The Emperor of All Calamities
/ El emperador de todos los cataclismos

Stephen Houston, one of the most prominent Mayanists, dispels the pre-Hispanic predictions that allegedly refer to the end of the world–whose echo seems to resonate loudest within the epicenter of Hollywood–with a sarcastic yet eloquent analysis of the Mayan calendar. He evaluates why people have so easily adopted a declinistic view of the world. It is certainly true that the year 2012 will bring political, economic and social change, but not necessarily in a catastrophic way. Elections are approaching both in Mexico and the US, prompting Mark Lilla to examine a new player on the political scene that could affect electoral results: The Tea Party. Paul Krugman takes up the topic of the 2008 economic crisis, which seems to have revisited the world, changing our economic landscape. Likewise, individually speaking, we are guided through the Popol Vuh, the Mayan culture and their reverberation within the human psyche by one of the Jungian authorities of late: Paula Reeves. The feminine qualities of human behavior such as imagining and intuiting were elevated by Romanticism in order to save mankind from rabid rationalization, and they now present themselves as alternative routes for the transformation of the human being. The context of Latinos in 2012, editorial initiatives for the coming year and three figures in Latin American art who already form part of the artistic firmament–Pedro Meyer, Graciela Hasper, and Ana Serrano–are just some of the themes that Literal offers in this winter issue.