Explorations in Sights and Sounds

Explorations in Sights and Sounds


Carl R. Shirley

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Explorations in Sights and Sounds





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Américo Paredes is a seminal figure in Mexican-American studies. Professor Emeritus of English and Anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin, he is best known for his work in folklore, principally With His Pistol in His Hand: A Border Ballad and lts Hero. But after a distinguished career as teacher and scholar, he has turned in recent years to literature (mostly written years ago), with the publication of a novel (George Washington Gomez) in 1990 and a collection of poetry (Between Two Worlds) in 1991. The present accumulation of seventeen stories, combined with Paredes’ novel and poetry, provide a clear and comprehesive [comprehensive] literary view of Mexican-American life in Texas and elsewhere during the first half of the twentieth century. An excellent introduction by Ramon Saldivar presents a much-needed history of south Texas and the recurrent ”border troubles” so that the reader can better comprehend the socio-cultural milieu which gave birth to the stories. In Saldivar’s words, Paredes' collection represents brilliantly ”the difficult dialectic between a Mexican past and an American future for the Texas Mexicans living on the border at the margin of modernity and modernization”(xvi). Saldivar also includes information about the author and the histories of many of the selections -- where they were written, dates of composition, circumstances, etc. Most appear in print for the first time in a colorful and attractive volume with cover desigh [design] by Mark Pinon.


Copyright, ​©EES, The National Association for Ethnic Studies, 1994