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By ROBIN W. FIDDIAN

ISBN-10: 0813018064

ISBN-13: 9780813018065

ISBN-10: 081303101X

ISBN-13: 9780813031019

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A key feature of the Fuentes novel is its incorporation of a mythical perspective on reality, which is provided by the indigenous character, Ixca Cienfuegos. A ubiquitous presence in the social world of the mimesis, Ixca effectively determines the shape of the narrative of La región más transparente inasmuch as it is his voice which opens and closes the novel and his vision and values which acquire prominence at strategic points in the narrative. At the thematic level, he and his mother, Teódula Moctezuma, embody certain “elements—cruel and vital—of that stony, eternal Mexico” which Carlos Fuentes suggests lie submerged beneath the surface of everyday social reality in postrevolutionary Mexico (García Gutierrez 21).

Through a narrative perspective that pretends to be all-embracing, La región más transparente constructs a vast frieze of life in Mexico City, reproducing “the unstable pastiche” of different milieux and social classes (52) and focusing in particular on “the fact, so obvious yet so rarely reflected in Mexican fiction, of the emergence for the first time ever in the history of the nation, 32 | The Novels of Fernando del Paso of a middle class and an upper bourgeoisie” (García Gutiérrez, La región más transparente 21).

The handsomest and bravest prisoner of war was selected a year before his execution. Priests taught him the manners of a ruler, and, as he walked about, playing divine melodies upon his flute, he received the homage due to Tezcatlipoca himself. A month before the day of sacrifice four lovely girls [. ] became his companions and attended to his every want. On the day of his death he took leave of his weeping consorts to lead a procession in his honor, marked by jubilation and feasting. Then he bade farewell to the glittering cortege and left for a small temple, accompanied by the eight priests who had attended him up the steps of the temple, and he followed, breaking at each step a flute which he had played in the happy hours of his incarnation.

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The Novels of Fernando del Paso by ROBIN W. FIDDIAN


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