At a conference on environmental change in Latin America, Homero Aridjis, writer, environmental activist, and founder of the Grupo de los Cien, quoted Yeats when answering my question about the connection between his prolific literary work and untiring activism: “In dreams begin responsibility.” He later explained that through writing poetry and narrative our ideas of how we envision a more hopeful future—our dreams—often begin through the subjective lens of artistic expression. Interestingly, however, Aridjis’s novel La leyenda de los soles depicts the future not as we hope it could be, but rather, as a reality in complete disrepair: a dystopic vision. Through an examination of Aridjis’s apocalyptic novel and selections from his poetic work, and of Vicente Leñero’s La gota de agua, I argue that both authors raise awareness in the reader about pressing urban ecology problems in Mexico’s capital city. In depicting environmental issues—a severe water shortage in La gota de agua and the Distrito Federal on the brink of apocalypse in La leyenda de los soles—both Aridjis and Leñero question conventional literary language relating to the city and to the non-human world.


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pp. 640-656
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