Saturday, November 03, 2012

Friday, November 02, 2012


I am just processing the news that one of my dearest mentors, the great Mexican author and public intellectual Carlos Fuentes, has passed away--the latest links will be appearing here.

During the 1980s, I worked as a research and graduate teaching assistant for Carlos at Cornell University--it was there that we formed a friendship and a collaboration that changed my life forever. I have documented some of this here on the Tex[t]-Mex Galleryblog in these postings.

Among the many amazing and magical things that happened during the incredible semester (including the never-to-be-forgotten memory of dancing alongside Carlos at a Latina/o party, downtown Ithaca, at an American Legion Hall {picture it!}), was that I made a lifelong friendship with the talented American playwright, Oliver Mayer--now an Associate Professor in Theatre @ USC.  He and talked the other day about our friendship with Carlos--our shared loss, sadness, and memories.  It was good to talk to Oliver; he's like the brother I never had.

In any event, Oliver posted something on his No Passport Yahoo Groups site that I would like to share it with you here:

Carlos Fuentes was my teacher and friend at Cornell in the mid 80s. He taught me so much about being a writer and being an educator. The man was ferocious with life, dashing, brilliant, curious, and constantly engaged in the politics and culture of our times. I loved him and his family--his beautiful wife and his two children, now tragically both dead before their time. The Nobel Prize should have gone to Carlos many times over. Another artist would have shut down or grown bitter, but Carlos always chose the higher road in his work. His prize is his body of writing, his enormous artistic compassion, and the legion of young artists who learned from his example -- not only as a writer but as a man.
Love, Oliver

Oliver Mayer
Associate Professor
USC School of Theatre
Faculty Master
Parkside International Residential College
Affiliated Faculty: Dept of American Studies and Ethnicity

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A posting of Fuentes family pictures has appeared here.

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Here's a recent BBC Mundo piece and streaming interview with Fuentes from December 2011--the streaming video appears below the imagelink.

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