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Ghosts of the Revolution in Mexican Literature and Visual Culture

Revisitations in Modern and Contemporary Creative Media


Edited By Erica Segre

The official centenary commemorating the Mexican Revolution of 1910 provided scholars with an opportunity to consider memorialization and its legacies and ‘afterimages’ in the twentieth century through to the present time. This collection of new essays, commissioned from experts based in Mexico, Europe and the United States, plays on the interrelated notions of ‘revisitation’, haunting, residual traces and valediction to interrogate the Revolution’s multiple appearances, reckonings and reconfigurations in art, photography, film, narrative fiction, periodicals, travel-testimonies and poetry, examining key constituencies of creative media in Mexico that have been involved in historicizing, contesting or evading the mixed legacies of the Revolution. The interplay of themes, practices and contexts across the chapters (ranging from the 1920s through to the present day) draws on interdisciplinary thinking as well as new findings, framing the volume’s discourse with a deliberately multi-dimensional approach to an often homogenized topic. The contributors’ scholarly referencing of artists, novelists, poets, photographers, foreign correspondents, critics, filmmakers and curators is detailed and wide-ranging, creating new juxtapositions that include some rarely studied material.


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Iván Pérez Daniel Mirages of a Second Revolution


Iván Pérez Daniel (translated by Debra Nagao) Mirages of a Second Revolution: Mexican Writers and Socialist Realism (The Case of the Magazine Ruta, 1933–1935) There seems to be a fairly widespread consensus among historians of Mexican art and literature that nationalism served as the ideological power base of the factions that were victorious in the armed revolutionary strug- gle. The new state that emerged as the product of the Mexican Revolution promptly took charge of equipping itself with an artistic and cultural dis- course that would symbolically support changes undertaken on political and social levels. Therefore, as numerous scholars have already demonstrated, a close relationship was very soon established between the political sphere and artistic production.1 Stemming from the impetus the state gave to cul- ture, two consequences arose that marked the production and reception of works of art (including literature) in the following decades. First, from the outset the Revolution was conceived and presented as the culmina- tion of a historical narrative in which Mexico’s national essence became fully realized. From the first years of the 1920s, the Revolution served on an ideological level as the reference point from which to define Mexican nationality. Decades later and even today the Revolution is regarded as the event that marked Mexico’s entrance into modernity and as the dis- tinctive feature of its national identity.2 The second consequence, closely related to the first, directly af fected artists, writers, and intellectuals: once the Revolution was established as the central nucleus...

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