by Anna Lanyon
Malinche was the Amerindian translator for Hernan Cortes -- from her lips came the words that triggered the downfall of the great Aztec Emperor Moctezuma in the Spanish Conquest of 1521. In Mexico, Malinche's name is synonymous with "traitor", yet folklore and legend still celebrate her mystique. The author traverses Mexico and delves into the country's extraordinary past...more
Paperback, 235 pages
Published May 1st 2000 by Allen & Unwin Academic
(first published 1999)
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How do you honor a rape that spawned a nation? This is the essential question of Lanyon's research of the mysterious Amerindian woman who served as Cortez's intrepeter as he met Montezuma and later bore him a son, one of the first mestizos in "New Spain." Vilified by some as a traitor to her people, I have been fascinated by the story of Malinche, since I first read about it in Octavio Paz's essay "The Sons of Malinche" which explores (one facet) of the modern hispanic male identity, that holds...more
I picked up this book because I thought it was a historical fiction novel about the Aztec woman who interpreted for Cortez, Malinche. Instead, this was a non-fiction account of a writer's journey through Mexico, searching for any snippets of truth that were recorded about Malinche and how they do or do not coincide with her legend. I was interested in the difference between how full-blooded Spanish Mexicans, so-called mestizos, and full native Mexicans view Malinche - surprisingly, the full nati...more
Malinche, the Indian woman who was Cortes's interpreter and bore him a child, only to die less than 10 years after Cortes arrived on the shore of Mexico. The author follows all signs of Malinche, whose name has come to be synonymous with "traitor" and with "treasonous behavior." Yet, so little has been left of her in any official records, so Lanyon follows clues such as a river named for her, a volcanic mountain, and even a school that, 500 years earlier, was her home, and probably where she die...more
Although not an anthropologist, Lanyon approaches her search for Malinche using ethnographic methods, including interviews with local peoples and researching historical documents. She travels the Mayan countryside exploring long forgotten, hidden cities that may or may not have figured prominently in Malinche's pre-Cortes history. She takes time to listen to folk tales and analyzes these for the possible truths they may be. With a couple of informants, she could spend a little more time intervie...more
Author tries to piece together the compelling story of La Malinche. A young Indian girl sold by her parents as a slave to Cortez's she eventually became his, lover, translator, chief advisor and partner in the conquest and destruction of her own people. Although she is considered the arch villian of Mexican history one can not help but feel sympathy and even admiration for her making the best of the impossible situation she was forced into.
Mar 20, 2012 Moloch rated it 3 of 5 stars · review of another edition
Recommended to Moloch by: <a href="http://archiviostorico.corriere.it/2004/febbraio/29/Madame_Cortes_conquistadora__co_9_040229079.shtml" rel="nofollow" target="_top">Articolo Corsera</a> (non su questo libro in particolare, ma sulla figura storica di cui da allora mi sono interessata)