The Loa for the Auto Sacramental of The Divine Narcissus

SOR JUANA INÉS DE LA CRUZ (MEXICO, CA. 1688)
TRANSLATED BY PATRICIA A. PETERS AND RENÉE DOMEIER

Written by a nun who became the most brilliant literary legend of the colonial era, this short loa preceded a longer one-act play that was performed during the Catholic feast of Corpus Christi. It stages an allegorical confrontation between two opposing parties: on one side stand America and her consort Occident (both natives); on the other are Religion (a Spanish lady) and Zeal (a Spanish captain). An ingenious reflection on the colonial predicament, Sor Juana’s play establishes a system of equivalences between the two cultures, comparing ritual cannibalism to the communion and linking Christ’s fate on the cross to the Aztec practice of human sacrifice.

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