In honor of Día de los Muertos celebrations in Mexico City, I reread Octavio Paz’s classic El laberinto de soledad. Below, I include excerpts from the chapter “Day of the Dead” in the English volume of the text. From Octavio Paz’s The Labyrinth of Solitude (1961), “Chapter Three: Day of the Dead”: On fiestas, more generally: “We are a ritual … More Día de los Muertos : Photos & Octavio Paz’s Insight
Ever since last summer and fall when the U.S. media heavily covered the massive waves of children trying to escape threatening conditions in Central America, I’ve been keeping my eye on the responses of politicians. Last week at the first Democratic Party presidential debate, candidates unanimously agreed that substantial immigration reform is necessary. The most popular candidates, … More Central Americans Are Still Fleeing & the U.S. is Pushing them Back at Two Borders: How Will Dem Presidential Hopefuls Respond?
Organized by el Museo de Arte Popular, this massive parade every October showcases over 200 monumental alebrijes, or massive, phantasmagorical sculptures in vibrant color palettes. The oversized alebrijes featured in the parade are composed of a variety of materials, but many pay homage to Mexican folk artisans by employing cartonería, a traditional handcraft technique similar to papier-mâché (smaller-scale, … More Noveno Desfile de Alebrijes Monumentales, October 17, 2015
One of the most visited museums in DF (and one outside of both the Bosque de Chapultepec and El Centro), friends visiting often ask me: Is the Casa Azul worth the hype? My answer: it depends what you are expecting. La Casa Azul is where Frida grew up and lived for many years with Diego … More El Museo Frida Kahlo / La Casa Azul
I first heard of Juan Rulfo when I was skimming Carlos Monsivais’s collection of essays, Mexican Postcard, and his presentation of Rulfo as a key innovator, working right before the Latin American Boom, compelled me to find a copy of Rulfo’s novel for myself. At used bookstores in North Carolina, copies of Pedro Páramo were in abundance, all of … More Pedro Páramo por Juan Rulfo
For those even slightly intrigued by the vibrant folk art and crafts of Mexico, prepare to be mesmerized. El Museo de Arte Popular is centrally located–one long block south of Parque Alameda–and boasts a terrific but not overwhelming permanent collection of various craft pieces, both old and new. MAP is designed to both visually enthrall visitors and … More El Museo de Arte Popular (MAP)
Feeling slightly more settled with my living situation and job, I am reflecting on some of the exciting things I’ve seen in the last week in DF. Linguistically, I’m gaining some confidence, but I’m still jealous of those fully bi- or multi-lingual (so many benefits to knowing multiple languages). Luckily for me, Mexicans tend to … More One Week In: Reinvigorated
Los Clásicos *Under the Volcano by Malcolm Lowry (1947). Written by an English author, this novel centers on the deterioration of a British consul during his service in a small town in Mexico. Much of the plot happens during Day of the Dead celebrations. El laberinto de soledad by Octavio Paz (1950). The collection of essays centers on … More Books about Mexico