Mexico was a magnet for John Steinbeck, a frequent visitor and sympathetic observer who explored the threats posed by assumptions he questioned to a culture he admired in fiction (The Pearl), film (The Forgotten Village), and history (the writer’s superbly researched introduction to Viva Zapata!). Fresh evidence that the feeling was mutual can be found in Steinbeck y Mexico: Una Mirada Cinematografica en la Era de la Hegemonia Norteamericana by Adela Pineda, Associate Professor of Spanish at Boston University and Director of Latin American Studies Program at Boston University’s Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies. “Steinbeck’s engagement with the history and the cinematic archive of revolutionary Mexico took place in an embattled field of political and cultural activity on both sides of the Río Grande, hence it could not be but complex and contradictory,” explains Pineda, winner of the Malcolm Lowry Fine Arts Literary Essay Award from the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes for Las Travesías de John Steinbeck Por México, El Cine y Las Vicisitudes Del Progreso. Pineda’s archival research revealed “the many facets of Steinbeck as a novelist, scriptwriter, film collaborator, and public intellectual”; writing a book about “Steinbeck going global from the vantage point of Mexico” is a fitting tribute to an admiring author whose research into a vanishing way of life became material for enduring art.
This post first appeared on Steinbeck Now — An International Community Of John Steinbeck Lovers, please read the originial post: here