Saturday, October 17, 2015

Quotes from _The Flower and the Scorpion_ #35

"The Nahuatl text suggests an interpretation somewhat different from Sahagun's Spanish: "Tlazolteotl: also called Ixcuina and called Tlaelquani. As to being called Tlazolteotl, it was said that was because her realm and domain were the dust and the trash: the life of desire, the pleasurable life. It was said that she was the ruler of the pleasurable life"
. . . .
Auilnemiliztli, for example, which occurs at the end of the quoted passage in the form "aujlnemjlizcutl, derives from auil-, "pleasure, a term used for prostitutes. The life described emanates from the tlazolli complex and signifies excess. But unlike in the Spanish, we find nothing in the way of moral condemnation in the Nahuatl text.
. . . .
And thus the Historia continues: "Confession: It was said that Tlazolteotl inspired and offered trash, dust, and the pleasurable life. Similarly, she forgave.... washed, and bathed one." This world of Tlazolteotl, in which she controls both the pleasurable life that Sahagun so wishes to condemn, and the process of confession, which Sahagun so wishes to promote mote (though in a different form), remains very seductive for our friar, his aides, and their informants.  . . . But as the clerics attempted to engage in a binary division between the dirt and the cleanliness, they needed to beware that both fell under the rubric of the tlazolli complex. And the "heart-straightening" process of preconquest Nahua confession (in which neyolmelahualiztli, the word used to describe the process that literally refers to the straightening of one's heart)"

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