Cinc0-fer de Mayo

In honor of “Drink Corona (or whatever Mexican beer you choose) Day,” I thought I’d go find some well-regarded Mexican authors whom I’ve never read a word of. Only having thought up this idea this morning, I decided to dive into the “canonical appendixes” of Harold Bloom’s Western Canon, since the lists of authors and books are broken up by nationality.

Except for Latin America, which is lumped together. So I had to spend a few minutes checking out the nationality of all the authors he listed, only to discover that he only has two Mexican authors on his list and I’ve actually read a book by one of them (Aura, by Carlos Fuentes)! Grr!

Bloom’s list did manage to yield a Mexican 0-fer author for me: Octavio Paz.

For the sake of bulking up this post, here’s the full list of Bloom’s canonical authors of Latin America (in the sequence he lists them), with 0-fer annotations:

  1. Rubén Darío (Nicaragua): 0-fer
  2. Jorge Luis Borges (Argentina): I’ve even read his long novel!
  3. Alejo Carpentier (Cuba): 0-fer
  4. Guillermo Cabrera Infante (Cuba): 0-fer
  5. Severo Sarduy (Cuba): 0-fer
  6. Reinaldo Arenas (Cuba): 0-fer. Haven’t even seen that movie about him.
  7. Pablo Neruda (Chile): We read one of his poems at our wedding.
  8. Nicolás Guillén (Cuba): 0-fer
  9. Octavio Paz (Mexico): 0-fer
  10. César Vallejo (Peru): 0-fer
  11. Miguel Angel Asturias (Guatemala): 0-fer
  12. José Lezama Lima (Cuba): 0-fer (but his wife is awesome)
  13. Julio Cortázar (Argentina): I tried reading Hopscotch, but didn’t get far.
  14. Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Colombia): Read One Hundred Years of Solitude and some short stories
  15. Mario Vargas Llosa (Peru): 0-fer
  16. Carlos Fuentes (Mexico): The aforementioned Aura.
  17. Carlos Drummond de Andrade (Brazil): Wh0-fer?

Looks like Bloom really digs Cuban writers, huh? Now go get messed up on Tecate!

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