited in terms of reading speed, but it has the benefit of letting me "hear" as my eyes move across the page. Finding my ways to pronounce those words (I did try my best to follow Engrigue's suggestions) and encountering them over and over again made the book seem accessible in a way it otherwise might not have.

Whether you buy it from your local independent bookseller or request it from your local library, this is a book you should keep an eye out for. I don't know quite how to say this, but I'll give it a go: beyond the story, the act of reading this text is transformative in ways that can carry over into the reader's viewing of the world.

I received a free electronic review copy of this title from the publisher via Edelweiss; the opinions are my own.2024 edelweissplus essentials18 s4 comments Rachel Louise Atkin1,124 260

What an extraordinary book. This is not a book I would usually read as I never seem to enjoy 'historical' novels but as Natasha Wimmer was the translator I wanted to give it a go. This book seems to be dividing opinion everywhere amongst reviewers and I think it is especially relevant to praise it in light of the New York Times review which ned the characters and cities names to 'elite anti-depressants of the sort', and clearly doesn't appreciate it's masterful mix of comedy and paranoia.

You Dreamed of Empires is a fictional account of, in short, the colonization of what is now Mexico City. Or is it? We follow a group of captains, led by Hernán Cortés, who enter the city of Tenochtitlán to meet with it's emperor Moctezuma. The emperor is politically and spiritually paralysed by his obsession with magic mushroom induced hallucinations and the conquistador's horses. The book itself is small on the action and political drama - instead the book revels in the slowness of a chess game where we wonder who and what move will be played next, and how long the precarious peace is going to lay in the balance as the captains make themselves suspiciously comfortable in the emperor's city.

There is a cast of witty characters, including the emperor's sister and wife, and Marina who is one of the captain's translators. I felt immediately sucked into this story as the setting and characters were so arresting, and despite the surreal structure of the story which includes various dreams and hallucinations, was really excited to find out how Enrigue was going to end his strange tale. The end of the book was a jaw drop moment and something I really didn't see coming. For me, it really hammered home unreliability of the reality that we as readers witnessed through the entire book. It feels only at the end do we learn our lesson not to trust any of the dream- sequences or conversations that we are eavesdropping on, and the climax comes so quickly it left me truly stunned.

I really see this novel on the International Booker longlist for 2024 and I hope it makes it on there. It will not be a book for everyone and even in it's review in the Guardian the reviewer confessed that it was hard to keep up with the story at times due to it's shifting nature. But it's such an addictive and unique experience and Enrigue's way of both reclaiming a narrative and solidifying his own Cortázar- canon with-in Mexican writing. I loved it!latin-america mexico owned20 s Claire1,014 263

My rating reflects the fact that my pea-brain struggled to penetrate this narrative, rather than the quality of the book itself. I could see while reading that this is clever writing. I normally love a fever-dream- story this. But at the moment I found this, coupled with a complex cast of characters a bit difficult to keep track of. Lots to appreciate if you have the mental bandwidth (which I presently do not). indie-buddy-reads15 s Dax280 154

Reading an Alvaro Enrique novel is a unique experience. His books are playful, satirical, hilarious and experimental. I first came across his work with 'Sudden Death' almost ten years ago. This new novel isn't as dizzying as that one, but it is just as much fun. Earlier this year I read Buddy Levy's book on the conquest of Mexico, so it felt appropriate to read this on the heels of brushing up on my history. Enrique doesn't stick to historical accuracy, but it helped to have those events fresh in my mind when reading it. It helps appreciate the satire a little more.

My personal favorite moment in the novel; when Moctezuma goes on an epic mushroom trip and starts dancing to T. Rex's 'Monolith'. That'll give you an idea of the tone of this novel. If that makes you think this novel might be too silly, it's not. It's high quality satire that manages not to lose its focus. It reminded me of what Tarantino did with 'Inglorious Basterds'. Solid four stars. central-americans fiction top-ten-2024 ...more14 s Nadine in California1,021 112

Based on this book and Sudden Death, I'm ready to claim Enrigue as one of my favorite authors of a type of historical fiction I've come to love - one that combines a 'you are there' feeling with its exact opposite -the awareness that all we have of history are markers to endlessly interpret and misinterpret. And that leads to a kind of historical fiction writing that I think of as 'quantum entanglement fiction', where reader, author, and characters occasionally fall into wormholes where we can all play together outside of time, and maybe even come up with a provisional truth or two. And I love Enrigue's particular brand of Einstein's "spooky action at a distance" - it has warmth and humor, but never sugar coated, never sanitized. Some other books that do this for me - Laurus by Eugene Vodolazkin; To Calais, in Ordinary Time by James Meek, Nobber by OIsin Fagan; Tyll by Daniel Kehlmann; Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch by Riva Galchen. I love that it is such an international list, although heavily Western. I've got to look for this kind of historical fiction from Africa and Asia.12 s1 comment Joy D2,342 265

This book is an unusual mix of alternate history, satire, and revenge story. It takes the meeting between the Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés and Moctezuma of the Aztec Empire and turns it on its head. It takes place in 1519 in Tenochtitlan, where the two cultures collide. It conveys a sense of bewilderment at the “strange” behavior of each side from the perspective of the other. The author employs metafictional techniques and dark humor (which did not seem particularly funny to me). Time is compressed into a single day. Anyone who knows the history of this event will know that it is bound to be a gruesome and gory tale but may be surprised at the outcome. It goes beyond the realistic, with both the Aztecs and Spaniards communicating through the haze of psychoactive substances, as well as a few intentionally anachronistic references. It is a quirky and offbeat condemnation of colonialism that reads almost if describing a fever dream. I did not particularly enjoy reading this book, but I admire the creativity.

alternate-history historical-fiction indigenous ...more11 s David192 577

In You Dreamed of Empires, Enrique reimagines the meeting of two cultures and two leaders - Moctezuma of Tenoxtitlan, and Hernando Cortes of Spain. Much of our contemporary understanding of the "Aztecs" - a misnomer according to Enrique, rather than being an "Aztec Empire" it was more accurately a diplomatic web of city states, including Mexica, Tenocha, etc. - is subverted. Cortes and his garrison of hapless Europeans, mannerless and ignorant, frequently mislaid with diarrhea from the hot foods, and arrogant about their inevitable conquest belie our Western Euro-centric hagiography of the conquistadors and missionaries, and particularly the aggrandizement of Western culture over conquered cultures.

The purpose of the novel reveals itself to be just this subordination of "History" - in the novel, the history that we live in today is but the dream of a conquistador. When history is penned by the victors, what can we understand from official history besides that culture's dreams? To recall the title - "You Dreamed of Empires", it is clear that the "You" can only be the Europeans. In fact, the book mays quick work of cancelling the Western idea that the "Aztecs" comprised an empire at all, nor did thier culture seem to prize the idea of such an unwieldy and impractical thing. What Moctezuma does dream of are the "giant deer" or "cahuayos" - horses - that the Europeans have brought with them, and which inform the policy toward the foreigners.

The horses are an interesting symbol of the emperor's dreams and aspirations. For they are at once a symbol of the European conquistadors' power, but at the same time the spoils of their interactions with other "inferior" cultures - namely the nomadic peoples of Asia.

Throughout the novel, the official history of Eurocentrism is put at odds with the realities of their expeditions and the hodgepodge accretion in their culture of other cultures. The Europeans do not appear to be at home anywhere. Much of what defines their "superiority" - gun power, horses - are borrowed from other cultures which they have deemed inferior based largely on being hethenistic non-Christians. However the confrontation with Moctezuma and Cortes centers largely on the Christian religion, which at every turn the emperor finds facsimile in local mythology. Martyrdom: check, immaculate conception: check. What actually differentiates the Europeans and their religion is a sickly sort of materialism - their God is Man, the forces of Nature are mere windowdressing for Man's History.

What historical European supremacy and Christianity have in common is a kind of singularity, a self-apotheosis, a fierce but toxic individualism and materialism. In the cultures and customs of Moctezuma's Tenoxtitlan, of Japan's Shintoism, of Asia's Buddhism, there is a decentralized Divinity, man is not at the center but rather Self is at the periphery, amid a miasma of forces, Divinity parcelled out to all living and unliving things, there is a sanctity and religiosity of all things. Among the conquistadores, all is earthly. Even their Christianity appears to lack real spirituality, but is rooted rather in iconography (Cortes and his men endeavor to replace all the religious figures in the main temple with Christian icons). While the story of Jesus moves Cortes to tears, he does not seem interested in the morals and philosophy of Christianity, in fact much of his actuals are contrary to Christian ideals - so what does he actually believe in?

To be sure there is religious ambivalence on both sides, Moctezuma and his court are often at odds with the priests and their divinations and guidance. The princess is repulsed by the priests covered and cloying with sacrificial blood, and when the priests admonish against an attack at this time, it is undercut by the priests' own admission that the calendar does suffer from some mathematical compounding of rounding errors - followed by a joke concerning yet discovered fractions.

However, if the Tenochca are experiencing their own modern distancing from religious absolutism, there remains and honor to their foundations and principles, which still inform daily and political life. Among the Europeans there is not clearly much spiritual concern beyond what is nakedly terrestrial, intertwined with power and empire.

Overall this was a great novel to start off the year. The latter half in particular shone with imagination and ideas, while the first half rendered the land of Moctezuma and the conquistadors in gritty realism. The novel self-consciously positions its events in the shadow of modernity, while simultaneously casting that reality's singularity in doubt - what if History is but a dim labyrinths of someone's dream of empire?mexico11 s Jolanta (knygupė)996 216

Neužvalgius haliucinogeninių grybų su medum (kaip romano veikėjai) sunku susigaudyt kas čia ką (ne)sapnuoja - ar Montezuma Cortesą ar atvirkščiai, ar autorius juos abu, ar jie - autorių.historical-novel humor mexican-literature ...more10 s Paul FulcherAuthor 2 books1,532

In 2016 I read Sudden Death, in Natasha Wimmer's translation of Álvaro Enrigue's original, which I found both intriguing, with its odd blend of real, deduced and purely imagined history, where the reader is not clear which of the three applies at any one time, but ultimately a little disappointing.

You Dreamed of Empires for me has some of the flaws of that work without being quite as innovative - a worthwhile read, and one many clearly love, but an author I think that is not for me.

Sudden Death touched on the encounter between Hernán Cortés and the emperor Moctezumain the latter's city of Tenochtitlan, commenting "there are few better illustrations of how a whole host of people can manage to understand absolutely nothing, act in an impulsive and idiotic way, and still drastically change the course of history."

You Dreamed of Empires expands on this point. The Cercasian blind spot at the novel's centre is why Moctezuma allowed Cortés's troops to enter the city of Tenochtitlan safely - but Enrigue's novel closes down the speculation to give an answer, and a rather banal one at that - he was obsessed with their horses.

The first 65% or so of the novel is a little too standard historical fiction - in Sudden Death I commented on the "dates and places and people at times a little too regurgitated", and there there is a lot of exposition in the characters' thoughts that seems designed for the reader rather than themselves, or rather for the author to demonstrate his research.

There is a bravura injection at that two-thirds point, where Enrigue imagines what would have happened if one of Cortes's senior leaders (an imagined character) had explored the city in disguise and seen the parts European did not reach, but it soon reverts to the rather tangled tale of the different factions on Moctezuma's side.

A more meta-fictional approach comes in a sequence where Moctezuma, in a temple, first listens to strange music which is actually a T-Rex song (the connection passed me by) and then briefly sees the author himself writing the novel in New York.

And the novel's end takes it cue from Borges' El milagro secreto - given an alternative approach to an alternative history (in the equivalent of Hladík's year of time, with the bullets suspended mid-air, Cortes gets to see the whole future of the world, as it unfolds, should his mission be successful. Our future that is. Moctezuma, in the novel's history, orders instead the ritual slaughter of Cortes and his men, saving one to teach him how to saddle a horse, although the novel is silent on the alternate history that would then result).

But for me it was all a little sporadic and didn't redeem what at times was quite a dull story.20249 s3 comments laurel [the suspected bibliophile]1,647 607

An imagining of the meeting between Montezuma and Cortés in 1519.

What a trip.

I can't begin to describe what I just read, but I feel I need to have been at least 5% high/inebriated to even get it. Regardless, going in sober was a choice and I still enjoyed it immensely. There's a reason this one is vibing with the booktok girlies.2024-read alternate-history historical-fic ...more9 s Alex Castillo Barona195 9

Lo disfruté muchísimo. Desde hace varios libros, Enrigue nos ha dicho varias veces que la escritura es el juego y la novela es el juguete y, en esta ocasión, nos invita a jugar no sólo como lectores, también como participantes de una especie de happening en negro sobre blanco. Me gustó muchísimo la estructura del texto, el humor que va de lo ligero y cotidiano a lo profundo y culterano y, sobre todo, la constante ruptura de la "cuarta pared" por parte del autor que se convierte en personaje e incluso guiña desde las páginas a quien las lee y lo invita a meterse a jugar con él en ese juguete de palabras. La construcción de los personajes, la re-creación o creación de los escenarios y las libertades poéticas y no tan poéticas que se toma Enrigue nos dejan ver también algunos de los mecanismos internos, los resortes y cables y baterías que impulsan al juguete. La intriga palaciega y las estructuras de poder con sus usos y costumbres empapados de una "cordialidad de la fregada" refleja --queriéndolo o no-- situaciones muy actuales que ocurren a unas cuantas varas de la ciudadela mexica en donde la figura del Tlatoani que parece perdido pero que sigue siendo un gran político y estratega se renueva con cada desayuno de tamales de chipilín. Mucho que "desempacar" como dicen los gringos, pero en primera instancia me quedo muy satisfecho con esta novela desmadrosa, cotorrona y al mismo llena del rigor del investigador y el júbilo del escritor al que, como él mismo lo dice, le importan las palabras. Quizás es el libro de un autor mexicano que más me ha gustado desde "El Naranjo o los Círculos del Tiempo" de Carlos Fuentes o quizás simplemente me lo recordó... o quizás los soñé los dos.9 s Andy Weston2,697 209

The retelling of history in such an irreverent, wryly disregarding manner is everything you wouldn’t expect from a historic novel, but is hugely entertaining throughout.

This is a spritely reimagining of an encounter between Cortés and Moctezuma, occurring over the course of one day in the November of 1519 in the labyrinthine city of Mehxicoh-Tenoxtitlan.
On this stage plays out so many things to appreciate, whether it is the horses of the conquistadores, such a novelty to their hosts, loose about the palace, or the aged Moctezuma himself, self-medicating his depression in his room, high on mushrooms and cactus-of-tongues, while his sister, who also is his wife, try to come up with a plan to save the empire. When the Emperor does leave his room it is often to roam the palace in his nightshirt chewing grasshopper tacos. He is mentally unstable, though no one will question his word for fear of being brutally sacrificed.

Enrigue’s writing is the real pleasure here, combined of course with the incredible translation of Natasha Wimmer; it is crammed with glorious detail, refined and elegant, yet a moment later, bawdy and depraved. I can imagine his influences, the Python’s historic work, Angela Carter perhaps, but this is very much his own style.
One can’t dispute the facts of history, but with an imagination as potent as his, it can amuse and delight in a whole new way.

The novel’s last pages are a particular pleasure, as Cortés’s dream is stymied in a blood-soaked resolution that demolishes everything we knew from those often tedious school text books.
Nobody may know what exactly happened in those days and months, but it most certainly wasn’t this.
We do however know that more than 90 percent of the Indigenous population was wiped out by disease and slavery, so for a few moments at least, it feels fitting to turn it on its head.

Here’s a couple of clips..
I'm going to need some cactus-of-tongues. The shaman screwed up his eyes, making a hissing sound that expressed both shock and disapproval.
It's very strong, he said, something to try once in a lifetime, maybe twice, and this would be the fourth or fifth time I've given you one; you might get lost on the trip. The huey tlatoani closed his eyes.
The empire weighs on one's shoulders, he said, sometimes too heavy; help is needed. What do you want it for? My meeting is with the chief of the Caxtilteca. Who? Make it ready, that's an order: two pieces, no more. The shaman shrugged. You're the boss, he said, but don't say later that I didn't warn you.

And..I love this room, said Moctezuma, you can't imagine how I miss being a priest. Where there were splotches of blood, he saw sprays of flowers. The withered fingers of the hands of great warriors sacrificed during the year's festivals swayed pleasingly the branches of a small tree to the beat of some music he couldn't place, though in a possible future we would have recognized it. It was T. Rex's "Monolith."
The priest was also up to his ears in whatever he had taken to carry out his temple duties, so he bent his magic powers of hearing to the music and caught the sexy crooning of Marc Bolan.
He smiled. That's good stuff, he said.
Moctezuma swung his hips to the beat.
It's nothing I've ever heard before, he replied, but I it. He pulled his elbows in tight and shimmied, moving his head gravely from side to side, transfixed by pleasure. The priest, swaying his own ass to the beat—he was nearly eighty, but on mushrooms he was a jaguar-said, I was thinking about you, believe it or not; look at this.fantasy historical-fiction humour ...more8 s Will238

3.5, rounded uptranslated-fiction8 s Elaine861 414

An incredibly vivid imagining of the moment the Spanish first came to Tenochtitlan. I was persuaded and involved from minute one. Writerly meta flourishes remind you that this is one writer’s vision, but it was a vision I could have lingered in much longer (hoping for a different historical result - as the book alludes to). Incredibly well researched but the bringing it to life is all Enrigue’s.

It’s a rare historical novel that gives you such a richly detailed feeling of a completely other time and place. And makes a variety of interesting characters come to life as well.

I think I would have enjoyed the book even more if I was more familiar with the foundational texts of Mexican history that the book is clearly in dialogue with. But that’s on me. As it is the images I have of 16th Century Tenochtitlan will stay with me for a long time.202411 s Netanella4,410 12

I think this is my new favorite alternate history, an imaginative, tongue-in-cheek tale of the fateful meeting between Moctezuma and Hernan Cortes. I loved it. 2024-april-reading-challenges 2024-shiny-let-there-be-light 2024-wbtm-s-roll-for-it-challenge ...more7 s Kelsey212 28

I absolutely loved this irreverent and creative reimagining of Cortes' attempted conquest of Moctezuma's empire in modern day Mexico City. The ending is everything I wanted it to be, so satisfyingly anticolonialist but also so devastating with the knowledge of what could've been but wasn't in our reality. The power of this book is with the slow dismantling of the Spanish characters as "civilized." This defiance of hegemonic power is subtle but effective.

I really appreciated the different characters and perspectives we get, especially Atotoxtli and Malinalli, two very intelligent and savvy women with very different fates.

My favorite chapter is one towards the end that most obviously breaks the fourth wall to describe a fictional character's perspective as a Spaniard viewing Moctezuma's city of Tenochtitlan. The breakdown of Christian hegemony and the idea of Christianity as the default was excellent and very moving.

As someone who loves Mexico City, one of the world's greatest cities, I will never look at it the same way again. This book is a must read.7 s liv ❁329 270 Want to read

My copy just came in and it is taking everything in me not to drop everything and start it immediately
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