Litro #142: Mexico – Foreword

Litro #142: Mexico

Litro #142: Mexico

The Power of Words

When I met Eric Akoto, a few months back, I did it through words. A letter received at the Embassy and replied the same way. From the very beginning it was fairly easy to be on the same page and within a blink of an eye we were talking words rather than writing them; words about the English and Spanish languages, about literature as an effective way to build bridges of understanding amid peoples and countries. They were words about authors and their work, British and Mexican, past and present; authors that represent the best of their cultures. So when he pointed at the possibility of dedicating a Litro Magazine edition to Mexico and its literature, both of our eyes sparkled; just like words do in novels, essays and poems.

As the Ambassador of Mexico to the Court of St James´s, and as a writer, I fully acknowledge the important role literature plays both in Britain and Mexico; a relevance perfectly reflected by this wonderful Litro Magazine edition dedicated to celebrating and sharing Mexico’s literary creativeness with British readers, editors and writers.

During the last few months, while preparing this edition of Litro, I had the opportunity to exchange points of view with poets and novelists, as well as young writers, about Mexico’s main literary assets and renewed creative vitality, about literature’s links to politics and diplomacy. For many years, diplomatic life has been linked to literature. Great Mexican minds like Alfonso Reyes, Carlos Fuentes, Octavio Paz, and Sergio Pitol fostered brilliant diplomatic liaisons between Mexico and the rest of the world, based on our country’s imaginative power and rich culture.

Throughout 2015, as we celebrate the ‘Year of Mexico in the United Kingdom’ and ‘Year of the United Kingdom in Mexico’, literature will again be at the forefront of our efforts to strengthen the ties between Mexico and Britain. On the one hand, Mexican publishing will be showcased at the London Book Fair. On the other hand, the United Kingdom will be the guest of honour at the Guadalajara Book Fair, the world’s largest Spanish language book fair and the second largest globally. As the famous campaign says, “literature is – definitely – great”.

Literature has always been part of this longstanding relationship across the Atlantic Ocean since both countries first established diplomatic ties back in 1825. Octavio Paz, our Literature Nobel laureate, spent a year in Cambridge while Carlos Fuentes lived for over two decades in London. Through the carefully curated pages of this Litro Magazine edition you will find what lies ahead. Brilliant young novelists, playwrights and poets who represent the future of Mexico and that will undoubtedly become the new bridges that connect both of our countries through the power and beauty of their written words.

Diego Gómez-Pickering
Ambassador of Mexico to the Court of Saint James
Guest Translator
March 2015

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