His novel belongs to Max Planck 's quantum universe rather than the relativistic universe of Albert Einstein : a world of coexisting fields in constant interaction and whose particles are created or destroyed in the same act. Both novels have been published by Gallimard.
Hypothermia , which offers an "unflinching gaze towards 21st-century life and the immigrant experience", was published in in the United States and England by Dalkey Archive Press in a translation by Brendan Riley. In , he was awarded a Rockefeller Foundation Residence Fellowship at the Bellagio Centre to finish the manuscript of his last novel, Decencia Decency.
Along with his work as a writer, he has worked as a professor of creative writing at several universities in the United States , such as Columbia , Princeton , and Maryland ; also studying a PhD in Latin American Literature in the latter one. His work has been translated into multiple languages, including English, German, French, Czech, and Chinese.
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National Book Festival 2015
Retrieved August 30, Retrieved 9 Sep Retrieved 6 January He thus situates them more precisely in the historical and political settings in which they were fighting: the Caxtilteca were one small faction—though the most eccentric and ultimately the most politically astute—of many that united behind the Tlaxcaltecas in an internal war for the control of central Mexico. Restall begins by looking at the accounts of the first Europeans in Mexico, in which he finds a consistent emphasis on those practices that have earned the Aztecs their fearsome reputation: human sacrifice and cannibalism.
The number is remarkable for how preposterous it is: more than sacrifices a day, five an hour, one every twelve minutes, twenty-four hours a day. This argument became especially important after the Crown abolished native slavery and gave indigenous subjects rights identical to those of Spaniards in the New Laws of He asks, as do all of us with any interest in this crucial moment in the expansion of European languages and culture, Why did Montezuma decide to lodge the Conquistadores peacefully in the palace of his father, the former emperor Axayacatl, right beside his own, in the very heart of Tenochtitlan?
He could simply have executed the Spaniards the moment they entered the city—a city that, being an island, was also a trap. Moreover, the Spaniards, on their journey inland, had allied themselves with two cities, Tetzcoco and Tlaxcala, which had recently defeated the Aztecs in battle.
This would have given Montezuma more reason to execute the foreigners. He proposes something that perhaps should always have seemed obvious: that Montezuma was attempting to seduce them. He points out that in the days the Spaniards spent in Tenochtitlan before the beginning of open warfare, not a single one of the captains sent a letter, or drafted a minute, or wrote anything at all that survives today.
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This documentary silence leads Restall to suspect that it was the Spaniards who submitted to the power of a foreign emperor and not—as the chronicles that followed had it—Montezuma. As he makes clear, the Aztec prince continued to govern peacefully until he was finally taken prisoner by the Spaniards, by which time war was already imminent.
Up until that crucial moment the Spaniards, not Montezuma, had had permanent escorts as they moved around the city and the empire. However transparent and simple the story that Restall tells, there remains a problem with the documentary evidence. The confrontation could likely not have been avoided, nor could Montezuma have understood the consequences of his declaration, but the event was recorded and became a crucial element in what would happen later.
There are, however, holes in the traditional account: Why would the Tlaxcalteca warriors follow a handful of Spaniards to the capital if there were many more of them and they were the ones who knew the terrain? Why would Montezuma trust a group of foreigners who were accompanied by an enemy army and let them settle in his city?
Àlvaro Enrigue — internationales literaturfestival berlin
War in Mesoamerica, unlike in Europe, was a highly ritualized process, determined by the calendar and agreements between specific groups. Cities did not have defenses—there were no ramparts, no moats, no castles—because the dates and locations of battles were agreed on beforehand, during the brief period in the calendar when the Nahua belief system allowed for fighting.
Attacks on cities and open battles with civilian casualties did occur, but they were exceptional.
There was no iron and there were no horses. At the end of the fight, each army would return to its city following the imposition of a material tribute and servitude on the losers. The Spaniards fought in this battle as one small unit in the army of the smaller city of Tlaxcala. By the time the war was over, Tenochtitlan was greatly weakened.
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He was not oppressed by superstitions about prophecies or ready to surrender to a group of foreigners whom he thought invincible because their God and their skin color were different. He was in the midst of a political crisis. When the Spaniards, after their long stay in the city, took the emperor prisoner, the population rose up.
It has never been possible to know for certain whether Montezuma was stabbed by the Spaniards, as the indigenous chroniclers would have it, or was stoned by his own people, as the conquistadors claimed.