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American and British Writers in Mexico, 1556–1973

[ Latin American Studies ]

American and British Writers in Mexico, 1556–1973

By Drewey Wayne Gunn

Drewey Wayne Gunn considers prominent American and British writers who either visited or lived in Mexico during the period 1556–1973 and who, as a result of their experiences, wrote works with a Mexican setting.

1974

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Paperback

6 x 9 | 314 pp.

ISBN: 978-0-292-72943-8

Much has been written about Continental influences on American and British literature, but Mexican influences have gone relatively unobserved. Yet, as this study shows, Mexican experiences have had a singular influence on the development of literature in English. Drewey Wayne Gunn considers prominent American and British writers who either visited or lived in Mexico during the period 1556–1973 and who, as a result of their experiences, wrote works with a Mexican setting.

Gunn finds that, while certain elements reflecting the Mexican experience—colors, landscape, manners of the people, political atmosphere, a sense of the alien—are present in the writings, the authors reveal less about Mexico than would be expected. It is, rather, the expression of the Mexican experience that reveals much about the authors. The Mexican journey often marked the beginning, the end, or the turning point in a literary career.

Gunn shows the impact of Mexican culture on each writer, discusses the relationship between the writer's experience and his work, and traces the influences among various writers. He makes available a great deal of biographical and literary material that has not before been available in one source, and he provides new insight into our cultural relationship with Mexico.

Among the British writers considered are D. H. Lawrence, Aldous Huxley, Malcolm Lowry, Graham Greene, and Evelyn Waugh. Among the American writers considered are Stephen Crane, Katherine Anne Porter, John Dos Passos, Hart Crane, Archibald MacLeish, John Steinbeck, Tennessee Williams, Saul Bellow, William Carlos Williams, Wright Morris, and Robert Lowell.

Drewey Wayne Gunn is Professor Emeritus of English at Texas A&M University–Kingsville.