Indigenous Atextualizations: The <i>Popol Vuh</i> and <i>I, Rigoberta Menchú: An Indian Woman in Guatemala</i>

Adam Lifshey

in Specters of Conquest

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9780823232383
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823241187 | DOI:

Series: American Literatures Initiative

Indigenous Atextualizations: The Popol Vuh and I, Rigoberta Menchú: An Indian Woman in Guatemala

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The vanishing of aborigines from particular landscapes is a common trope in literatures of the Americas, as is the stereotypical association of indigenes with different types of silence. Yet even when compelled by the advancement of conquering forces, movements into communicative invisibility and inaudibility can take place on the terms of those forced to disappear. Though produced amid injustice, specters usually have the last word. And they often pronounce it in absence. Narratives such as the Popol Vuh and the much later K'iche' testimonial I, Rigoberta Menchú: An Indian Woman in Guatemala perform indigenous resistance via unarticulated textualities whose contestatory stories, like the traces left by indigenes in Columbus's diary, lie beyond the reach of foreign incorporation.

Keywords: aborigines; indigenes; silence; vanishing; absence; specters; Popol Vuh; K'iche'; Columbus

Chapter.  9259 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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