Published online by Cambridge University Press: 10 November 2022
The chapter provides an overview of Langston Hughes’s deep intellectual engagement with Mexico throughout his adult life. The writer spent extended times in the country at different points in his life. During these stays, he actively engaged with Mexican nature and culture, with the artistic and intellectual vanguard, as well as with the common people he encountered. Exploring the cities he lived in, as well as their surrounding nature, he expressed his observations and experiences of Mexican places and people in a series of poems, stories, essays, and his two volumes of autobiography. In turn, Hughes’s commitment to Mexico as well as to communities of color throughout the Americas won him high esteem across Latin America. Many of his poems appeared in Spanish translation in Mexican and other Latin American literary journals since the 1920s, thus further disseminating his work and vision across the region. The chapter discusses this rich body of literary travels and translations against the backdrop of their cultural historical contexts to explore Hughes’s vision of Mexico as well as his place in Mexican cultural reception.
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