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Guide to Life and Literature
of the Southwest


6
Spanish-Mexican Strains

THE MEXICAN Revolution that began in 1910 resulted in a rich development of the native cultural elements of Mexico, the art of Diego Rivera being one of the highlights of this development. The native culture is closer to the Mexican earth and to the indigenes than to Spain, notwithstanding modern insistence on the Latin in Latin-American culture.

The Spaniards, through Mexico, have had an abiding influence on the architecture and language of the Southwest. They gave us our most distinctive occupation, ranching on the open range. They influenced mining greatly, and our land titles and irrigation laws still go back to Spanish and Mexican sources. After more than a hundred years of occupation of Texas and almost that length of time in other parts of the Southwest, the English-speaking Americans still have the rich accumulations of lore pertaining to coyotes, mesquites, prickly pear, and many other plants and animals to learn from the Mexicans, who got their lore partly from intimate living with nature but largely through Indian ancestry.

See "Fighting Texians," "Santa Fe and the Santa Fe Trail."

AIKEN, RILEY

"A Pack Load of Mexican Tales," in Puro Mexicano, published by Texas Folklore Society, 1935. Now published by Southern Methodist University Press, Dallas. Delightful.

ALEXANDER, FRANCES (and others)

Mother Goose on the Rio Grande, Banks Upshaw, Dallas, 1944. Charming rhymes in both Spanish and English in charming form.

APPLEGATE, FRANK G.

Native Tales of New Mexico, Philadelphia, 1932. Delicious; the real thing. OP.

ATHERTON, GERTRUDE

The Splendid Idle Forties, New York, 1902. Romance of Mexican California.

AUSTIN, MARY

One-Smoke Stories, Boston, 1934. Short tales of Spanish-speaking New Mexicans, also of Indians.

BANDELIER, A. F.

The Gilded Man, New York, 1873. The dream of El Dorado.

BARCA, MADAM CALDERON DE LA

Life in Mexico, 1843; reprinted by Dutton about 1930. Among books on Mexican life to be ranked first both in readability and revealing qualities.

BELL, HORACE

On the Old West Coast, New York, 1930. A golden treasury of anecdotes. OP.

BENTLEY, HAROLD W.

A Dictionary of Spanish Terms in English, New York, 1932. In a special way this book reveals the Spanish-Mexican influence on life in the Southwest; it also guides to books in English that reflect this influence. OP.

BISHOP, MORRIS

The Odyssey of Cabeza de Vaca, New York, 1933. Better written than Cabeza de Vaca's own narrative. OP.

BLANCO, ANTONIO FIERRO DE

The Journey of the Flame, Boston, 1933. Bully and flavorsome; the Californias. OP.

BOLTON, HERBERT E.

Spanish Exploration in the Southwest, 1916. The cream of explorer narratives, well edited. Coronado on the Turquoise Trail (originally published in New York, 1949, under the title Coronado: Knight of Pueblos and Plains; now issued by University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque). By his own work and by directing other scholars, Dr. Bolton has surpassed all other American historians of his time in output on Spanish-American history. Coronado is the climax of his many volumes. Its fault is being too worshipful of everything Spanish and too uncritical. A little essay on Coronado in Haniel Long's Piñon Country goes a good way to put this belegended figure into proper perspective.

BRENNER, ANITA

Idols Behind Altars, 1929. OP. The pagan worship that endures among Mexican Indians. The Wind that Swept Mexico: The History of the Mexican Revolution, 1910-1942, 1943, OP. Your Mexican Holiday, revised 1947. No writer on modern Mexico has a clearer eye or clearer intellect than Anita Brenner; she maintains good humor in her realism and never lapses into phony romance.

CABEZA DE VACA

Cabeza de Vaca's Narrative. Any translation procurable. One is included in Spanish Explorers in the Southern United States, edited by F. W. Hodge and T. H. Lewis, now published by Barnes & Noble, New York.

The most dramatic and important aftermath of Cabeza de Vaca's twisted walk across the continent was Coronado's search for the Seven Cities of Cíbola. Coronado's precursor was Fray Marcos de Niza. The Journey of Fray Marcos de Niza, by Cleve Hallenbeck, with illustrations and decorations by José Cisneros, is one of the most beautiful books in format published in America. It was designed and printed by Carl Hertzog of El Paso, printer without peer between the Atlantic and the Pacific, and is issued by Southern Methodist University Press, Dallas.

CASTAÑEDA

Castañeda's Narrative of Coronado's expedition. Winship's translation is preferred. It is included in Spanish Explorers in the Southern United States, cited above.

CATHER, WILLA

Death Comes for the Archbishop, Knopf, New York, 1927. Classical historical fiction on New Mexico.

CUMBERLAND, CHARLES C.

Mexican Revolution: Genesis under Madero, University of Texas Press, Austin, 1952. Bibliography. To know Mexico and Mexicans without knowing anything about Mexican revolutions is like knowing the United States in ignorance of frontiers, constitutions, and corporations. The Madero revolution that began in 1910 is still going on. Mr. Cumberland's solid book, independent in itself, is to be followed by two other volumes.

DE SOTO

Hernando de Soto made his expedition from Florida north and west at the time Coronado was exploring north and east. The Florida of the Inca, by Garcilaso de la Vega, translated by John and Jeannette Varner, University of Texas Press, Austin, 1951, is the first complete publishing in English of this absorbing narrative.

DÍAZ, BERNAL

History of the Conquest. There are several translations. A book of gusto and humanity as enduring as the results of the Conquest itself.

DOBIE, J. FRANK

Coronado's Children, 1930. Legendary tales of the Southwest, many of them derived from Mexican sources. Tongues of the Monte, 1935. A pattern of the soil of northern Mexico and its folk. Apache Gold and Yaqui Silver, 1939. Lost mines and money in Mexico and New Mexico. Last two books published by Little, Brown, Boston.

DOMENECH, ABBÉ

Missionary Adventures in Texas and Mexico, London, 1858. Delightful folklore, though Domenech would not have so designated his accounts.

FERGUSSON, HARVEY

Blood of the Conquerors, 1921. Fiction. OP. Rio Grande, Knopf, New York, 1933. Best interpretations yet written of upper Mexican class.

FLANDRAU, CHARLES M.

Viva Mexico! New York, 1909; reissued, 1951. Delicious autobiographic narrative of life in Mexico.

FULTON, MAURICE G., and HORGAN,
PAUL (editors)
New Mexico's Own Chronicle, Dallas, 1937. OP. Selections from writers about the New Mexico scene.

GILPATRICK, WALLACE

The Man Who Likes Mexico, New York, 1911. OP. Bully reading.

GONZALEZ, JOVITA

Tales about Texas-Mexican vaquero folk in Texas and Southwestern Lore, in Man, Bird, and Beast, and in Mustangs and Cow Horses, Publications VI, VIII, and XVI of Texas Folklore Society.

{illust. caption = Jose Cisneros: Fray Marcos, in The Journey of Fray Marcos de Niza by Cleve Hallenbeck (1949)}

GRAHAM, R. B. CUNNINGHAME

Hernando De Soto, London, 1912. Biography. OP.

HARTE, BRET

The Bell Ringer of Angels and other legendary tales of California.

LAUGHLIN, RUTH

Caballeros. When the book was published in 1931, the author was named Ruth Laughlin Barker; after she discarded the Barker part, it was reissued, in 1946, by Caxton, Caldwell, Idaho. Delightful picturings of Mexican -- or Spanish, as many New Mexicans prefer -- life around Santa Fe.

LEA, TOM

The Brave Bulls. See under "Fiction."

LUMMIS, C. F.

Flowers of Our Lost Romance, Boston, 1929. Humanistic essays on Spanish contributions to southwestern civilization. OP. The Land of Poco Tiempo, New York, 1913 (reissued by University of New Mexico Press, 1952), in an easier style. A New Mexico David, 1891, 1930. Folk tales and sketches. OP.

MERRIAM, CHARLES

Machete, Dallas, 1932. Plain and true to the gente. OP.

NIGGLI, JOSEPHINA

Mexican Village, University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, 1945. A collection of skilfully told stories that reveal Mexican life.

O'SHAUGHNESSY, EDITH

A Diplomat's Wife in Mexico, New York, 1916; Diplomatic Days, 1917; Intimate Pages of Mexican History, 1920. Books of passion and power and high literary merit, interpretative of revolutionary Mexico. OP.

OTERO, NINA

Old Spain in Our Southwest, New York, 1936. Genuine. OP.

PORTER, KATHERINE ANNE

Flowering Judas. See under "Fiction."

PRESCOTT, WILLIAM H.

Conquest of Mexico. History that is literature.

REMINGTON, FREDERIC W.

Pony Tracks, New York, 1895. Includes sketches of Mexican ranch life.

ROSS, PATRICIA FENT

Made in Mexico: The Story of a Country's Arts and Crafts, Knopf, New York, 1952. Picturesquely and instructively illustrated by Carlos Merida.

TANNENBAUM, FRANK

Peace by Revolution, Columbia University Press, New York, 1933; Mexico: The Struggle for Peace and Bread, Knopf, New York, 1950. Tannenbaum dodges nothing, not even the church.

Terry's Guide to Mexico

It has everything.

Texas Folklore Society

Its publications are a storehouse of Mexican folklore in the Southwest and in Mexico also. Especially recommended are Texas and Southwestern Lore (VI), Man, Bird, and Beast (VIII), Southwestern Lore (IX), Spur-of-the-Cock (XI), Puro Mexicano (XII), Texian Stomping Grounds (XVII), Mexican Border Ballads and Other Lore (XXI), The Healer of Los Olmos and Other Mexican Lore (XXIV, 1951). All published by Southern Methodist University Press, Dallas.

TOOR, FRANCES

A Treasury of Mexican Folkways, Crown, New York, 1947. An anthology of life.

TURNER, TIMOTHY G.

Bullets, Bottles and Gardenias, Dallas, 1935. Obscurely published but one of the best books on Mexican life. OP.




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