A leading figure of the Latin American Boom, the writer and essayist Carlos Fuentes was part of a flourishing continental literary movement in the 1960’s and 1970’s, including works by pre-eminent figures such as Gabriel García Márquez, Mario Vargas Llosa, and Julio Cortázar.
The son of a Mexican diplomat, Fuentes was born in Panama City, Panama in 1928, and spent much of his early adolescence accompanying his father on diplomatic duties in various cities across the continent, such as Buenos Aires and Washington D.C. Fuentes began his literary career while he was studying law at the National University of Mexico, later following in his father’s footsteps and becoming a diplomat in 1965, serving in capitals such as Paris and London. One of the early progenitors of the style that would later be termed ‘Magical Realism’, his first published work was the short story collection Los Días Enmascarados (The Masked Days) in 1954, featuring a series of fantastical, supernatural tales informed by Mexican mythology and history. He published his first novel when he was aged 30, titled La Región Más Transparente (Where The Air Is Clear, 1958). A panoramic portrait of the upper classes, from bankers to a society lady, this labyrinthine novel is also a controversial critique of post-revolutionary Mexico’s search for self-identity, exploring the tensions that arise between tradition and modernity.
The central concept behind his work is the way in which the historical, mythological past informs the present, and seeps into the lives of individuals in unexpected ways. Combining socio-political and historical insight with fantasy, recurrent themes in his novels include the Mexican revolution, the dilemma of constructing a national identity, modernity and Mexico’s conflicted relationship with both Spain and the USA. Fuentes’s experimental style is informed by the literary avant-garde and is heavily influenced by the 20th century movements of Cubism and Surrealism.
His novels often feature fragmentary, non-linear narratives and time structures, which reflect the complex, turbulent history of his country. Remarking on Mexican history, Fuentes states that ‘our political life is fragmented, our history shot through with failure, but our cultural tradition is rich, and I think the time is coming when we will have to look at our faces, our own past’. A prolific writer and essayist, other notable works include the surreal, time-shifting novella Aura (1962), Terra Nostra (1975) an ambitious, historical epic about Spain and Latin America, and his long essay on Hispanic cultures, El Espejo Enterrado (The Buried Mirror: Reflections on Spain and the New World, 1992). Fuentes is still writing today, and contributes essays to various publications. He remains a significant figure in the emergence of experimental Latin American fiction in the 20th Century.
By Erdinch Yigitce
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.