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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



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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6) I have chosen to analyze Dzul Ek's play about the 1562 auto-da-fe from among his other works and those of other Yucatec Maya playwrights because it best demonstrates how Dzul Ek and other indigenous authors use literature as a means of consciousness raising through the production of autohistory.
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.
In the novel, laughter is systematically linked with cannibalism, madness and (impending) (self-) destruction: "Devouring laughter shook the dwarf" (Canetti, Auto-da-fe 235).
However it would be deplorable if anyone else were to be subjected to an auto-da-fe like mine in the future.
Yet Auto-da-Fe remains embalmed in our very admiration.
He chose an Olympic festival for his well-advertised auto-da-fe, and it is clear even from Lucian's astringent account that he attracted a large, devoted following.
A planned eight-novel saga of the madness he saw around him was reduced to Die Blendung (1935; Auto-da-Fe or The Tower of Babel).
Ivan Denisovich lives in the gulag, Camus's plague is in northern Africa, Goytisolo's modern John awaits his auto-da-fe in the nearby soccer stadium.
But there are Jack and Jackie Kennedy, so this must be the '60s, though by the auto-da-fe scene we are embroiled in early-'50s McCarthyism, and the Atlantic is crossed on the Titanic (eh?
Stone's refusal to pander to White's accusers, even in his defense, has added piquancy now that Stone himself has become the subject of a post-mortem auto-da-fe.
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).
Add to that the devilish but brilliant exploitation of the issue by Republicans in order to take over Congress and what we're working on here is a national auto-da-fe.