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A background of the imagination

1 March 2013

Sterling Bennett (author of Playing For Pancho Villa) was a Professor of German Language and Literature before becoming a novelist.  His newest work, Playing For Pancho Villa, is available in Mexico from Libros Valor/Editorial Mazatlán and will be available in the U.S. and Canada in April of this year.

I have always thought the U.S. served as the spiritual backyard of the German imagination. Mexico may serve the same purpose, though a darker one, for the U.S. imagination. Most Americans know something about Mexican language, beer and beaches. Far fewer have a grasp of Mexico profundo – the foundation of generosity, intelligence, humor, and patience. Many equate Mexico with danger, a perception that repels, but also attracts. Americans need to know about their neighbor to the south: about its cultures, histories, languages, and what’s going on right now, and how Americans are involved: the drug wars are fueled, for example, by U.S. consumption of drugs and the U.S. sale of weapons to the drug cartels. They need to know, for example, that at the end of the Mexican-American War 1846-48, Mexico was forced to concede (the U.S. occupied Mexico City) 55% of its prewar territory to the U.S., including California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and parts of Utah, Nevada, and Colorado. Many Mexicans remember this historical fact, while few Americans do. The overflow of Mexico into the U.S. is an old and continuing process (see John Ross’s book The Annexation of Mexico, 1998). Poverty and the leadership’s lack of interest in providing jobs and education drive the courageous and hopeful toward the U.S. border or into the hands of the narco-cartels, who will supply jobs.

(About My Stories,

One Comment leave one →
  1. 1 March 2013 6:24 pm

    Interesting analogy.This article sort of brings us full circle in United States and Mexico relations. If more was done immediately after the Mexican/American War concerning border relations and support of America in rebuilding of Mexico (as America does after every war), we wouldn’t be at the level of competition and conflict we currently are faced with. Nic job.

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