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Der vergrabene Spiegel

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  765 ratings  ·  55 reviews
From the mysterious cave drawings at Altamira to the explosive graffiti on the walls of East Los Angeles, images in Spain & the Americas speak to us of the astonishing richness & vitality of Spanish culture. Now Fuentes, an internationally renowned novelist & diplomat, provides a unique history of the forces that have created this remarkable culture. 157 ...more
Paperback, 376 pages
Published September 1st 1998 by Fischer (Tb.), Frankfurt (first published January 1st 1992)
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Average rating 4.01  · 
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Hector Arteaga
I was very disappointed with Carlos Fuentes' focus in this book. The majority of his research and writing focuses on what Spain gave the continent, but he fails to do the same research on the indigenous cultures. If you are going to credit the Mediterranean cultures for some of the political and cultural contributions to Spain; perhaps you can do the same for the original inhabitants of the American continent. I understand that as a writer and scholar of the Spanish language he perhaps focused ...more
Hana Al-Harastani
I had to read this for one of my college courses and honestly, I was not a very big fan of it.

The professor used this to teach us about Spanish history, and I do not believe this was a good book to choose. Though the text is very rich and insightful, Fuentes is very bias against certain cultures, using much negative connotation. He would pick and choose what he wanted to talk about and leave out other major contributions depending on what he favored.

The only thing that was good about the book
Sep 04, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: latin-american
made of good paper, nice pictures but author reaches too much . not into the whole explanation of art. if thats your thing youll love this book.
Mar 19, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who can read in Spanish and want to learn about Spanish and Latin American History
Spanish and Latin American History.. a little eurocentric
A fine overview of the histories and cultures of Spain, Mexico, Central America, and South America. The best part is all of the vibrant artwork and photos of architecture.
Rafaela Kino
a light survey. charmingly hyperbolic. full of intellectual digressions that attempt to map meaning and sense into historical narrative. great starter book, well written.
Wow. If you want to read an amazing account of Spain and Latin America this is your book. Originally written to celebrate Columbus' 500th anniversary, it was made into a television series. I only wish I could have seen the series (Amazon lists only the first show on VHS for a mere $120).

Yes I am a huge Carlos Fuentes fan - I have read about half of his books - so I am biased but the wonderful tone and respect Fuentes has for history makes you realize that this is a huge subject and he takes
Terence Clarke
Sep 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Carlos Fuentes is an iconic writer for those interested in Central and South American literature/writing. This book is a series of essays that intend to explain how the Spanish conquistadores and the Indian and, later, Black populations of the southern Americas have engaged in a 500 year-long exchange, resulting in a unique, multi-layered, extremely vibrant culture of its own. Fuentes does not short-change the suffering undergone by those who were conquered. Nor does he soft-pedal the ...more
Oct 06, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting overview of (mostly) Mexican history since the time of Cortes. The book examines the impact on the indigenous Indian culture of Mexico ways of being and thinking imported from Spain and traces how the modern day country of Mexico precariously balances between those two inheritances.
Jul 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is definitely an amazing primer to the history of Spain & Hispano-America - I say “amazing” because it is quite a feat to cover 2000 years of history of such a vast territory in a mere 500 pages. Carlos Fuentes does this, of course, by taking a point of view, so this isn’t just a history but a story of how Carlos sees the Hispanic culture develop, capitalizing on some opportunities but failing to seize on others. He is highly critical of the Catholic Kings (Fernando & Isabella) for ...more
David Layton
Feb 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mexico's most famous novelist wrote this companion book to his PBS documentary series. The book, however, is much more than just a reprint of the narrative script. It is, in fact, a work in its own right that goes much deeper into the matters talked about in the documentary. Fuentes calls this book a biography of his culture, so even though it is about history, it is not a work of pure history. Fuentes' makes his themes abundantly clear from the first chapter: Spanish culture is an unstable ...more
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Carlos Fuentes was one of Mexico's greatest writers, and is primarily known as a novelist. He wrote "El espejo enterrado" (The Buried Mirror) in 1992, to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Columbus' discovery of America. "El espejo enterrado" is a work of non-fiction. I heard it referred to as a "cultural history". It's a broad, sweeping overview of the history of Spain and Latin America, focusing on the major cultural figures of the Spanish-speaking world, and the connection between Spain and ...more
Robert Colvin
Oct 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good book that describes the connection between Spanish and Latin American cultures. Fuentes assumes a basic understanding of historical events and sometimes drops a name, expecting the reader to understand the reference. For me, at times I did understand and other times not so much. Beautiful Spanish prose makes this an interesting read.
Mar 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A history book from famed novelist Carlos Fuentes. Easy to read, as history books can be more tedious than novels. There are youtube videos in Spanish that you can follow along and narrated by the author.
Nicolas Acosta
Jun 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Reading Carlos Fuentes's historical essay of the Hispanic world (written to occasion the fifth centennial of Columbus's voyage) gave me a strange sense of nostalgia. Like sipping tequila after dinner late into the night with a long-lost uncle who tells family stories I've never heard but piece together an image of who I am and where I came from. The genre of the historical essay--which I'm deciding to define here as a highly interpretive survey with broad brush strokes and no footnotes--is a ...more
Todd Stockslager
Jun 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Famous Hispanic novelist writes broad brush cultural and political history of the connection between Spain and Spanish America--the "New World" of the subtitle.

He shows how the three threads of Spanish history in 1492--feudalism fighting toward central monarchy, Christianized Europe fighting against the Islamic outpost on the Iberian peninsula, and the three peoples of the Book--Jews, Christians, and Muslims--fighting for survival and cultural footholds in the rebirth of knowledge in the
Aug 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All right, all right, all right already! I haven’t yet finished this book, it’s too great. As a Latino I feel this is an essential piece of composition for me to read, and perhaps other bookish Latinos. Yes, I read most of it and all I read was in español which makes me very proud. (It’s my contention too much emphasis is put on literature for intermediate readers of Spanish like myself. Literature is damn hard no matter what language you read!) Carlos Fuentes is so very lucid. I love that guy ...more
Jun 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Wow. I thought that history was boring, but this guy made me change my mind. It makes the reader feel interested in the past, in the origin of our current culture and how it was determined so many years ago and it's changing every passing day. I'm so proud of being hispanic, latin, Mexican. If you don't know anything about the art, culture, history or literature of Spain or Latin America, you should really read this book! Totally recommend it!
Feb 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Easy to read history of Latin America, from the "discovery" to present times... It explains how Latin American failures stem from the adoption of foreign political models; from Capitalism to Marxism, instead of exploring the rich traditions of the Indian and African village and the Ibero Spanish municipality.
Jan 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sandra by: Span 5
Shelves: own-one, re-read
Carlos Fuentes is a cool poet. I liked the way he brings back Spanish history through poetry.

It's 10:30pm I'm way to tired after having to work 10 hours in arrow... but I'm surprised how I had forgotten things [interesting things:] I learned last semester...
Once again, Fuentes has stolen my heart...
Apr 12, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Fuentes has done a wonderful job capturing the history of Spain and the New World. It contains a plethora of information and offers many other texts to review as references. I highly recommend reading, but only if you are wanting to learn about a long and tumultuous history. It can be boring, but it can be interesting.
Jun 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book. I read the English translation. Starts with the ancient history of Spain, going into their colonization of the New World and the correlations between Spain and Latin America. Really well written.
Brenda Galván
Sep 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book captures the history of Spanish and Latin American. Fuentes' creation is beyond interesting: it is something quite remarkable, one of our best treatures for me as a Hispanic translator from new world who's lived in both worlds. Definitely recommend it, I wish I could say more.
Nov 03, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-list
For me, this was an interesting and worthwhile read. I am embarrassingly ignorant of Spanish and Latin American history and this book is a great resource. But I felt as if I were reading a text book.
Richard Faris
Jun 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All interested in the impacts and benefits of other cultures.
"The second constant of Spanish culture, as revealed in the artistic sensibility, is the capacity to make the invisible visible by embracing the marginal,the perverse,the excluded" Carlos Fuentes in The Buried Mirror.
Jun 19, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: old-mexico
A good review of the literature, art, and history of a multicultural Spain and in turn a multicultural Mexico, Central, and South America. A philosophical look at what it means to be apart of the global Hispanic culture.
Antonio Dominguez
Magnificent, historical fiction, a reconstruction and reinterpretation of Mexican history that Carlos Fuentes evolved into the characters of contemporary Mexico.
He conjugated the past to the present, from colonial Mexico to post revolution.
Jan 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a must-read for Spanish students and hispanofiles. I have seen the videos and read the book at varous times during my sudies.
Aug 30, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of Mexico's premier philosophers and authors has created a beautiful and illuminating work. Just the reproduced artwork alone is worth the price!
Roberto Ruiz
Jul 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best Carlos Fuentes' books. Not a novel but an Essay, but narrative, structure and rythm is perfect.
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Carlos Fuentes Macías was a Mexican writer and one of the best-known novelists and essayists of the 20th century in the Spanish-speaking world. Fuentes influenced contemporary Latin American literature, and his works have been widely translated into English and other languages.

Fuentes was born in Panama City, Panama; his parents were Mexican. Due to his father being a diplomat, during his