Cover

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Title page, Copyright

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Contents

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List of Illustrations

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p. vi

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-ix

In the course of writing this book, I have been able to indulge a love of tequila, melodramatic novels, and travel through one of the most fascinating countries in the world. I have also incurred many debts of gratitude to both institutions and individuals. The generous financial support of several research...

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Introduction: Alcohol, Literature, and Nation- Building

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pp. xi-xxxii

The contrasting statements of Guillermo Prieto and Trinidad Sánchez Santos suggest that Mexican intellectuals could proffer very different answers to the question posed by the protagonist of an 1893 Mexican novel, who asked, “What’s wrong with a little drinking?”1 Prieto, a prominent costumbrista poet, prose writer...

Part 1. Imagining the Nation through Alcohol, Class, and Gender

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1. Everything in Its Right Place? Social Drinking Spaces, Popular Culture, and Nationhood

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pp. 3-72

Manuel Payno’s rather nostalgic and romantic description of a pulquería in Puente de la Leña, a bustling Mexico City barrio, stands in stark contrast to the vulgarity and violence that drinking frequently produces elsewhere...

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2. Patriotic Heroes and Consummate Drunks: Alcohol, Masculinity, and Nationhood

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pp. 73-130

Manuel Payno so describes Evaristo, the antihero of his epic novel Los bandidos de Río Frío (1888– 91), identifying his dependence on alcohol as the chief means the character uses to create an illusion of masculine prowess and to cope with his inadequacies as a...

Part 2. Alcohol, Morality, and Medicine in theStory of National Development

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3. Yankees, Toffs, and Miss Quixote: Drunken Bodies,Citizenship, and the Hope of Moral Reform

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pp. 133-188

José Joaquín Fernández de Lizardi’s sentiment that human nature is fundamentally inclined toward evil, rather than good, was a common assumption for many literary figures, public intellectuals, and policymakers in Mexico during the first part of the nineteenth century...

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4. Medicine, Madness, and Modernity in Porfirian Mexico: Alcoholism as the National Disease

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pp. 189-256

Federico Gamboa’s 1903 comparison of alcohol’s action on the human body to an enemy army invading the nation exemplifies the late nineteenth-century literary approach to alcoholism. Alcoholism is depicted both as a potent threat to national...

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Conclusion

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pp. 257-268

Both Lowry’s Under the Volcano (1947) and Rulfo’s Pedro Páramo (1955), two paradigmatic twentieth-century novels concerning Mexico, engage their central characters in a dialectic process of self-discovery and self-destruction as they walk through an infernal landscape saturated with drunkenness...

Notes

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pp. 269-304

Bibliography

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pp. 305-334

Index

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pp. 335-346