From New Interpretations of the glyphic writings of the Maya through the poetic response to events in modern Chiapas, here is a history of Mexico and Central America from the Indian point of view. In these pages the reader will encounter, often in new translations, the deeply affecting Aztec poems, the horrific battles of conquest, and the thoughtful philosophy of the Mayan "bible," the Popol Vuh. Full, clear introductions make this extraordinary material accesible to all readers.
In the Language of Kings is a gemstone of cultural strenght for those who trace their ancestry to Mesoamerica, as well as an essential resource for historians and anthropologis. Above all, it is literature: intimate, grand, painful, proud, and finally renascent in the new awakening of the original peoples of Mesoamerica.
"This is the first comprehensive survey of literary tradition two milennia in the making....It provides tangible proof of the richness and continuity of the Mesoamerican tradition."—The Common Review
"They say that every time an Indian dies in mexico an entire library dies with him. This anthology by Miguel León-Portilla and Earl Shorris does not merely re-create a lost library, it brings back the eloquence of the indigenous people of Mexico past and present. We are assured by it that our men and women—those who best remember, imagine, and dream—will be heard in the future. Without their voices, we cannot compose the great chorale that is Mexico."—Carlos Fuentes
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Miguel León-Portilla is the author of forty books, including Broken Spears and Aztec Thought and Culture. Earl Shorris, author of many critically acclaimed works of fiction and notification, including Latinos: A Biography of a People and Under the Fifth Sun: A Novel of Pancho Villa, is the founder of the Clemente Course in the Humanities and a contribuiting editor at Harper's magazine.