For many, the “boom generation” of Latin American writing (1960s and 1970s) which ushered in huge international recognition of Latin America serves as a mixed blessing because, on the one hand it produced writers like as Alejo Carpentier, Julio Cortázar, Carlos Fuentes, Mario Vargas Llosa, and Isabel Allende, and on the other, it created a kind of archetypal stereotype of what Latin American writing should look like— the proverbial story of two Latin American writers whose works were turned downby an anthology of writers from that region because their works were not inherently magical realist, substantiates this claim.
Mexico occupies a unique place in Latin American writing; writers such as D.H. Lawrence, Roberto Bolaño, Gabriel García Márquez, Graham Greene, John Steinbeck, and William S. Burroughs lived in and were influenced by Mexico in abundant ways; it is the birthplace of real (and imaginary literary movements) such as los Crack or the Crack Movement (that includes Segio Pitol and Jorge Volpi) and Visceral realism.
In a write-up for the San Francisco Chronicle, Monica Campbell opines that “new fiction writers readily salute the powerful influence of El Boom, but are weary of a literary style that has long typecast Latin American literature.”
This issue in no way attempts to be representative of Mexican writing, but rather to introduce a sample of Mexican writing to a new audience, which is the goal of our partnership with the Ofi Press Magazine (Mexico) edited by Jack Little— which will showcase West African writing to a new audience as well— a partnership which seeks to encourage cross cultural discourse.
Raúl Bravo Adunaexplores what Mexican literature is, and reiterates the dangers of systematizing or categorizing writing when he quotes Jorge Cuesta by saying “notions of trying to systematize literature according to geographical standards backfire their own purpose, since they help to impoverish the very nation they’re trying to praise, glory or distinguish—by isolating it from a bigger, more holistic comprehension of Literature, of Life itself.” And Jesse Tangen-Mills explores internet, boundaries and memories in an intricate way while an interview with Jack Little touches on his work and influences.
Eleanor L. Bennet offers wonderful photography, and there is art by Maria Teresa Palacios and Monserrat Vazquez del Mercado.
The poems herein highlight multiplicity and support the fact that the individual and the society are at the heart of poetry, as is human interaction. In Margarita Ríos-Farjat’s poems we see lyricism and she attests a sense of belonging, history and identity, as well as a celebration of the mystery of life, while in Fer de la Cruz, we see a satirical and humorous take on life. Fernando Bonilla’s poetry descends from a long line of protest poetry which is steeped in the consciousness of the masses and Ingrid Valencia’s poems are lyrical and enigmatic, and slightly reminiscent of Emily Dickinson. In Camila de la Parra, we discover a gift for metaphors as the poet explores bourgeoisie stereotypes and hardships.
Special thanks to Fer de la Cruz for the Spanish translation of the editorial and to Monserrat Vazquez del Mercado for the cover art.