Synopses & Reviews
The essayist and cultural commentator Ilan Stavans and the analytic philosopher Jorge J. E. Gracia share long-standing interests in the intersection of art and ideas. Here they take thirteen pieces of Latino art, each reproduced in color, as occasions for thematic discussions. Whether the work at the center of a particular conversation is a triptych created by the brothers Einar and Jamex de la Torre, Andres Serranoand#39;s controversial Piss Christ
, a mural by the graffiti artist BEAR_TCK, or Above All Things
, a photograph by Marandiacute;a Magdalena Campos-Pons, Stavans and Graciaand#39;s exchanges inevitably open out to literature, history, ethics, politics, religion, and visual culture more broadly. Autobiographical details pepper Stavans and Graciaand#39;s conversations, as one or the other tells what he finds meaningful in a given work. Sparkling with insight, their exchanges allow the reader to eavesdrop on two celebrated intellectualsandmdash;worldly, erudite, and unafraid to disagreeandmdash;as they reflect on the pleasures of seeing.
About the Author
Ilan Stavans is Lewis-Sebring Professor in Latin American and Latino Culture at Amherst College. He has written, edited, and translated many books, including Spanglish: The Making of a New American Language, The Poetry of Pablo Neruda, and The Norton Anthology of Latino Literature.
Jorge J. E. Gracia is Samuel P. Capen Chair and SUNY Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Literature at the State University of New York at Buffalo. His many books include Painting Borges: Philosophy Interpreting Art Interpreting Literature, Images of Thought: Philosophical Interpretations of Carlos Estandeacute;vezand#39;s Art, and Latinos in America: Philosophy and Social Identity.
Table of Contents
1. The Labyrinth of History: Einar and Jamex de la Torre, La reconquista 17
2. The Impostorand#39;s Mask: Marandiacute;a Brito, Conversation 35
3. On Desecration: Andres Serrano, Piss Christ 49
4. The Death Game: Francisco Oller, El velorio 61
5. A Girland#39;s Innocence: Marian Yampolsky, Elva 75
6. The Thereafter: Carmen Lomas Garza, Heaven and Hell 93
7. The Street as Art: BEAR_TCK, Chicano Graffiti 107
8. Desperate Escape: Josandeacute; Bedia, Siguiendo su instinto 123
9. The Horrors of War: Luis Cruz Azaceta, Slaughter 139
10. The Ambiguity of Madness: Martandiacute;n Ramandiacute;rez, No. 111, Untitled (Train and Tunnel) 153
11. I Laugh in Your Race! Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled (Skull)167
12. American America: Marandiacute;a Magdalena Campos-Pons, Above All Things181
13. Twisted Tongue: Adandaacute;l, La Spanglish Sandwich Bodega Bag195
Thirteen Plus One 209
The Artists 219