Friday, May 16, 2008

Aztec Children

Another one of the unwritten chapters of Tex[t]-Mex: Seductive Hallucination of the "Mexican" in America concerns the phenomena of "Aztecs" or "Aztec Children" in itinerant carnivals and circus "freak-shows" from the late 1800s to the 1950s. It is as if the pre-historic figuration of the "Mexican" in American mass culture (pre-bandit), was already pejorative--if crime, here, was not the focus of the trope, "retardation" or "deformity" was. More on this to follow.

The frame above is from Tod Browning's amazing Freaks.

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