The Crystal Frontier by Carlos FuentesIt was the late dictator Porfirio Diaz who once enunciated the great theme of 20th Century Mexican literature: Poor Mexico, so far from God and so close to the United States! To an extent That few Norteamericanos realize, the interpenetration of Mexico and the United States in a strange kind of yin-yang embrace is also becoming a major fact of life on both sides of the border. Living as I do in Los Angeles, a city that is soon to become one of the major Hispanic cities of the world, I see it happen on a daily basis.
The late Carlos Fuentes wrote The Crystal Frontier: A Novel in Nine Stories in 1995, but it is still remarkably current -- except for the prevalence narcotraficantes along the border today. In each of the nine stories, there is a pendulum swinging between the north and the south, with some characters going back and forth across the border.
My favorite of the stories, Spoils, is seen from the point of view of Dionisio Baco Rangel, a Mexican epicure who savagely attacks gringo food and, most especially, the women:
Forty million persons in the United States were obese, more than in any other country in gthe world. Fat -- seriously fat -- people: pink masses, souls lost under rolls and rolls of flesh, to the point of rendering characteristics like eys, noses, mouths, even their sexes ephemeral. Dionisio watched a 350-pound woman pass by and wondered where her vein of pleasure might be. How, among the multiple slabs along her thighs and buttocks, would you get to the sanctum sanctorum of her libido? Would her male counterpart dare ask, Honey, could you just fart so I can get my bearings here?And then the food:
In each potbelly that went by Dionisio suspected the presence of millions of paper and cellophane bags zealously safeguarding, in the void the precedes the flood, hundreds of millions of french fries, tons of popcorn, sugar cakes frosted with nuts and chocolate, audible cereals, mountains of tricolored ice cream crowned with peanuts and hot caramel sauce, hamburgers of toughened dog meat, thin as shoe soles, served between tombstones of greasy, insipid, inflated bread, the national American host, smeared with ketchup (This is my blood) and loaded with calories (This is my body).Some of the stories are better than others. Perhaps he is least successful with his occasional poetic monologues, but even these have some interest. There are a few characters that appear in multiple stories, especially the rich cabrón Don Leonardo Barroso and his much younger daughter-in-law (and mistress) Michelina Laborde. In these stories, he runs the gamut from captains of industry like Barroso to single mothers who work for the maquiladores along the border to racist U.S. Border Patrol officers. At his best, as in Spoils or Les Amigas, he is very good indeed.
It is always enlightening, however, to read a book that shows what other people think of us, especially when they are as articulate as Carlos Fuentes was. I shall miss him.
Carlos Fuentes - La Frontera de Cristal
La Frontera De Cristal: En Vintage Edition : UNA Novela En Nueve Cuentos
In La frontera de cristal Carlos Fuentes is at his best: aggressive, sharp, powerful. With penetrating humor and frank narrative, the nine stories in this novel depict the rift that has occurred between the U. But Fuentes also gives us an insight into the force of Mexican life and culture, and how it has been able to survive in spite of the injustice and corruption in Mexico that have caused so many to seek to immigrate. Carlos Fuentes Mexico, is considered to be the father of modern Latin American literature. Besides writing, he has held a number of diplomatic positions in the United States, Argentina and Chile. Convert currency. Add to Basket.
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Just for starters, imagine a man who conjures a different woman to devour for each course of his meal, a racist border patrol officer, a man whose lover is his daughter-in-law, and a woman thwarted in her determination to prove her theory that Mexicans are lazy. Now, add vivid and compelling prose. Now add the discomfort of absorbing a lambasting of the ethics, hypocrisy, power, and destructiveness of your home nation. This is a must read novel, published in and very relevant today. Guaranteed to make you squirm, to make you think, and to make you feel.
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Fuentes, Carlos ISBN: The author of more than a dozen novels and story collections, Carlos Fuentes was Mexico's most celebrated novelist and critic.
The title can also be translated as "The glass border". An English translation was published in A series of short stories which explores relationships between people of Mexico and the United States. A major, recurring theme in the text is that large parts of the USA were once part of Mexico, all the way from California to Texas, and so the Mexican people feel a special connection with that area. Another important idea is that both countries depend on each other for trade and culture, and many people divide their time and their lives between both sides of the border.
Simply link your Qantas Frequent Flyer membership number to your Booktopia account and earn points on eligible orders. Either by signing into your account or linking your membership details before your order is placed. Your points will be added to your account once your order is shipped. Click on the cover image above to read some pages of this book! En La frontera de cristal , Carlos Fuentes es el mismo narrador de sus mejores libros: agresivo, vital, poderoso. With penetrating humor and frank narrative, the nine stories in this novel depict the rift that has occurred between the U. But Fuentes also gives us an insight into the force of Mexican life and culture, and how it has been able to survive in spite of the injustice and corruption in Mexico that have caused so many to seek to immigrate.