15 May 2012

A Man I never knew...

Carlos Fuentes died today.  I didn't know who he was.

All the Spanish language news stations and Latin America related websites that I follow had postings about him.  So, I decided to check out who he was.

He was a writer.  And all over Latin America today, people are probably mentioning "Hey, did you hear Carlos Fuentes died?"  So, let me share a bit about what I learned...

Born in Panama, son of diplomats, he grew up in Uruguay, Brazil, United States, Chile, Ecuador, Argentina and studied in Mexico City where he started writing novels.  His first were published in the 1950s, his most accomplished are “The Death of Artemio Cruz” and “Terra Nostra," he is one of the best-known novelists and essayists in the Spanish-speaking world.

etc... etc... etc...

This is a guy who had a lot to say, and he did.  He believed in the power of his words and he shared them.  He took the time to educate himself and get out there and tell others what he knew, believed, felt and thought.

Rock on.

He traveled the World.  And through his travels he learned about his identity, became passionate about justice in Latin America and spoke against the corruption within it.

I am inspired.

He thought of himself as a “transopolitan”- one who felt at home anywhere history and culture were valued or debated.

I would have liked to have him in my circle of friends.

This Washington Post article describes that, Mr. Fuentes in addition to his career as a novelist, he led an intellectually restless life as a political provocateur, an essayist, a screenwriter and playwright, an editor, an ambassador and a cultural historian.

One cool dude in my book.

Learning about Carlos Fuentes today has done one obvious thing: inspired me to follow up and read more on him, pick up one of his books or essays, bring his words and life into my cultural knowledge.

It also inspired me to tell you about him. Because the thing with learning about other countries is not just about trying the food, going out dancing, or just visiting the sites.  Its about understanding the people.  By learning about Carlos Fuentes today, I feel a more connected to a culture that is different than my familiar.  I have a better sense of some of the cultural values of Latin America, México in particularly, and the type of people who make that country.  I know a bit more about the history, politics and consciousness of the people.  Now you also know a little bit about him.

And what better way to leave this world, than to be remembered. 

Señor Carlos Fuentes
November 11, 1928 – May 15, 2012


  1. Love the way you write and your headlines always draw me in. Interesting article.

  2. thanks Lisa! so great to have the feedback :)