Monday, July 23, 2007

Mexican Writers on Writing edited by Margaret Sayers Peden

Edward Hirsch reviews a new collection of Mexican texts, Mexican Writers on Writing edited by Margaret Sayers Peden
The history of Mexican literature, at least of that written in the Spanish language, begins during the Conquest with "chronicles and letters," explains Margaret Sayers Peden, "a fascinating body of materials in which their authors report, not infrequently with exaggeration, their own feats, along with the wondrous landscapes and cities and peoples they encounter." Novels and plays and poems came much later, once Spanish dominance was established. But "it seems inevitable," Peden writes, "that future scholars and historians will define the twentieth century as Mexico's Golden Age." Three giants -- Octavio Paz, Carlos Fuentes and Juan Rulfo (all of whom are included in this collection) -- ruled the field, but many other writers (and a nascent publishing industry) contributed to the cultural richness, which has only in recent decades been translated into English.
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