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Death and the idea of Mexico

Author: Claudio Lomnitz-Adler
Publisher: Brooklyn, N.Y. : Zone Books ; Cambridge, Mass. : Distributed by MIT Press, 2005.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"Death and the Idea of Mexico is the first social, cultural, and political history of death in a nation that has made death its tutelary sign. Examining the history of death and of the death sign from sixteenth-century holocaust to contemporary Mexican-American identity politics, anthropologist Claudio Lomnitz's innovative study marks a turning point in understanding Mexico's rich and unique use of death imagery.  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Historia
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Lomnitz-Adler, Claudio.
Death and the idea of Mexico.
Brooklyn, N.Y. : Zone Books ; Cambridge, Mass. ; Distributed by MIT Press, 2005
(OCoLC)656483514
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Claudio Lomnitz-Adler
ISBN: 1890951536 9781890951535 9781890951542 1890951544
OCLC Number: 57185556
Description: 581 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Contents: Preface. Toward a new history of death --
Introduction. Mexico's national totem ; Death and the postimperial condition ; Purgatorius ; Intimacy with death ; Mexico's third totem ; Genealogies of Mexican death ; The organization of this book --
pt. 1. Death and the origin of the state. Laying down the law. The origin of the modern state ; Scale of the dying ; Division along ethnic lines ; Powers over life ; Powers over death ; Conclusion --
Purgatory and ancestor worship in the early, apocalyptic state. Introduction ; Purgatory on the eve of the new world conquests ; Days of the Dead in the early postconquest period ; Ambivalence toward Purgatory as an instrument of evangelization ; Conclusion --
Suffrages for the dead among Spaniards and Indians. The sins of conquest ; Spaniards of subsequent generations ; Indigenization of the Days of the Dead ; Attitudes toward death among the Spaniards ; Attitudes toward death among the Indians ; Body and soul ; The meaning of death ; Burial practices --
Death, counter-reformation, and the spirit of colonial capitalism. The counter-reformation and the spirit of capitalism ; Death, revivalism, and the transition to a colonial order ; Indian revivalism ; Idolatry, sovereignty, and orderly spectacles of physical punishment ; The clericalization of the Indians' dead ; Death, property, and colonial subjecthood ; Individuation and the promotion of Purgatory ; Conclusion : death and the biography of the nation. pt. 2. Death and the origin of popular culture. The domestication of mortuary ritual and the origins of popular culture, 1595-1790. Purgatory, Miserables, and the formation of an ideal of organic solidarity ; Death ritual and class identity in the Baroque era ; Death ritual, food offerings, and familial solidarity ; Popular confraternities and the consolidation of the corporate structure ; Mortuary ritual and intervillage competition ; Popular culture and the reciprocal connections between the living and the dead ; Conclusion --
Modern and macabre : the explosion of death imagery in the public sphere, 1790-1880. Death and the Mexican enlightenment ; Historicizing the "popular versus elite" distinction ; Tensions in Baroque representations of death ; Modernization and the macabre ; Market forces --
Elite cohabitation with the popular fiesta in the nineteenth century. Why the urban fiesta continued to grow in the nineteenth century ; Evolution of the Paseo de Todos los Santos ; National reconciliation and progress : Zenith and decline of the Paseo de las Ánimas ; Conclusion : death and the origin of popular culture. pt. 3. Death and the biography of the nation. Body politics and popular politics. Nationalization of the dead ; Death and popular opinion ; Independence and the body politic ; The Caudillo's remains in the transition from the colonial to the national period ; Rise of popular politics ; The spectral revolution ; National relics in the classical age of Caudillismo ; Community appropriations of the dead --
Death and the Mexican revolution. The resistance of the souls during the Porfiriato ; Revolutionary violence ; Death, social contract, and the cultural revolution ; Death, revolution, and negative reciprocity ; Death and revolutionary hegemony, 1920-60 --
The political travails of the skeleton, 1923-85. Death and the invention of Mexican modern art ; The decline of the dead in the public sphere, 1920-60s ; Repression, democracy, and the rebirth of the Days of the Dead in the public sphere, 1968-82 ; The decline of "Posada imagery" as political critique ;- The depreciation of life in Mexico's transition into "the crisis," 1982-86 --
Death in the contemporary ethnoscape. Dos de Noviembre No Se Olvida ; Incorporation and integration of Halloween ; Mexican death in contemporary ideascapes ; Death and healing in contemporary Mexico ; Natural death, massified death --
Conclusion. The untamable one.
Responsibility: Claudio Lomnitz.

Abstract:

The history of Mexico's fearless intimacy with death--the elevation of death to the center of national identity.  Read more...

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"Lomnitz's masterful Death and the Idea of Mexico places him in the company of Octavio Paz and Carlos Monsivais as both critic and champion of Mexico culture. This study of death makes Mexico come Read more...

 
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   schema:reviewBody ""Death and the Idea of Mexico is the first social, cultural, and political history of death in a nation that has made death its tutelary sign. Examining the history of death and of the death sign from sixteenth-century holocaust to contemporary Mexican-American identity politics, anthropologist Claudio Lomnitz's innovative study marks a turning point in understanding Mexico's rich and unique use of death imagery. Unlike contemporary Europeans and Americans, whose denial of death permeates their cultures, the Mexican people display and cultivate a jovial familiarity with death. This intimacy with death has become the cornerstone of Mexico's national identity." "Based on a stunning range of sources - from missionary testimonies to newspaper cartoons, from masterpieces of artistic vanguards to accounts of public executions and political assassinations - Death and the Idea of Mexico moves beyond the limited methodology of traditional historiographies of death to probe the depths of a people and a country whose fearless acquaintance with death shapes the very terms of its social compact."--Jacket." ;
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