Posted on by Rick Wallach
I read sadly of the death of the great Mexican novelist Carlos Fuentes, 83 years old, in Mexico City today. He never quite achieved the enormous readership outside of his native Spanish that Gabriel Garcia Marquez did, but his Crystal Frontier was one of the most artful and moving indictments of the hypocrisy of US immigration policy ever penned – one wonders what he would have done with the figure of the repulsive Jan Brewer if she had been infecting the scene when he wrote the novel, comprised like Faulkner’s Go Down Moses of several interlinked short stories, in 1996. He was probably best known for Old Gringo, which was made into a so-so film starring Gregory Peck in 1989. For me, though, his finest work was Terra Nostra, a postmodernist farce/drama that ranks with Marquez’ One Hundred Years of Solitude and Cortazar’s Hopscotch in the triumverate of the great Latin American experimental narratives of the 20th Century.
Give ‘em hell, Carlos.
I knew very little about Fuentes until your post prompted me to read up on him. Now I want to remedy this by reading him – the fiction and non-fiction.
This obituary – http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/may/15/carlos-fuentes –
is especially interesting because it talks about some of Fuentes’ ideas on fiction – I especially liked his interpretation of ‘Agora’. I’m always interested in reading what writers have to say about writing – Hemingway, Roth, and Kundera are my particular favourites. Thinking about this made me wish that McCarthy would spend some time putting together a book of essays. I’d much rather that than screenplays for Ridley Scott.
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