In this Book

The Riddle of Cantinflas
summary

Ilan Stavans’s collection of essays on kitsch and high art in the Americas makes a return with thirteen new colorful conversations that deliver Stavans’s trademark wit and provocative analysis. “A Dream Act Deferred” discusses an issue that is at once and always topical in the dialogue of Hispanic popular culture: immigration. This essay generated a vociferous response when first published in The Chronicle of Higher Education as the issue of immigration was contested in states like Arizona, and is included here as a new addition that adds a rich layer to Stavans’s vibrant discourse. Fitting in this reconfiguration of his analytical conversations on Hispanic popular culture is Stavans’s “Arrival: Notes from an Interloper,” which recounts his origins as a social critic and provides the reader with interactive insight into the mind behind the matter.

Once again delightfully humorous and perceptive, Stavans delivers an expanded collection that has the power to go even further beyond common assumptions and helps us understand Mexican popular culture and its counterparts in the United States.

Table of Contents

  1. Front Cover
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  1. Title Page
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  1. Copyright
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Illustrations
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Preface: ¡Viva el Kitsch!
  2. pp. xi-xiv
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  1. Immigration and Authenticity
  2. pp. 1-7
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  1. Mother of Exiles
  2. pp. 8-24
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  1. A Dream Act Deferred
  2. pp. 25-33
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  1. Arrival: Notes from an Interloper
  2. pp. 34-46
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  1. Unmasking Marcos
  2. pp. 47-56
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  1. ¡Lotería! or, The Ritual of Chance
  2. pp. 57-64
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  1. Santa Selena
  2. pp. 65-71
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  1. The Novelist and the Dictator
  2. pp. 72-76
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  1. The Riddle of Cantinflas
  2. pp. 77-95
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  1. Mario Vargas Llosa: Civilization versus Barbarism
  2. pp. 96-98
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  1. The Art of the Ephemeral
  2. pp. 99-113
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  1. Sandra Cisneros: Form over Content
  2. pp. 114-119
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  1. Civility and Latinos
  2. pp. 120-135
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  1. José Guadalupe Posada: A Profile
  2. pp. 136-146
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  1. Conversations
  2. pp. 147-148
  1. Language and Empire (with Verónica Albin)
  2. pp. 149-169
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  1. Against Biography (with Donald Yates)
  2. pp. 170-186
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  1. Redrawing the Historieta (with Neal Sokol)
  2. pp. 187-194
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  1. Sources
  2. pp. 195-196
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 197-208
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  1. Back Cover
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