The Buried Mirror: Reflections on Spain and the New World

The Buried Mirror: Reflections on Spain and the New World

by Carlos Fuentes
     
 

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As the Los Angeles Times said: "Drawing expertly on five centuries of the cultural history of Europe and the Americas, Fuentes seeks to capture the spirit of the new, vibrant, and enduring civilization [in the New World] that began in Spain." Fuentes's singular success in this remarkable endeavor has made the book a classic in its field. (A Mariner Reissue).See more details below

Overview

As the Los Angeles Times said: "Drawing expertly on five centuries of the cultural history of Europe and the Americas, Fuentes seeks to capture the spirit of the new, vibrant, and enduring civilization [in the New World] that began in Spain." Fuentes's singular success in this remarkable endeavor has made the book a classic in its field. (A Mariner Reissue).

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Drawing expertly on five centuries of the cultural history of Europe and the Americas, Fuentes seeks to capture the spirit of the new, vibrant, and enduring civilization [in the New World] that began in Spain." The Los Angeles Times

"With his considerable gifts as a narrator, Fuentes captures the sweep and drama of hispanic history . . . forceful and beautifully written." The New York Times

"His style is clear, intellectually charged, and powerfully argued, invigorated by the novelist's sense of irony, paradox, and sensuality." The Washington Post

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Mexican novelist and statesman Fuentes believes that a common cultural heritage can help the countries of Latin America transcend disunity and fragmentation. In a splendidly illustrated survey, companion to a TV series, he perceptively explores Spanish America's love-hate relationship with Spain and its search for an identity in its multicultural roots. His guiding metaphor is the mirror--whether the glass found in Olmec tombs that guided the dead through the underworld, or Cervantes's Knight of the Mirror, who attempted to cure Don Quixote of madness. In the popular assemblies of medieval Spain's townships, Fuentes finds a model for democratic change in Latin American nations warped by oligarchy and U.S. imperialism. He paints a composite portrait of a dynamic culture through sophisticated meditations on Hernand Cortes's Machiavellian character, Spain's self-mutilating expulsion of its Jews, the pillage of Indian society, Goya and the Enlightenment, Bolivar's quest for self-rule, modern painting, and the Hispanic community in the U.S. 50,000 first printing; author tour. (Apr.)
Library Journal
Fuentes has used the occasion of the quincentennial of Columbus's voyage to the New World to reflect on the Latin American experience in this tie-in to the BBC series of the same name to be aired on the Discovery Channel on April 19-23, 1992. The theme of his thoughtful essay is the accommodation of cultures--Spain unique in the Old World in bringing together Christians, Moors, and Jews and the New World intermingling the blood and cultures of Spaniards, Indians, and blacks. It is the unavoidable encounter with the Other that has shaped the New World experience: ``When we exclude, we betray ourselves,'' counsels Fuentes. ``When we include, we find ourselves.'' Spanish America's predicament is that it inherited from Spain neither institutions nor attitudes necessary for full partnership in the modern capitalist world. Latin America remains derivative in culture and economy. Every page in this lapidary essay offers profound insight into the Spanish American psyche. Fuentes concludes, ``We have the right . . . to celebrate the great wealth, variety, and continuity of our culture. Indeed, as the quincentennial comes and goes, many throughout Latin America will ask themselves, `Why have our artists and writers been so imaginative and our politicians so unimaginative?' '' Highly recommended for a wide range of readers. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 12/91.-- David Keymer, SUNY Inst. of Technology, Utica

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780395924990
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
01/28/1999
Edition description:
None
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
737,615
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.86(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Drawing expertly on five centuries of the cultural history of Europe and the Americas, Fuentes seeks to capture the spirit of the new, vibrant, and enduring civilization [in the New World] that began in Spain." The Los Angeles Times

"With his considerable gifts as a narrator, Fuentes captures the sweep and drama of hispanic history . . . forceful and beautifully written." The New York Times

"His style is clear, intellectually charged, and powerfully argued, invigorated by the novelist's sense of irony, paradox, and sensuality." The Washington Post

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