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I loved this book It is a big sweeping saga about a woman s life and reflecting upon the last century of Mexico True to Fuentes style it can be grandiose and very political and yet very intimate There were few dull parts considering its 600 pages It is the story of a woman s seventy some years so one needs time to tell the storyHer begins when she discovers a magical person in the forest glittering with jewels but she is corrected She came across a spiny ceiba tree #with the sun glittering on those spines Things are not what they #the sun glittering on those spines Things are not what they becomes a motif throughout the book Laura s life grows from her German Mexican family roots to her fame as a photographer of Mexico City So many changes take place in her seventy years specially the men in her life from her husband lovers children and grandchildren At the same time its a reflection of Mexican history as well Bear with it There are so many surprizes and I found the last chapters powerful and full of reflections on life and growing old At times it felt almost like Garcia Maruez in tone but never crosses into magical realismThen when its all over Fuentes adds his recognitions and xplains how so much of the book is based on his own family I was floored Talk about life inspiring art Well done se or FuentesRead in Spanish Well I didn t finish this floored Talk about life inspiring art Well done se or FuentesRead in Spanish Well I didn t finish this but I read 80% of it I d previously read another book by Fuentes in a Spanish lit class in grad school which I also did not njoy and imagined it was due to a lack of language understanding on "My Part Now That I "part Now that I read so much of one in English I ve realized that it wasn t that I didn t understand the language it was that I don t understand the way Fuentes writes nor do I like his characters His rambling paragraphs jumping from the third person to first person format was frustrating jumping through history in flashbacks was confusing to follow and there is so much political philosophy that I was often bored 400 pages in and I still didn t care what happened to the protagonist whose behavior with men and disdain for her own family irritated me throughout At least now I can accept that it wasn t that I couldn t understand the words after reading a Fuentes novel in Spanish Reading this book almost twenty years after it was originally published offered me a refresher course in Mexican political and cultural history I Art, Culture, and Cuisine: Ancient and Medieval Gastronomy enjoyed the range of history and the historical figures but I felt no sympathy ormpathy with or for Laura The Laura Diaz is a passionate character intimately connected to many historical vent. ,


Logic, Labels, And Flesh
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S story does not begin when she Black British Cultural Studies: A Reader easy None of stories have this kind of wellstab Laura Diaz story is told through a series of vignettes many of which Fuentes has modeled on the xperiences of members of his own family descendants of German immigrants from the region of Veracruz and her xperiences illustrate the artistic and political movements that shaped 20th century Mexico In an English television interview Fuentes characterizes the book as a sort of female The Death of Artemio Cruz but an English television interview Fuentes characterizes the book as a sort of female The Death of Artemio Cruz but struck me as much broader in scope besides the Mexican revolution and Bryozoan Evolution economic development of the 1940 s and 50 s Laura shelters the refugees from the Spanish Civil War and the McCarthy hearings in the United States but also intentionally less psychologically realistic and narratively interesting That is why it took so long to reach her grandfather s bedroom Reaching the dying man s bed reuired her to touchach and Crisis and Continuity at the Abbasid Court: Formal and Informal Politics in the Caliphate of Al-Muqtadir (295-320/908-32) every one of the days of hisxistence to remember imagine perhaps invent what never happened and Silvers Edge even what wasn t imaginable and to do so by the mere presence of a beloved being who representedverything that wasn t that was that could be and that never could take place p 82 A sweeping novel ncompassing decades of Mexican politics from the point of view of a fictional character who mingles with the movers and shakers specially the socialists labor activists and artistsParts of the novel are fascinating and others are so inpenetrable that I couldn t get through them I just had to skim I don t know how much was the author s style and how much was the English translation I don t think I ve Going Berserk encountered another novel where I loved about half and couldn t read the rest all mixed up like that This was a hot mess of a book The really infuriating part is that I am fascinated by a lot of the history that is the basis for the story He also actually made anarchist characters that were idealists organizers and artists instead of the usual bomb throwing nihilist villains Heven had a few moments of deep thought about life thrown in But none of that made up for the long stretches of banal philosophizing It didn t make up for how lacking the characters of color are And it didn t make up for the fact that the woman the book is about was a vessel instead of a full human Don t you just hate when a book has all the things that should make you like it but just falls down in the xecution So disappointing. Pporting his novel with facts and characters that define the shape of today's Mexi. Haracters are like cardboard cutouts whose role is to show history and to philosophise at times tediouslyI m pleased I read it but I had to skim pages and kept checking how many pages I HAD to go before I got to the nd An interesting ride through various revolutions and oppressions Only the fact that he s supposed to be a great Latin author makes me not give it a one star Too long and obscure kind of like One Thousand Years of Solitude another supposedly great novel that I found almost unreadable This one I slogged through for book club and got about half way through with no reward for doing so In some ways this was sort of a slow book I kept waiting for something to happenOf course a lot did happen The book was the story of Laura Diaz a Mexican woman of partly German ancestry but it is also in many respects a history of Mexico in the late 19th and Come Hell or High Water: Feminism and the Legacy of Armed Conflict in Central America early 20th centuriesIn herarly teens Laura met her half brother Santiago who later died in the Mexican Revolution They had been great friends and Laura vowed to dedicate her life to himOver the years she had several love affairs with different men all of whom were revolutionaries of one kind or another She seems to have been drawn to the first two because of their relationship or supposed relationship to Santiago She marries the second of these men and #moves to Mexico City with him after the revolution is successful After the last of her lovers dies #to Mexico City with him after the revolution is successful After the last of her lovers dies 90% of the way through the book Laura finally goes out on her own and discovers her own talent She takes a camera and visits all the poverty stricken parts of town that she had avoided before documenting The Suffering She Finds There suffering she finds there also the Hope And Strength And She and strength And she uite successful in her own right There is a lot of discussion of politics and philosophy and many tales of the other people in her lovers lives as well as a few other adventuresI found this book on Scribd 45the better looking version of this review is on my blog Our lives are hourglasses Every grain of sand is a moment An hourglass is turned over gravity does its job sand starts falling A life starts Personality is first an inchoate ntity a grain of sand then two then the accumulation of all the fallen grains of sand is what we are what we become Until the final grain has fallen there is a continuous transformation the present me is built upon layers and layers of different alter gos the multitude of me s that we have been in the past Laura. S Through her story Fuentes writes the journal of the Mexican twentieth century su. Los años con Laura Díaz