And Let the Earth Tremble at Its Centers

9780292719620: Paperback
Release Date: 1st March 2009

1 map

Dimensions: 140 x 216

Number of Pages: 174

Series Texas Pan American Literature in Translation

University of Texas Press

And Let the Earth Tremble at Its Centers

Written by
Gonzalo Celorio
Translated by
Dick Gerdes
Foreword by
Rubén Gallo
Paperback / £16.99

Professor Juan Manuel Barrientos prefers footsteps to footnotes. Fighting a hangover, he manages to keep his appointment to lead a group of students on a walking lecture among the historic buildings of downtown Mexico City. When the students fail to show up, however, he undertakes a solo tour that includes more cantinas than cathedrals. Unable to resist either alcohol itself or the introspection it inspires, Professor Barrientos muddles his personal past with his historic surroundings, setting up an inevitable conclusion in the very center of Mexico City.

First published in Mexico in the late 1990s, And Let the Earth Tremble at Its Centers was immediately lauded as a contemporary masterpiece in the long tradition of literary portraits of Mexico City. It is a book worthy of its dramatic title, which is drawn from a line in the Mexican national anthem.

Gonzalo Celorio first earned a place among the leading figures of Mexican letters for his scholarship and criticism, and careful readers will recognize a scholar's attention to accuracy within the novel's dyspeptic descriptions of Mexico City. The places described are indeed real (this edition includes a map that marks those visited in the story), though a few have since closed or been put to new uses. Dick Gerdes's elegant translation now preserves them all for a new audience.

  • Foreword by Rubén Gallo
  • Chapter 1
  • Chapter 2
  • Chapter 3
  • Chapter 4
  • Chapter 5
  • Chapter 6
  • Chapter 7
  • Chapter 8
  • Chapter 9
  • Chapter 10
  • Chapter 11
  • Chapter 12
  • Chapter 13
  • Chapter 14

A scholar, fiction writer, and critic, GONZALO CELORIO lives in Mexico City, where he has been head of UNAM’s Latin American Literature Department since 1974. He is also author of the novels Amor Propio and Tres Lindas Cubanas; this is his first novel to be translated into English.

DICK GERDES is an award-winning translator based in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
RUBÉN GALLO is Associate Professor of Spanish-American Literature at Princeton University and editor of The Mexico City Reader, an acclaimed anthology about Mexico’s capital city.

"It’s intriguing and intelligent; readers familiar with the city will appreciate it anew."

Publishers Weekly