The Buried Mirror: Reflections on Spain and the New World

Front Cover
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1999 - History - 399 pages
In his introduction to this passionate history of Spain and the Spanish-speaking peoples of the Americas, Carlos Fuentes asks the necessary question: What do we really have to celebrate on the five hundredth anniversary of Columbus's historic voyage to the New World? After all, the quincentennial of the "discovery of America" finds the Latin American republics in a state of deep crisis, with inflation, unemployment, and excessive foreign debt threatening their still precarious economic and political institutions. But Fuentes finds much consolation in an amazingly rich cultural heritage, one that has been created with "the greatest joy, the greatest gravity, and the greatest risk" and that lives in art, in literature, and above all in the vital societies of Central and South America. From the mysterious cave drawings at Altamira to the explosive graffiti on the walls of East Los Angeles, images of Spain and the Americas speak to us of the great variety of Spanish culture. Carlos Fuentes knows this culture intimately. Combining a sophisticated perspective on world events and a novelist's eye for irony and metaphor, he weaves a historical narrative of dazzling color and vibrancy. Sweeping across centuries of tumultuous history, Fuentes gives new life to monarchs and conquistadors, to Indian cultures and revolutions, and finally to modern-day Spain, Latin America, and the Hispanic United States. History and its players come alive on every page, in the stories of the famous and the little-known, the heroes and tyrants, martyrs and saints, virgins and kings. Using the illuminating metaphor of mirrors, inspired by mirrors found in ancient burial caches in the Americas, Fuentes challenges us tothink in new ways about how a national character is formed, how a stereotype evolves, and what continuities are discovered when a human community truly understands its roots. Illustrated with more than 160 stunning drawings, paintings, and photographs, The Buried Mirror celebrat
 

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THE BURIED MIRROR: Reflections on Spain and the New World

User Review  - Kirkus

A companion volume to an upcoming Discovery/BBC TV series, this passionate meditation on Hispanic cultural identity from Fuentes (Constancia, 1990, etc.) unfolds with all the color, urgency, and ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - juglicerr - LibraryThing

This is a wonderful, lavishly illustrated, look at the relationships, historical, cultural, artistic, etc, between Spain and Latin America; other influences are not forgotten, but are secondary. It ... Read full review

Contents

I
8
II
13
III
15
IV
33
V
51
VI
79
VII
90
VIII
93
XIV
233
XV
249
XVI
261
XVII
277
XVIII
299
XIX
13
XX
31
XXI
41

IX
119
X
151
XI
171
XII
195
XIII
215
XXIII
66
XXIV
85
XXV
88
XXVI
89
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About the author (1999)

Carlos Fuentes is the author of more than a dozen novels, including Terra Nostra, The Old Gringo, The Crystal Frontier, and The Years with Laura Diaz, as well as numerous literary and political essays. He divides his time between Mexico City and London.

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