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‘Y el olor de la sangre manchaba el aire’: Tlatelolco 1521 and 1968 in José Emilio Pacheco’s ‘Lectura de los “Cantares Mexicanos”’When Octavio Paz compared the Tlatelolco 1968 massacre to the conquest of the Aztec empire he created a foundation (and indeed, at times, the inspiration) for the view of the massacre as a symbol of a long-lasting internal conflict. This paper explores how the Tlatelolco 1968 poetry reflects (or appropriates) the 1521 texts. Are these texts used as extra metaphors of what happened in La Plaza de las Tres Culturas on 2 October, as links to the square’s infamous past, or is there a more enduring reason for the retelling of the story of the fall of Tenochtitlán? To answer these questions, I will examine four versions of José Emilio Pacheco’s poem ‘Lectura de los “Cantares Mexicanos”: Manuscrito de Tlatelolco (octubre 1968)’. The reading will be informed by the theory of habit (Bourdieu) and collective remembering and forgetting (Halbwachs and Bartlett).