The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 98, July 1994 - April, 1995 Page: 156
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
society. With surgical precision, Paredes dissects the flaws in Anglo descriptions
by demonstrating over and over how vulnerable the ethnographic encounter be-
tween Anglo fieldworker and Mexican "informant" is to such maneuvers as jok-
ing and leg-pulling-maneuvers that can lead the ethnographer astray and
ultimately result in what Bauman calls "ethnographic howlers" (p. xxi).
Part II, "The Folklore Genres: History, Form, and Performance," contains sev-
en essays, including one never before published-the delightful "Undying Love
of 'El Indio' C6rdova: Dicimas and Oral History in a Border Family." Most of
these essays examine the form and function of specific folk genres, such as the
corrido, which Paredes has exhaustively analyzed in essays like "The Mexican Cor-
rido: Its Rise and Fall" (included here) and, of course, in his masterpiece, With
His Pistol in His Hand. Of particular interest is '"The United States, Mexico, and
Machismo," in which Paredes brilliantly deconstructs the image of the Mexican
macho, especially as it has been claimed to be unique. "Is Mexico unique in this
respect?" asks Paredes. His answer-"The fundamental attitudes on which
machismo is based . . . are almost universal" (p. 233)-is developed in masterful
fashion, demystifying once and for all this pervasive stereotype about Mexican
Paredes's contributions to an understanding of Mexican culture and folklore
have long been recognized. But his key role in the development of a "post-mod-
ernist" folkloristics grounded in performance and in shifting identities and com-
municative modes is only now being acknowledged. Editor Richard Bauman is
to be commended for making the work of this seminal thinker more readily
available. Despite its belated appearance (most of the essays were originally pub-
lished in the 1960s and 197os), this collection by the dean of American folk-
lorists is as timely today as when the essays first appeared in print.
University of Texas at Austin MANUEL PENA
South of the Border: Mexico in the American Imagination, 1z94-z947. Edited by
James Oles. (Washington: Smithsonian Institute Press, 1993. Pp. xix+296.
Foreword, acknowledgments, introduction, photographs, illustrations,
notes. ISBN 1-56098-295-0. $29.95, paper.)
The topic of Mexican-U.S. cultural history has continued to grow since the
1970s, when effective research began, until today it is almost overworked.
Among the recent offerings in the field are Laurance P. Hurlburt's The Mexican
Muralists in the United States, Thomas F. Walsh's Katherine Anne Porter and Mexico,
Frederick B. Pike's The United States and Latin America, Helen Delpar's The Enor-
mous Vogue of Things Mexican, and now this book.
These studies often collect the visions of seers like Hart Crane, Waldo Frank,
Manuel Ponce, and Jose Clemente Orozco, who understood a common hemi-
spheric creative process. Thus Mexican and U.S. creators have been bridging
their national cultures and establishing complementary relationships for most of
this century. Mexicans seek recognition in the North, and Americans search for
values in the South.
Here’s what’s next.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 98, July 1994 - April, 1995, periodical, 1995; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101216/m1/184/?rotate=90: accessed December 15, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.