Tauromachia as Counter-Sacrificial Ritual: Insights from Mimetic Theory

Contagion: Journal of Violence, Mimesis, and Culture 25 (1):243-263 (2018)
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Abstract

Many proponents and opponents of the Corrida de Toros agree in describing the practice as a sacrifice. This surprising agreement is compounded by a further agreement that the sacrificial victim is the bull. In what follows, I contest both points. Beginning with the later, I argue that the victim is not the bull but the torero, especially the matador. Rather than seeing the corrida as the sacrifice of the bull, it is the deferred sacrifice of the torero, and the crowd is on the side of the victim. Moreover, I argue that once the victim status of the matador has been appreciated, it can serve as the foundation for a new interpretation of...

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Brian Harding
Texas Woman's University

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