auto-da-fé

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auto-da-fé

1. History a ceremony of the Spanish Inquisition including the pronouncement and execution of sentences passed on sinners or heretics
2. the burning to death of people condemned as heretics by the Inquisition

Auto-da-fé

 

literally, a ceremonial reading of the sentence of the Inquisition in Spain, Portugal, and their colonies; in common usage the term also refers to the execution of the sentence, mainly by burning the condemned persons at the stake. The auto-da-fé appeared at the beginning of the Inquisition (13th century) and became widespread from the end of the 15th century on, acquiring the character of a theatrical and ritualistic mass action. Autos-da-fé were held in the main square of a city in the presence of large masses of people, the church and secular aristocracy, and sometimes the king himself with his family. The condemned persons were led out barefoot and in “clothing of shame.” The last auto-da-fé took place in 1826 in Valencia. About 35,000 people were burned in Spain from 1481 to 1808.

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Moreover, unlike the stereotypical literary dream, the vision of the auto-da-fe does not merely reflect the surrounding narrative, but rather seeps into it with startling affective force.
One could draw a connection between the paralytic incubus that reportedly accompanies the nightmare and the diminution in Alonzo's capacities following his nightmare of the auto-da-fe.
He not only undergoes the terrors of the auto-da-fe, but simultaneously witnesses himself undergoing them.
Unsurprisingly, the auto-da-fe dream becomes a negative occursus for Alonzo, reducing his capacity to remain optimistic (182).
Through these dreamt deviations from linear, dialectical reason, Alonzo's auto-da-fe dream seems to evoke somewhat rhizomatic associations: Alonzo is the terrified prisoner, the crowd, and his brother's executioner; and he is not himself, but he is himself, and his brother is him, and the fire becomes him and the crowd (182).
In the novel, laughter is systematically linked with cannibalism, madness and (impending) (self-) destruction: "Devouring laughter shook the dwarf" (Canetti, Auto-da-fe 235).
Canetti, Auto-da-fe 306) The passage is a satirical realization of a figure of speech ("uberragen," i.
The idea seems to have been to create echoes to the mainstream operatic tradition (such as the act ending with the gallows scene conjuring the auto-da-fe in Verdi's Don Carlo).
A co-production with the budget-conscious Welsh National Opera, this turned out to be a visually stripped down Don Carlos, praiseworthy for championing the original five-act French version but antithetical in effect to the self-consciously grand manner Verdi cultivated for Paris, with the meanest looking auto-da-fe scene this side of a Salem witch burning (Johan Engels designed the sets, Carl Friedrich Oberle, the costumes).
During the auto-da-fe, the theatre became witness to the heretic persecution.