"Chicano writers from El Paso are the most progressive, open-minded, far-reaching, and inclusive writers of them all."

Octavio Romano

Sunday, August 06, 2006

More on Mexican Authors and Floods

Texas Flood

Please see these links:

Dirt and mud buries Socorro neighborhood

Neighborhood in Upper Valley marooned by street flooding

Pets taken to El Paso shelters

Residents near Lincoln Park try to clean up

South Side residents go back home

Clint neighborhood fights rising waters

Chickens succumb in Montana Vista

Canutillo inhabitants struggle to regain lives

Saturday is stormy, but allows cleanup

Las Cruces: No relief for residents as storms thrash area

Destruido el drenaje

A few more on Mexican Writers

Sombra en plata / Shadow in Silver: A Bilingual Edition was recently published on Swan Isle Press (ISBN 0974888117) by Mexicana poet Olivia Maciel and translated by Kelly Austin. In her fourth book of poems, Mexican-born Olivia Maciel lyrically evokes another America. She writes with the critical and contemplative eye of a poet, revealing mystery and beauty in places dark and light, near and far. The richly allusive language of Sombra en plata / Shadow in Silver is a terrain at times steep, fevered, and sensual: a harmony of words scented of earth and sky. Her poems are catalysts for transformation, challenging the reader with a vision of a world where myth and the quotidian are intimately intertwined. Exploring complex and unpredictable landscapes, Maciel is both a guide and fellow traveler on a fascinating journey through memories and emotions. Maciel eloquently draws from both collective and personal histories. This new bilingual compilation will be a pleasure to turn to again and again.

Laura Esuvel, author of Como agua para chocolate, released Malinche: A Novel on Atria Press in May (ISBN 074329033X). When Malinalli, a member of the tribe conquered by the Aztec warriors, first meets Cortés, she — like many — believes that he is the reincarnated forefather god of her tribe. Naturally, she assumes that her task is to help Cortés destroy the Aztec empire and free her people. The two fall passionately in love, but Malinalli gradually comes to realize that Cortés's thirst for conquest is all too human. He is willing to destroy anyone, even his own men, even their own love. Throughout Mexican history, Malinalli has been reviled for her betrayal of the Indian people. However, recent historical research has shown that her role was much more complex; she was the mediator between two cultures, Hispanic and Native American, and two languages, Spanish and Náhuatl.

Luis Arturo Ramos has put out several books in the last year or two. Violeta – Perú (Difusión Cultural UNAM y Ediciones Eón ISBN 9685353212,): “La actualidad temática y la propia escritura de la primera novela de este destacado autor, ameritan una nueva edición. El tópico tradicional del viaje, en esta ocasión, el realizado en autobús por el protagonista a través de la Ciudad de México, sustenta un relato intenso y de trágico final.” Another book by Ramos is Los argentinos no existen (Ediciones Eón ISBN 9685353468): “Las acciones se desarrollan a mitad de los años 40 en el Centro Histórico de la ciudad de México y agolpan hacia un final impredecible pero rigurosamente construido, Los argentinos no existen es una sólida novela corta inscrita dentro de los cánones del género negro que, sin embargo, parodia con mordacidad la simpleza argumental que ha alcanzado la novela policiaca en México.” Cuentos (casi) completes by Ramos is a collection consisting of four books of tales; Rainbows at Seven Eleven, a novela; Violeta-Perú, a novel in its third printing; and Los argentinos no existen, a short crime novel. Luis Arturo Ramos is one of Mexico’s gems. He is a writer that every americano writer should read.”

One recent award winner of the 2005 Winner of the Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz Prize is The Wake (Paperback) on Curbstone Press published last fall (ISBN 1931896232). It is written by Margo Glantz and translated by Andrew Hurley: “What do I feel?" asks the narrator, Nora Garcia, as she goes back to a Mexican village she has not visited in years to attend the funeral of her ex-husband, a famous pianist who has died of a massive heart attack. This deeply moving novel is the unspoken answer to Nora's self-questioning. "The heart has reasons that reason knows nothing of," Pascal said, and this aphorism of knowing and not knowing is at the core of the novel. Employing motifs of "the heart," modes of music from the tango to Bach, and allusions to poetry, the text is a rich amalgam that reveals a life lived deep within the culture of the late twentieth century. Like her ex-husband, Nora is a musician, a cellist, and so it is fitting that her novel takes the form of a canon and fugue: phrases circle and repeat, variations are introduced, motifs come and go and intermingle, reflecting a paralysis of the grieving. The novel moves inexorably toward the burial and the revelation of Nora's complex, emotional reaction to Juan's death.

Words of The True Peoples/Palabras De Los Seres Verdaderos: Anthology Of Contemporary Mexican Indigenous-Language Writers: Volume Two/Tomo Dos: Poetry/Poesia was recently published by the University of Texas Press (2005) in their Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Series in Latin American and Latino Art and Culture (ISBN 0292706766). It is edited by Carlos Montemayor and Donald Frischmann. This is the second book in a major three-volume trilingual anthology of Mexican indigenous writing. As part of the larger, ongoing movement throughout Latin America to reclaim non-Hispanic cultural heritages and identities, indigenous writers in Mexico are reappropriating the written word in their ancestral tongues and in Spanish. As a result, the long-marginalized, innermost feelings, needs, and worldviews of Mexico's ten to 20 million indigenous peoples are now being widely revealed to the Western societies with which these peoples coexist. To contribute to this process and serve as a bridge of intercultural communication and understanding, this groundbreaking anthology — to be published in three volumes — gathers works by the leading generation of writers in 13 Mexican indigenous languages: Nahuatl, Maya, Tzotzil, Tzeltal, Tojolabal, Tabasco Chontal, Purepecha, Sierra Zapoteco, Isthmus Zapoteco, Mazateco, Ñahñu, Totonaco, and Huichol.

The University of Texas Press has also put out a book focusing on post-Revoluionary writers. Writing Pancho Villa's Revolution: Rebels in the Literary Imagination of Mexico (2006 ISBN 0-292-70697-9) by Max Parra: “The 1910 Mexican Revolution saw Francisco "Pancho" Villa grow from social bandit to famed revolutionary leader. Although his rise to national prominence was short-lived, he and his followers (the Villistas) inspired deep feelings of pride and power amongst the rural poor. After the Revolution (and Villa's ultimate defeat and death), the new ruling elite, resentful of his enormous popularity, marginalized and discounted him and his followers as uncivilized savages. Hence, it was in the realm of culture rather than politics that his true legacy would be debated and shaped. Mexican literature following the Revolution created an enduring image of Villa and his followers. This book focuses on the novels, chronicles, and testimonials written from 1925 to 1940 that narrated Villa's grassroots insurgency and celebrated — or condemned — his charismatic leadership. By focusing on works by urban writers Mariano Azuela (Los de abajo) and Martín Luis Guzmán (El águila y la serpiente), as well as works closer to the violent tradition of northern Mexican frontier life by Nellie Campobello (Cartucho), Celia Herrera (Villa ante la historia), and Rafael F. Muñoz (¡Vámonos con Pancho Villa!), this book examines the alternative views of the revolution and of the Villistas.”




During our passionate love making

when you caressed and kissed me

were you trying to draw the words

of a poem from my mouth?

Was your tongue searching

for flavors of rhyme on my palate?

Did you think that in the heat

of the moment one of my best lines

or one of my favorite metaphors

would melt into your kisses?

Must I remind you about

the meaning of copyright!

By Trinidad Sancehz, Jr.

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