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  • Mysterium tremendum: el sacrifi cio humano como motivo literario en la narrativa latinoamericana contemporánea

    Author: Edyta Andzel-O’Shanahan
    Institution: Investigadora independiente
    Year of publication: 2019
    Source: Show
    Pages: 179-192
    DOI Address: https://doi.org/10.15804/sal201906
    PDF: sal/9/sal906.pdf

    Mysterium tremendum - human sacrifice as a liter ary motif in contemporary Latin-American prose fiction

    The aim of this article is twofold: firstly, it examines the meaning and the role of the frightening Aztec ritual of human sacrifice in its original religious and political context. Human sacrifice was an integral part of the Aztec world view. It facilitated the communication between the supernatural forces and the human world through the interchange of vital energy. Human sacrifice also had a political meaning, as over time it intensified and was transformed into a formidable display of state power. Secondly, the article investigates the use of human sacrifice as a literary motif in modern Latin-American prose fiction. The selected examples illustrate how the Aztec ritual has acquired different connotative values, distant from its original denotation. It has been transformed into a symbol of historical violence, existential fears and irrational reality.

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