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Carlos Fuentes: Ancient Mexico, Modernity, and the Literary Avant-Garde  

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Carlos Fuentes

Carlos FuentesCarlos Fuentes ranks as the most acclaimed modern novelist in Mexico and one of the central figures in Latin America’s literary “Boom,” a generation that consists of Julio Cortázar, Gabriel García Márquez and, among others, Mario Vargas Llosa.  Raised in a family that represented Mexico’s economic and diplomatic interests in Latin America and in the United States, Fuentes is an award-winning novelist often associated with questions of national identity, historical origins, Mexico’s capital as a megacity, and the unresolved conflicts--with Spain, with the United States, and with itself--that define Mexico as a modern nation. 

 From his early short stories in Los días enmascarados (1954), to novels and essays that include  La región más transparente (1958), Cambio de piel (1967), Terra Nostra (1975), and Los cinco soles de México, memoria de un milenio (2000), Fuentes has portrayed Mesoamerica—generally allegorized as Mexico-Tenochtitlan, therefore with an emphasis on the Nahua--as a determining force in modern Mexico, and as an integral part in the world's history of ruling transnational powers.  The unresolved cultural and social conflicts between Mexico’s native peoples in relation to the Spanish conquest and colonial New Spain remain to this day a thematic constant in Fuentes’s novels and essays, portrayed as the fundamental background and condition to Mexico’s modernization and political development as a democracy. Fuentes’s novels thus mark the historical present as an artistic  possibility for reflection and symbolic resolution to modernity’s most crucial questions, arguably a juncture shared by Mexico with other developing countries.

 

CSULA Library Exhibit on Carlos Fuentes

April 16-May 31, 2012

Library Bridge 3rd Floor

 

2012 Conference on Carlos Fuentes: Ancient Mexico, Modernity, and the Literary Avant-Garde

May 4-5, 2012

Golden Eagle Ballroom
California State University, Los Angeles

Sponsored by: UCLA's Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Cal State L.A.'s Gigi Gaucher-Morales Memorial Conference Series, the Center for Contemporary Poetry and Poetics, the College of Arts and Letters, the College of Natural and Social Sciences, the Department of Chicano Studies, the Department of English, and the Emeriti Association.

This conference is free and open to the public.

Please visit the conference blog for more information:

http://conferenceoncarlosfuentes.blogspot.com/

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