Monday, April 28, 2008

Carlos Fuentes and the Debt that Cannot be Paid

Here, below these lines, is a page torn from the acknowledgments section of Tex[t]-Mex: Seductive Hallucinations of the "Mexican" in America--diverse, name-filled pages in which I valiantly strive to thank all of the amazing people (and, two scoundrels) who made my 16-year odyssey of authorship possible. First on the list of folks that crossed my path and traced my psyche at Cornell University, in freezer-like Ithaca, New York, is the guapo Mexican novelist, diplomat, and public intellectual, Carlos Fuentes:

Fuentes, one of the best living, internationally-acclaimed writers still WITHOUT a Nobel Prize, is at the top of my list because of his patience, generosity, and lively wit--there was no reason a writer and university professor of his stature should have taken the time he did to guide a callow Laredense, wet behind the ears and all, but he did. Fuentes just spoke at UCSD last week and I was able to catch up with him. Read Aura if you have a chance; you won't regret it.


  1. Oye, Billy, do you recall when you and I drove up to the citrus-y City of Orange from SDSU one evening to hear ol' Carlitos speak at Chapman University? (I think it was Chapman). Anyway, I will not forget when you rose up in the large auditorium to ask him a question during the post-reading question and answer session, and he not only publicly recognized you but also formally thanked you for turning him on to Xicano literature and teaching him a few insights about its canon. Amazing moment. Damn, Bill, you are a chingón. Carlos Fu#&%in' Fuentes pedestal-zing you! I guess you deserve it, carnal. —Marc

  2. Marc,

    I do remember it.... then he went and put me into the pages of THE CRYSTAL FRONTIER, which really blew me away; we always got along--still do.... That was quite a trip, ese! Big love, Bill

  3. here is that page.... amazing... i know some of my fellow lefties, especially from Latin America, have issues with him, but his range, craft, and generosity were, in my case, unparalleled in my career.