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The House and the Garden: The Architecture of Knowledge and La muerte de Artemio Cruz

Currie K. Thompson
Hispania
Vol. 77, No. 2 (May, 1994), pp. 197-206
DOI: 10.2307/344478
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/344478
Page Count: 10
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The House and the Garden: The Architecture of Knowledge and La muerte de Artemio Cruz
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Abstract

By building an intricate network of references to gardens and to the Biblical myth of the Garden of Eden, La muerte de Artemio Cruz invites its readers to consider its protagonist's flaws and, implicitly, the failure of the Mexican revolution in the light of this myth and of intertextual elaborations of it. In this context, Artemio Cruz's shortcomings are manifestations of a universal and fundamental flaw (original sin) attributable to the nature of knowledge and associated with language. Because he regards linguistic discourse as fragmenting and debilitating, Artemio shuns language in favor of a more direct gnosis that is both visual and imaginary, through which he attempts to maintain his integrity. Paradoxically, his effort to conserve an illusory sense of integrity is an important cause of the protagonist's brokenness.

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