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Open Access Publications from the University of California

From Xibalbá to Twenty-First-Century Honduras: Transrealista Sketches of Power and Marginalization in Carlos Humberto Santos's Bocetos de un cuerpo sin forma

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Examined through a transrealista lens, the “sketches” left by the poet traveler in Carlos Humberto Santos's Bocetos de un cuerpo sin forma (Esquisses d’un corps sans forme/Sketches of a shapeless body, 2018) testify to the expanse, depth, and contours of power and marginalization across time and space. Descending to the Mayan underworld of Xibalbá in a journey that recalls that of Dante Alighieri’s pilgrim through Hell in La divina commedia, the poet traveler moves through overlapping layers of time—pre-colonial, colonial, and neocolonial/contemporary—and in-between spaces of human diasporas and other geographies of oppression. Upon the layers of “sketches” created by other artists to represent places of death, fear, and torment on the “cuerpo” of the oppressed, Santos's Bocetos leaves testament to the dynamics of marginalization and power in twenty-first-century Honduras.

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