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The Labyrinth Of Solitude

Author : Octavio Paz
ISBN : 080215042X
Genre : History
File Size : 39.42 MB
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Examines Mexican character and culture, pre-Columbian societies, and relations between Mexico and the United States
Category: History

Cinema Of Solitude

Author : Charles Ramírez Berg
ISBN : 9780292791923
Genre : Performing Arts
File Size : 68.51 MB
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La crisis, a period of political and economic turmoil in Mexico that began in the late 1960s, spawned a new era in Mexican cinema. Known as el Nuevo Cine (the New Cinema), these films presented alienated characters caught in a painful transition period in which old family, gender, and social roles have ceased to function without being replaced by viable new ones. These are the films explored by Charles Ramírez Berg in Cinema of Solitude, the first book-length critical study of Mexican cinema in English. Berg discusses the major films and filmmakers of el Nuevo Cine in depth. He analyzes dozens of commercial movies, from popular comedies and adventures to award-winning films. Introductory chapters address the issue of mexicanidad (Mexican national identity) and outline Mexican history, the history of film as popular culture and as a leading national industry, and the ideological dynamics of Mexican cinema. In thematically arranged chapters, Berg investigates the images of women, men, and social structures portrayed in New Cinema films. He finds that women characters have begun to reject traditional stereotypes for more positive images, while male characters have grown ambiguous and undefined as machismo is abandoned. Other chapters trace the continuing marginalization of Indians in Mexican culture, the changes in male dominance within the family, and the disruptive social and economic effects caused by migration. For everyone interested in Mexican culture as reflected in its major cinematic productions, as well as students of film theory and national cinemas, this book will be important reading.
Category: Performing Arts

Artifacts Of Revolution

Author : Patrice Elizabeth Olsen
ISBN : 9780742557314
Genre : History
File Size : 34.11 MB
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This innovative history argues that we can understand important facets of the Mexican Revolution by analyzing the architecture designed and built in Mexico City during the formative years from 1920 to 1940. These artifacts allow us to trace and understand the path of the consolidation of the Mexican Revolution. Each individual building or development, by providing indelible evidence of the process by which the revolution evolved into a government, offers important insights into Mexican history. Seen in aggregate, they reveal an ongoing urban process at work; seen as a "composition," they reveal changes over time in societal values and aspirations and in the direction of the revolution. This book focuses on structure, change, and process for this remarkable city "in the true image of the gigantic heaven." The changes described in Fuentes' narrative are man-made, not wrought by impersonal or natural forces except on the rare occasions of earthquake and flood. Patrice Elizabeth Olsen views Mexico City as an artifact of those who created it—representing their ardor, humanity, and religion, as well as their politics. Individual chapters detail the expression of revolutionary values and aims in the physical form of Mexico City's built environment between 1920 and 1940, examining direction and meaning in terms of who is given license to design and build structures in the capital city, and equally important, who is excluded. Through the reshaping of the capital the revolution was extended and institutionalized; physical traces of the process of negotiation that enabled the revolution to be "fixed" in the Mexican polity appear in the city's skyline, parks, housing developments, and other new construction, as well as in modifications to existing colonial-era buildings. In this manner, the author argues, Mexico City's urban form crystallized as a product of the revolution as well as a part of the revolutionary process, as it has been of other conquests throughout its history.
Category: History

Mestizo Nations

Author : Juan E. De Castro
ISBN : 0816521921
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 89.38 MB
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Nationality in Latin America has long been entwined with questions of racial identity. Just as American-born colonial elites grounded their struggle for independence from Spain and Portugal in the history of Amerindian resistance, constructions of nationality were based on the notion of the fusion of populations heterogeneous in culture, race, and language. But this rhetorical celebration of difference was framed by a real-life pressure to assimilate into cultures always defined by Iberian American elites. In Mestizo Nations, Juan De Castro explores the construction of nationality in Latin American and Chicano literature and thought during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Focusing on the discourse of mestizajeÑwhich proposes the creation of a homogenous culture out of American Indian, black, and Iberian elementsÑhe examines a selection of texts that represent the entire history and regional landscape of Latin American culture in its Western, indigenous, and neo-African traditions from Independence to the present. Through them, he delineates some of the ambiguities and contradictions that have beset this discourse. Among texts considered are the Indianist novel Iracema by the nineteenth-century Brazilian author JosŽ de Alencar; the Tradiciones peruanas, Peruvian Ricardo Palma's fictionalizations of national difference; and historical and sociological essays by the Peruvian Marxist JosŽ Carlos Mari‡tegui and the Brazilian intellectual Gilberto Freyre. And because questions raised by this discourse are equally relevant to postmodern concerns with national and transnational heterogeneity, De Castro also analyzes such recent examples as the Cuban dance band Los Van Van's use of Afrocentric lyrics; Richard Rodriguez's interpretations of North American reality; and points of contact and divergence between JosŽ Mar’a Arguedas's novel The Fox from Up Above and the Fox from Down Below and writings of Gloria Anzaldœa and Julia Kristeva. By updating the concept of mestizaje as a critical tool for analyzing literary text and cultural trendsÑincorporating not only race, culture, and nationality but also gender, language, and politicsÑDe Castro shows the implications of this Latin American discursive tradition for current critical debates in cultural and area studies. Mestizo Nations contains important insights for all Latin Americanists as a tool for understanding racial relations and cultural hybridization, creating not only an important commentary on Latin America but also a critique of American life in the age of multiculturalism.
Category: Social Science

Legends Of The Plumed Serpent

Author : Neil Baldwin
ISBN : 9781610392693
Genre : History
File Size : 48.54 MB
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Meticulously pieced together from personal experiences that come with years of travel, an extensive knowledge of the historic and scholarly works, and a deep appreciation of Latin American art and culture—both ancient and modern—critically-acclaimed biographer Neil Baldwin has created a mosaic of words and images retelling the myth of the Plumed Serpent (or Quetzalcóatl) as it has evolved through the millennia. He has also created an essential guidebook for the armchair traveller and passionate tourist alike. Only a few hours by air from the United States are the mysteries and hauntingly beautiful ruins of Mexico. Among the vines intertwined in the frail latticework of crumbling palaces, spiraling geometric motifs covering vast walls that sink beneath the jungle, and nearly vertical temple steps leading hundreds of feet to a dizzying view of sky and earth, images of Quetzalcóatl abound. The fanged, bug-eyed feathered serpent thrusts his malevolent, sneering head from the pyramid at Teotihuacán; he swims in a river of rock around the temple at Xochicalco; and at Chichén Itzá, serpent and jaguar dance on a trail of stone, their embrace spawning a monstrous snake with clawed forefeet. Depicted as part man, snake, and bird, the Plumed Serpent is the earliest known creation myth from Mesoamerica, the region spanning Mexico and most of Central America. He embodies good and evil, sky and earth, feast and famine—the duality of life itself. Steep, massive temples were built in his honor at Teotihuacán, the vast city of ruins near today’s Mexico City, and at Chichén Itzá in northern Yucatán, the intricate complex that includes the famed ballcourt. Moctezuma, the ruler of the Aztecs, mistook Hernán Cortéz and the invasion of the Spanish in 1519 for the return of Quetzalcóatl. The Catholic Church with its army of Franciscan monks adapted his legend to introduce the indigenous people to Catholicism. The myth enhanced Emiliano Zapata’s stature as a latter-day Quetzalcóatl during the Mexican Revolution. Diego Rivera and the modern muralists invoked his image to include indigenous themes in their state-sponsored art. And Quetzalcóatl inspired English author D. H. Lawrence to write a new “American novel.” These and many other tales are recounted in the words and images of Neil Baldwin’s Legends of the Plumed Serpent. Whether sharing a moment of reflection among the breathtaking ruins, delving into the historic role of Quetzalcóatl during the Spanish Conquest, or tracing the themes of revolution and rebirth in the art of Rivera, Orozco, and Siqueiros, Neil Baldwin’s enlightening prose captures the imagination. Accompanied by numerous illustrations—many photographs taken by the author, and others painstakingly researched and gathered over the past decade—Legends of the Plumed Serpent is a true labor of love.
Category: History

Wonder And Exile In The New World

Author : Alex Nava
ISBN : 9780271063294
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 30.47 MB
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In Wonder and Exile in the New World, Alex Nava explores the border regions between wonder and exile, particularly in relation to the New World. It traces the preoccupation with the concept of wonder in the history of the Americas, beginning with the first European encounters, goes on to investigate later representations in the Baroque age, and ultimately enters the twentieth century with the emergence of so-called magical realism. In telling the story of wonder in the New World, Nava gives special attention to the part it played in the history of violence and exile, either as a force that supported and reinforced the Conquest or as a voice of resistance and decolonization. Focusing on the work of New World explorers, writers, and poets—and their literary descendants—Nava finds that wonder and exile have been two of the most significant metaphors within Latin American cultural, literary, and religious representations. Beginning with the period of the Conquest, especially with Cabeza de Vaca and Las Casas, continuing through the Baroque with Cervantes and Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, and moving into the twentieth century with Alejo Carpentier and Miguel Ángel Asturias, Nava produces a historical study of Latin American narrative in which religious and theological perspectives figure prominently.
Category: Literary Criticism

Contingency And Commitment

Author : Carlos Alberto Sánchez
ISBN : 9781438459479
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 30.50 MB
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Offers the first comprehensive survey of Mexican existentialism to appear in English. This book examines the emergence of existentialism in Mexico in the 1940s and the quest for a genuine Mexican philosophy that followed it. It focuses on the pivotal moments and key figures of the Hyperion group, including Emilio Uranga, Luis Villoro, Leopoldo Zea, and Jorge Portilla, who explored questions of interpretation, marginality, identity, and the role of philosophy. Carlos Alberto Sánchez was the first to introduce and emphasize the philosophical significance of the Hyperion group to readers of English in The Suspension of Seriousness, and in the present volume he examines its legacy and relevancy for the twenty-first century. Sánchez argues that there are lessons to be learned from Hyperion’s project not only for Latino/a life in the United States but also for the lives of those on the fringes of contemporary, postmodern or postcolonial, economic, political, and cultural power.
Category: Philosophy

Women Filmmakers In Mexico

Author : Elissa J. Rashkin
ISBN : 9780292774377
Genre : Performing Arts
File Size : 72.49 MB
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Women filmmakers in Mexico were rare until the 1980s and 1990s, when women began to direct feature films in unprecedented numbers. Their films have won acclaim at home and abroad, and the filmmakers have become key figures in contemporary Mexican cinema. In this book, Elissa Rashkin documents how and why women filmmakers have achieved these successes, as she explores how the women's movement, film studies programs, governmental film policy, and the transformation of the intellectual sector since the 1960s have all affected women's filmmaking in Mexico. After a historical overview of Mexican women's filmmaking from the 1930s onward, Rashkin focuses on the work of five contemporary directors—Marisa Sistach, Busi Cortés, Guita Schyfter, María Novaro, and Dana Rotberg. Portraying the filmmakers as intellectuals participating in the public life of the nation, Rashkin examines how these directors have addressed questions of national identity through their films, replacing the patriarchal images and stereotypes of the classic Mexican cinema with feminist visions of a democratic and tolerant society.
Category: Performing Arts