The Epic of America: An Introduction to Rafael Landivar and the Rusticatio Mexicana

Front Cover
Bloomsbury Academic, Jul 28, 2006 - History - 312 pages

A lively introduction to the rich and complex tradition of Latin literature from colonial Spanish America, and to its best known author, the poet Rafael Landivar. Rafael Landivar is the best known of all the poets from the Americas to write in Latin. In the 15 books of his Rusticatio Mexicana (1782), he described - in vivid epic verse - the lakes, volcanoes, and wildlife of Mexico and his native Guatemala, as well as the livelihoods and recreations of the people of the region. This panorama of nature, culture and production in colonial New Spain took classical didactic poetry into a new world of political conflict. But Landivar also writes with a strongly personal voice: elegiac and pastoral modes convey the pathos of displacement and the poet's overwhelming nostalgia for his American homeland. Andrew Laird's introduction provides information about Landivar's life and exile to Italy, explains his diverse intellectual heritage, and collects his shorter works (translated into English here for the first time). A 1948 text of the Rusticatio Mexicana, with a translation by Graydon W. Regenos, is included in this volume. This accessible and stimulating account of 'the American Virgil' hi

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


Classical culture in colonial Mexico
Rafael Landívar and his earlier
Conception and design in

7 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2006)

Andrew Laird is Reader in Classical Literature at Warwick University, and the author of Powers of Expression, Expressions of Power (1999) and A Companion to the Prologue of Apuleius' Metamorphoses (edited with Ahuvia Kahane) (2001).

Bibliographic information