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The Mexico City Reader (Americas)by Ruben Gallo
Synopses & Reviews
Mexico City is one of Latin America’s cultural capitals, and one of the most vibrant urban spaces in the world. The Mexico City Reader is an anthology of "Cronicas"—short, hybrid texts that are part literary essay, part urban reportage—about life in the capital. This is not the "City of Palaces" of yesteryear, but the vibrant, chaotic, anarchic urban space of the1980s and 1990s—the city of garbage mafias, necrophiliac artists, and kitschy millionaires.
Like the visitor wandering through the city streets, the reader will be constantly surprised by the visions encountered in this mosaic of writings—a textual space brimming with life and crowded with flâneurs, flirtatious students, Indian dancers,
food vendors, fortune tellers, political activists, and peasant protesters.
The essays included in this anthology were written by a panoply of writers, from well-known authors like Carlos Monsiváis and Jorge Ibagüengoitia to younger figures like Fabrizio Mejía Madrid and Juieta García González, all of whom are experienced practitioners of the city. The texts collected in this anthology are among the most striking examples of this concomitant "theory and practice" of Mexico City, that most delirious of megalopolises.
Book News Annotation:
Gallo (Latin American literature, Princeton U.) and contributors "theorizes" this five- century-old city in the process of modernization, describing places and elements old and new, the Metro, monuments, eating and drinking, urban renewal and its disasters, the earthquake, maids, corruption and bureaucracy, and the city at its margins--namely its garbage dumps and its morgue. In their street talk, street style, and street wisdom, it appears the people of Mexico City are getting by with the help of several million friends and strangers, making at least some of the contributors aware of their distance as observers; others dive in, affirming their roles as artists and participants first, then as theorists about a city that by its very nature may remain perpetually in transition.
Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
"cronicas"--short texts that are a cross between literary essay and urban reportage--that provide the reader with a vivid and panoramic view of Mexico City and its cultural life. Includes photographs.
About the Author
Rubén Gallo is Assistant Professor of Latin American Literature in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Cultures at Princeton University.
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Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » Essays