01182018Thu
Last updateFri, 12 Jan 2018 11am

Enrique Krauze: Tough historical analyst, something of a mystery for even hard probing foreigners

After the genius of (1990) Nobel Prize winner Octavio Paz had stamped his homeland with brilliantly written, stunningly comprehensive national analyses, there came an expected cluster of criticism, clumsy and brutal, from former president (1970-1976) Luis Echeverria. Sadly for Mexico, that was accompanied by a much smaller, less well-known cluster of stunned writers and periodistas. These often seemingly wanted to merely couple their names regarding any matter with that of Octavio Paz, particularly once he died, April 19, 1998.

Chucha Anzaldo’s tangled, wiry survival techniques & raw country wisdom

Chucha – Maria de Jesus – Anzalda was a wiry, middle-sized woman of about 60 when I first met her in the 1960s.  She was easy to remember because of her inventive ways of  making a living.  She seldom seemed to struggle in doing that, yet was always roughly inventive about it.  

Hard past: Local adventure looks for pricey clay bricks but finds a ‘familiar’ drowned body

In 1992, planning to build a new bodega, Nacho Lara invited his cousin and me to survey those villages near the Lake where adobon – home-made bricks – were created. “Adobon” was the word once used to identify large local red clay bricks. They measured 36.6 centimeters long, 16.5 centimeters wide and 7.5 centimeters high.  Made of clay and cow dung, low-fired in simple pyramid brick kilns, they cost 500,000 pesos a thousand.  In 1973. adobon cost 1,000 pesos per thousand.  That was a clear marker of Mexico’s uncontrolled inflation.  The price was called “crazy” by most Mexicans, especially when talking to foreign associates, and especially by sane local albañiles (masons).