Juan Gavarrete’s Copyscript

Juan Gavarrete’s copyscript is not lost. As the photo below shows,, Jack Himelblau (1989) and Munro Edmonson (1973) lept to incorrect conclusions. more ›

Ayer Manuscript Composition

Ayer ms 1515 was likely bound in Guatemala. Giselle Simon, former Director of Conservation Services at the Newberry Library, considers the binding technique consistent with nineteenth-century work, albeit a relatively “crude binding” which “the Newberry would not have bound.” more ›

Carl Scherzer’s Occupation

Carl Scherzer was never a physician. At least one source suggests that Scherzer was a lawyer, but his only documented employment was as a printer and as a statesman. The misconception that Scherzer was a physician flows from Scherzer’s self-assumed honorific in his 1857 edition of Popol Vuh and possibly began with Recinos’ 1947 Spanish edition and his 1950 English translation.more ›

Ma(r)king Popol Vuh

Refereed Journal. Joe Bray, Miriam Handley, and Anne C. Henry have argued that “to mark a text is also to make it; [and] features such as punctuation, footnotes, epigraphs, white space and marginalia, marks that traditionally have been ignored in literary criticism, can be examined for their contribution to a text’s meaning.” In 2007 The Newberry Library disbound the oldest surviving text of Popol Vuh for conservation. That process made it possible to examine a number of paratextual markers calling into question popular perspectives of Popol Vuh as Indian auto-ethnography. This refereed article published at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill seeks to raise modern awareness of the manuscript’s paratext and its meaning for traditional assumptions of Popol Vuh’s survival and its narrative/textual boundaries.more ›

Disparities of Discourse in Popol Vuh

Conference Paper. Francisco Ximénez’s transcription and translation of Popol Vuh is not as straightforward and sterile as is generally presumed. The task requires intricate management of the textual and semiotic grids, both in the the Quiché transcription and in the Spanish translation.more ›

Rethinking the Context of Popol Vuh

Doctoral Dissertation. Although seventeenth-century Dominican priest Francisco Ximénez is credited for conservation of Popol Vuh, no critical attention is given to his personal agency and his ecclesiastical agenda. The oversight is particularly disconcerting where he plainly states in his prologue, “Esta mi obra, y trabaxo discurro q’ avra muchos q’ la tengan por la mas futil y vana de las q’ he trabaxado, asi lo pensaran muchos; y yo lo discurro al contrario, porq’ entiendo ser la mas util, y neçesaria.” My investigation is founded on answering the question: Why did Father Ximénez believe conservation of this text to be his crowning achievement? I answer this question by examining the four prologues of the Ayer manuscript to uncover Ximénez’s significant interaction with the text.more ›