The above epigraph, written in 1882 by the Mexican Liberal statesman,
pedagogue and novelist Ignacio Manuel Altamirano as an
introduction to the Mexican writer Luis Malanco’s Viaje a Oriente
(Altamirano 1988: 215, 229–30), displays the widely-held opinion that
Mexicans do not produce travel writing of their own. Altamirano’s
comments on the lack of Mexican travel literature have since been quoted and annotated on a number of occasions: by Felipe Teixidor in 1939 in the
prologue to the first edition of his anthology of Mexican travel writing at
home and abroad, Viajeros mexicanos: siglos XIX y XX (1982: 3–4); by
Francisco López Cámara in his book Los viajes de Guillermo Prieto:
estudio introductorio (1994: 13–14); and again by Emmanuel Carballo in
the introduction to his anthology of Mexican travel writing concerning
travel in the United States, ¿Qué país es éste?: los Estados Unidos y los
gringos vistos por escritores mexicanos de los siglos XIX y XX (1996:
11–12). Ironically, all three critics uphold (with nuances) Altamirano’s
declarations on the lack of Mexican travel writing.
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