Survivors in Mexico

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  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 2004-09-10
  • Publisher: Yale University Press

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The publication of Rebecca West's Survivors in Mexico marks an important literary event: the rescue from oblivion of a daring and provocative work by a major twentieth-century writer. This book is West's exhilarating exploration of Mexican history, religion, and culture -- a work the author clearly conceived as a companion and sequel to her masterpiece about the Balkans, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon (1941). Although West never brought Survivors to completion, she left behind a series of extensive drafts and revisions that Bernard Schweizer has meticulously assembled and edited. The result is a welcome addition to the Rebecca West canon -- a compelling travel memoir/history comparable to her best work, and one certain to gain readers and critical acclaim. West's narrative takes on Mexican history -- the conquest by Spain, the Mexican Revolution, and the muralist movement -- and explores the inner lives of such figures as Cortes, Montezuma, the Reclus brothers, Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Dr. Atl, and Leon Trotsky. The author's concern is to distill meaning from the complex and often incoherent mass of data that characterizes the process of history. She draws fascinating connections between consciousness and material life, between subjective desire and social agency, and between art and politics. She sheds light on the revolutionary impulse and outlines a philosophy of history that acknowledges darkness yet documents the triumph of the human spirit over adversity. Book jacket.

Author Biography

Rebecca West (1892-1983) wrote prolifically through most of the twentieth century. She is best known for her travel memoir/historical meditation on Yugoslavia, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon. Bernard Schweizer is assistant professor of English at Long Island University (Brooklyn). He is the author of Rebecca West: Heroism, Rebellion and the Female Epic and Radicals on the Road: The Politics of English Travel Writing in the 1930s.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. xi
Mexico Cityp. 3
Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlop. 8
Leon Trotskyp. 20
Mexico City IIp. 40
Race Relations Ip. 43
Chapultepecp. 52
Anthropological Museump. 54
Aztec Societyp. 58
Anthropological Museum IIp. 75
Chapultepec IIp. 78
Juan de Zummaragap. 85
Isabella and Ferdinand of Spainp. 92
Minerals and Minesp. 99
Hernan Cortesp. 112
Dona Marinap. 116
Religion and Sorceryp. 129
Quetzalcoatlp. 142
Montezumap. 146
Tenochtitlanp. 154
Race Relations IIp. 166
Cuauhtemocp. 169
Dr. Atl Ip. 172
Elie and Elisee Reclusp. 175
Dr. Atl IIp. 185
Revolutionp. 194
Dr. Atl IIIp. 199
Benito Mussolinip. 203
Dr. Atl IVp. 207
Three Book Reviewsp. 209
Notesp. 219
Indexp. 255
Table of Contents provided by Rittenhouse. All Rights Reserved.

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