My favorite things Mexican

I am in Mexico, and you will be hearing more about this. Here are a few of my favorite things.

1. Favorite Mexican novel: Pedro Paramo, by Juan Rolfo. A hilarious and moving tale of visiting rural Mexico and encountering the dead. The true heir to Dante. I remain surprised by how many people do not know this marvelous work, though the English translation does not capture the humor well. Will you be turned off if I tell you this is a favorite of Susan Sontag’s?

2. Favorite Mexican music: Mexican rap is extraordinarily eclectic and creative. I would be hard pressed to pick a favorite group, but Control Machete is one place to start.

3. Favorite Mexican artist: Marcial Camilo Ayala, whom I am currently visiting in Cuernavaca. Here is one of my favorite pieces of his; here is one in black and white. If you pay in advance (less than you think), I am happy to help you get one.

4. Favorite Mexican food: Chicken with mole sauce, a’ la Puebla or Oaxaca. For real authenticity, make sure you crumble in the stale tortilla.

5. Favorite Mexican movie: You probably already know Y Tu Mama Tambien, Amores Perros, and El Mariachi. So I’ll recommend Luis Bunuel’s old version of Wuthering Heights, a truly strange adaptation that captures the spirit of the original novel remarkably well. You do not have to buy into Bunuel’s later, more pretentious work to like this one.

Addendum: My favorite Mexican dish might be Chiles Nogada.


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