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News from the Empire Paperback – April 7, 2009
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"Embodies a totalizing ambition, reminiscent of Joyce, to investigate the conditions of culture and knowledge, to explore the relationship between myth and history, and to demonstrate the potential of literary language to revolutionize our ways of seeing the world." --Times Literary Supplement
"Del Paso's characterizations, often an accumulation of details that become sharply focused, are brilliant." --Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
Maximilian is a tragic character. He is well educated, an Enlightenment liberal. He is a dilettante of his generation, but does implement social reform in Mexico. He is ultimately cornered by the political game play of the Habsburg Empire, the French and the Americans, who all desert him to execution at age 35. The ceremonial detail for his execution in the penultimate chapter mocks his own emphasis on the trivia of ceremony when planning to rule Mexico. His wife Charlotte, restyled Carlota in Mexico, survives him, but in decades of insanity.
Del Paso’s study of insanity in the chapters written as though from Charlotte in Bouchout castle is deeply imaginative and moving. Charlotte obsesses over Maximilian’s story and the decadence of Europe’s monarchies. The suggestion may be that her insanity mirrors theirs?
Geoff Crocker Editor 'Atheist Spirituality' web site
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Hard to follow, though the historical accuracy seems solid. the 'crazy woman' scenes of Carlotta become a drudge.Published 11 months ago by E.J. Kaye
great book, amazing story. Hard to believe this was real. This is a great book to understand Mexico's struggle to its independence.Published 22 months ago by Daniel Benavente
Fernando Del Paso is one of Mexico's great novelists, and News from the Empire, about the ill-fated monarchy of Maximiliano and Carlota, is his masterpiece.Published on March 11, 2013 by Robert de Gast