Goodbye, Carlos Monsiváis (1938-2010)

This weekend Mexico lost one of its greatest writers: Carlos Monsiváis. I will not attempt a biographical essay here, especially because the L.A. Times Blog already contains an excellent one in English. I had the privilege to see Monsiváis speak in public a few times, and to shake his hand once or twice. In March of 2009 I heard him give a talk on nineteenth-century Mexican literature that was brilliant. Before and after, people reverentially hovered around him, and those who spoke to him used the honorific “Maestro” (teacher). He was one of the true greats of the twentieth century, of which there are very few left. Now his words will remain, but not his endearing, scruffy, unassuming self.

Below, some poignant images of how Mexico has commemorated the passing of its “last” and greatest public intellectual.

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