"Violence was all conventional art knew. Now, however, I saw Cortez, a bodily/bodiless master of the globe, with raised hands (akin to mine when I was a Child), one as violent as ever, in the metallic twentieth century, the other as a re-visionary mind--hand as mind--reaching out beyond domination into the modulation of the furies of the world.

'Impossible,' I said.

What did Cortez look like? What did I look like? Were we Muslim, was I white American, was he black or white African, was I Asian, was he European, had he (or I) returned again in one of the faces of another deceptive arrival of Quetzalcoatl? I could not tell. The mist and sun were half-dazzling on Shang Mountain. The figures there puzzled my heart. I saw the metallic arm in the dazzling sunlight, I saw the tender, shrunken mind... They were part of a phantasm of fact in my age. Or was it Quetzalcoatl's gift of opposites, blending by creative and re-creative degrees into one another, to assume an art of Spirit that could change the world within self-portraitures that were ceaseless, always unfinished, always edged by otherness?

The miniature figure of Cortez stood close to Popocatapetl the Warrior and looked down on Tenochtitlan. The glorious city he remembered had vanished. Memory persists in a master of the globe but makes its poignancy deeply felt in all that has vanished."

{ Wilson Harris, The Mask of the Beggar, Faber & Faber, 2003 }

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