Viva Mexico!

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D. Appleton, 1908 - Mexico - 293 pages
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Review: Viva Mexico

User Review  - Caroline - Goodreads

Viva Mexico was published in 1908, after Charles Flandrau had spent three years on his brother's coffee estate in the wilds of Mexico. He is funny, acerbic and perceptive. He criticizes his fellow ... Read full review

Review: Viva Mexico

User Review  - Jane Ginter - Goodreads

Started reading this on the plane at the start of my trip to Mexico. So far I love it! Finished this book on the plane. A great way to get excited about my trip to Mexico City, over 100 years after this travel guide was written. Read full review

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Page 152 - ... clan, a real gathering, and in the present case, to the number of fifty or sixty persons. This is the last night of what are called the Posadas, a curious mixture of religion and amusement, but extremely pretty. The meaning is this. At the time that the decree went forth from Caesar Augustus that " all the world should be taxed...
Page 99 - ... not consist either of wallowing in the past or of peering anxiously at the future; and it is appalling to contemplate the great number of often painful steps by which one arrives at a truth so old, so obvious, and so frequently expressed. It is good for one to appreciate that life is now. Whatever it offers, little or much, life is now —this day— this hour— and is probably the only experience of the kind one is to have. As the doctor said to the woman who complained that she did not like...
Page 93 - She and the three men who had successively deserted her, the mayordomo who found it convenient to form an alliance with her, and his wife, who betook herself to a neighboring ranch and annexed a boy of sixteen, were all simply living their lives in accordance with the promptings they had never been taught to resist. It is not unusual to hear a mother, in a moment of irritation, exclaim, as she gives her child a slap, ' Hijo de quien sabe quien!' ('Child of who knows whom! ') At an early age when...
Page 47 - The use of gold leaf in decoration is like money. A little is pleasant, merely too much is vulgar; but a positively staggering amount of it seems to justify itself.
Page 98 - But the greatest gift in the power of loneliness to bestow is the realization that life does not consist either of wallowing in the past or of peering anxiously at the future; and it is appalling to contemplate the great number of often painful steps by which one arrives at a truth so old, so obvious, and so frequently expressed. It is good for one to appreciate that life is now. Whatever it offers, little or much, life is now —this day— this hour— and is probably the only experience of the...
Page 94 - ) At an early age when they first fall in love they would, I think, almost always prefer to be married. But where get the ten pesos, without which the Church refuses to make them man and wife ? The idea of saving and waiting is to them, of course, utterly preposterous. Why should it not be ? What tangible advantage to them would there be in postponement ? The Church, which has always been successful in developing and maintaining prejudices, could have developed, had it wished to, the strongest prejudice...
Page 249 - I pray you, speak not ; he grows worse and worse; Question enrages him : at once, good night : — Stand not upon the order of your going, But go at once.
Page 92 - Mexico is the civil ceremony, but to a Mexican peon the civil ceremony means nothing whatever; he can't grasp its significance, and there is nothing in the prosaic, businesslike proceeding to touch his heart and stir his imagination. The only ceremony he recognizes is one conducted by a priest in a church. When he is married by a priest he believes himself to be married — which for moral and spiritual purposes is just as valuable as if he actually were. One would suppose that the Church would recognize...
Page 92 - On my ranch, for instance, very few of the ' married ' people are married. " Almost every grown man lives with a woman who makes his tortillas and bears him children, and about some of these households there is an air of permanence and content.' But with the death of mutual desire there is nothing that tends to turn the scale in favour of permanence ; no sense of obligation, no respect for a vague authority higher and better than oneself, no adverse public opinion. Half an hour of ennui, or someone...
Page 119 - One marvels . . . not that they are dirty but that under the circumstances they are as clean as they are; not that so many of them are continually sick, but that any of them are ever well; not that they love to get drunk, but that they can bear to remain sober'.

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