“Many peo­ple will like this ba­sic way of pre­sent­ing Diego Rivera, but oth­ers will in­evitably feel the words of the artist as a sud­den sting, like the hives pro­duced by cer­tain shell­fish.” — author Al­fredo Car­dona Peña

Pasatiempo - - RANDOM ACTS -

“Af­ter he fin­ished the first draft, he asked me to read it and look for ty­pos and stuff like that,” Bar­bara Car­dona-Hine said. “I found three para­graphs in the whole book where I said to Al­varo, ‘These don’t make any sense at all in English.’ At first, he re­sisted. He said, ‘That’s how Diego talks. Some­times it’s hard to un­der­stand what he was say­ing.’ But when I knew it was go­ing to be pub­lished, I went through it again and saw that he had cor­rected all three be­cause I never ran into them again. Those who know both languages have said that his trans­la­tion is el­e­gant.”

The author di­vides the in­ter­views into chap­ters, with each set of ques­tions and re­sponses fol­low­ing par­tic­u­lar themes that draw on Rivera’s long en­gage­ment with Mex­i­can his­tory, pol­i­tics, and art. In def­er­ence to Rivera, Car­dona Peña’s ques­tions are of­ten terse and suc­cinct, and he gives the artist plenty of space to ex­pound, pros­e­ly­tize, ed­u­cate, and en­lighten. Along with Rivera’s per­spec­tives are his re­count­ings of per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence. This makes the book an in­dis­pens­able vol­ume for those seek­ing to un­der­stand the pro­lific artist.

Rivera had a con­tentious re­la­tion­ship with the press be­cause of his con­tro­ver­sial views. He was a

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