Delirio—The Fantastic, the Demonic, and the Réel: The Buried History of Nuevo León

Paperback | August 15, 2002

byMarie Theresa Hernández

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Striking, inexplicable stories circulate among the people of Nuevo León in northern Mexico. Stories of conversos (converted Jews) who fled the Inquisition in Spain and became fabulously wealthy in Mexico. Stories of women and children buried in walls and under houses. Stories of an entire, secret city hidden under modern-day Monterrey. All these stories have no place or corroboration in the official histories of Nuevo León.

In this pioneering ethnography, Marie Theresa Hernández explores how the folktales of Nuevo León encode aspects of Nuevolenese identity that have been lost, repressed, or fetishized in "legitimate" histories of the region. She focuses particularly on stories regarding three groups: the Sephardic Jews said to be the "original" settlers of the region, the "disappeared" indigenous population, and the supposed "barbaric" society that persists in modern Nuevo León. Hernández's explorations into these stories uncover the region's complicated history, as well as the problematic and often fascinating relationship between history and folklore, between officially accepted "facts" and "fictions" that many Nuevoleneses believe as truth.

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Striking, inexplicable stories circulate among the people of Nuevo León in northern Mexico. Stories of conversos (converted Jews) who fled the Inquisition in Spain and became fabulously wealthy in Mexico. Stories of women and children buried in walls and under houses. Stories of an entire, secret city hidden under modern-day Monterrey....

Format:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.75 inPublished:August 15, 2002Publisher:University Of Texas PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:029273462X

ISBN - 13:9780292734623

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Table of Contents

IntroductionPart One. HistoryChapter I. Don Gregorio TijerinaChapter II. Before and after HistoryPart Two. Landscape and NarrativeChapter III. Finding AlvaradoChapter IV. Spaces In-betweenPart Three. Ethnographic ImaginariesChapter V. A Place of OriginsChapter VI. The Mystic and the FantasticPart Four. Locations of the RéelChapter VII. The Discourse of IllusionChapter VIII. InquisitionChapter IX. La SultanaChapter X. La Joya: The House on ArreolaConclusion. Delirio: The Finality of PragmaticsNotesSelected BibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

This book is sui generis. In thirty-five years as a scholar, I have read nothing like it.... [We] will study it for years to come as a possible model for new ways of approaching and telling the past. - Robert A. Rosenstone, Professor of History, California Institute of Technology