In this masterly, deeply personal, and provocative book, the internationally renowned Mexican writer Carlos Fuentes, whose work has been called “a combination of Poe, Baudelaire, and Isak Dinesen” ( Newsweek ), steps back to survey the wellsprings of art and ideology, the events that have shaped our time, and his extraordinary life and fiercest passions.
Arranged alphabetically from “Amore” to “Zurich,” This I Believe takes us on a marvelous inner journey with a great writer. Fuentes ranges wide, from contradictions inherent in Latin American culture and politics to his long friendship with director Luis Buñuel.
Along the way, we find reflection on the mixed curse and blessing of globalization; memories of a sexual initiation in Zurich; a fond tracing of a family tree heavy with poets, dreamers, and diplomats; evocations of the streets, cafés, and bedrooms of Washington, Paris, Santiago de Chile, Cambridge, Oaxaca, and New York; and a celebration of literary heroes including Balzac, Cervantes, Faulkner, Kafka, and Shakespeare. Throughout, Fuentes captivates with the power of his intellect and his prose.
Here, too, are vivid, often heartbreaking glimpses into his personal life. “Silvia” is a powerful love letter to his beloved wife. In “Children,” Fuentes recalls the births of his daughters and the tragic death of his son; in “Cinema” he relives the magic of films such as Citizen Kane and The Wizard of Oz . Further extending his reach, he examines the collision between history and contemporary life in “Civil Society,” “Left,” and “Revolution.”
And he poignantly addresses the experiences we all hold in common as he grapples with beauty, death, freedom, God, and sex. By turns provocative and intimate, partisan and universal, this book is a brilliant summation of an international literary career. Revisiting the influences, commitments, readings, and insights of a lifetime, Fuentes has fashioned a magnificently coherent statement of his view of the world, reminding us once again why reading Fuentes is “like standing beneath the dome of the Sistine Chapel. . . . The breadth and enormity of this accomplishment is breathtaking” ( The Denver Post ).
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of eBook: This I Believe|
|Release Date: 12-18-2007|
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|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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This I Believe
In Yucatán, you never see the water. It flows underground, beneath a fragile sheath of earth and limestone. Occasionally, that delicate Yucatec skin blossoms in eyes of water, in liquid ponds—the cenotes—that attest to the existence of a mysterious subterranean current. For me, love is like those hidden rivers and unexpected streams of Yucatán. On occasion our lives come to resemble those infinite chasms that would be fathomless if we did not find, at the very bottom of the void, a flowing river, at times placid and navigable, wide or narrow, at times steep, but always a liquid embrace that helps keep us from disappearing forever into the deep gulf of nothingness. While love may be that river that flows and sustains life, love and its most treasured qualities—goodness, beauty, affection, solidarity, memory, companionship, desire, passion, intimacy, generosity, and the very will to love and be loved—are still not necessarily free of the one thing that seems to negate love: evil.
In political life, it is possible to convince oneself that one is acting out of love for a community while driving that community into destruction and inspiring hatred from both within and without. I do not doubt, for example, that Hitler loved Germany. But in Mein Kampf, he made it clear that the notion of loving his country was inseparable from the hatred of all those things that he perceived to be at odds with Germany. The kind of love that is cultivated out of hatred for others was made explicit in a regime of evil that has no parallel in all of history. From the beginning, Hitler declared that he would practice an evil brand of politics in order to achieve good. He made no attemp...