Nov 24, 2009, 7:02 AM
Post #41 of 61
I'd mention my own (which sells quite nicely this time of year, as students are writing term papers in Latin American studies classes) if that wasn't tacky, but two of the foreign fiction writers who knew Mexico and wrote better on it than anyone were the U.S. writer Katherine Ann Porter and the U.S. born German (and naturalized Mexican) who used the pseudonym "B. Traven".
One oddball book I've enjoyed lately was Carl Lumholtz, "Unknown Mexico: A Record of Five Years Exploration Among the Tribes of Western Sierra Madre; In the Tierra Caliente of Tepic and Jalisco; and Among the Tarascos of Michoacan". Lumholz was a Norwegian explorer and pioneering anthropologist, back in the day when traveling around Mexico included putting up with things like burros exploding along the Espino del Diablo (where most of us just complain about the slow traffic today). Lumholtz' idea of collecting souvenirs including blowing up burial mounds... and digging up skeletons... ergo, the dynamite laden burros.
Not everyone's taste, but fascinating if you're a Mexico City denizen, if Luis Zapata's "Adonis García: Vampire of Colonia Roma". NO, it is not "Twilight a la Mexicana". Adonis haunts Roma by night, but then again, as he says, "es mi onda" ... he's a street hustler and small time drug dealer, and those are his normal working hours. Mexico City -- and Mexico -- have changed dramatically since the late 1970s of the Adonis García, but youthful alienation, urban survival and Mexican black humor are eternal. As are the denizens at least one all-night diner (not in the guidebooks) mentioned in the novel.
I don't think it's so much a "gay novel" (there's no sex scenes) as a classic picaresque (the comic adventures of a scoundrel have a long tradition in Hispanic letters), but the only English-language translation I've found was by a Canadian academic, E.A. Lacey (who died several years ago), and published by the now-defunct Gay Sunshine Press in 1981. At one time I thought of making it available as an e-book, and tried for a time to track down the heirs to Lacey's literary estate, and Luis Zapata, but other things came up.
(This post was edited by richmx2 on Nov 24, 2009, 7:07 AM)