News from the Empire

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Dalkey Archive Press, 2009 - Fiction - 704 pages
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If there was not so much fiction in News from the Empire, it could be called a work of history. In fact, the focus of this broad work is history itself, as well as the many unrecorded lives and events that history has forgotten from this strange era in Mexico's early nationhood. Using Emperor Maximilian and his wife, Carlota, as a starting point, Fernando Del Paso both considers what Mexico is and the country's place in the larger narrative of world history. The book spans the palaces of Europe and the villages of Mexico, yet despite its broad focus News is a book rich in characters and details, a work that opens up this era of Mexican history to readers without specialized knowledge. Maximilian and Carlota are the focus of the book, and even if they are not explicitly on every page, they are always in the background somewhere, providing the humanizing contradictions that fill it. Del Paso draws a complicated picture of two naïve people placed in a situation they could not manage and a country they did not understand. This innocence is especially inexplicable in the case of Maximilian, who, as brother of Austria's Emperor Franz Josef, should have known something about ruling but is completely unable to govern.
  

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Contents

II
13
IV
72
V
107
VI
122
VIII
193
WELL CALL HIM THE AUSTRIAN 1865
324
XIV
377
XVI
435
XVIII
518
XX
578
XXII
649
XXIII
692
Acknowledgments
707
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Fernando del Paso was the 2007 winner of the Juan Rulfo Prize, Mexico's highest literary award. His first novel, Jose Trigo, appeared in 1966 and was awarded the Xavier-Villaurrutia Prize. His second, Palinuro of Mexico, won awards in its Spanish and French editions. From 1985 until recently he was cultural attaché at the Mexican Embassy in Paris; he is currently director of the Biblioteca Iberoamericana in Guadalajara.

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