Imaginary Linesby Linton Robinson
A rare collaboration
Tales, interviews, and culture/culinary essays that drew fans in border region papers and Harpers magazine, IMAGINARY LINES gives a warm, humorous, sometimes dark portrait of frontiers not just of the Mexico/California border, but of many invisible fault lines in the human condition: rich/poor, third/first world, home/foreign, male/female.
A rare collaboration between two writers across some of the more obvious lines - Catholic Mexican mother Ana Maria Corona and jaded American muckraker Linton Robinson - IMAGINARY LINES transforms the life stories of maids, matadors, gigolos, cooks, gamblers, and con men into metaphors for the vague but palpable fault lines that separate us, yet bind us together.
IMAGINARY LINES is a book celebrated by cover artist Victor Cauduro, one of Mexico's finest and most celebrated painters, and by Pulitzer nominee Luis Urrea, who considers it a "well guided tour" to the labyrinths of intercultural interface.
- Bauu Institute
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.39(d)
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Reading "gringo lit" about Mexico and Mexican's writing about "El Norte" is my main passion and IMAGINARY LINES is both of those...and much more.
It's a remarkable coming together of cultural viewpoints from opposite sites of the border, one of the lines of the mind it so aptly sketches. I read some of the articles in San Diego when they first appeared, and was a fan of Sra. Corona's "Espejos y Espejismos" column in Tijuana back in that day. This collection brings that whole concept of "Mirrors and Mirages" into fresh focus.
It's interesting seeing the alternation between the longer pieces--mostly first person interveiws with people straddling some line or the other--and the shorter pieces which tend to stem from Sra. Corona's childhood and her concerns of raising a family at the leading edge of Mexico meeting the United States and revolving around metphors of food and medicine.
So many of the insights here stem from things which people don't normally notice, but are obvious once mentioned and branch into philosophical viewpoints.
--Mexico has goats everywhere, including menus: in the Norte there are none to be seen or eaten. The way Robinson and Corona dissect the sheep from the goats is charming and the sidelights to her little sister's satanic encounter is hilarious.
--For Catholics, Mexicans are very invested in magical miracle cures: the way this normal factor of Mexican life gets twisted out into an oddity, then brought home to views on everything from sexuality to religion is startling.
--Sra. Corona has not had an easy time with men, but her comments on the Mexican tradition of all-male cantinas is remarkable in it's understanding.
The history according to chile peppers, the aging gigolo's reminiscences, the testimony of three very different maids who work in gringo homes illegally, the many different kinds of gamblers, the spirtual intervention in the creation of mole...it's a whirlwind tour of psychosocial and culture-clash landscapes that leaves the reader wiser as well as entertained.