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A uniquely eye-opening tour of one of the great metropolises of the world, its largest Spanish-speaking city--at once intimate and wide-ranging, and as enthralling, surprising, and vivid as the place itself.
Horizontal Vertigo: the title refers to the fear of ever-impending earthquakes, which led Mexicans to build their capital city outward rather than upward. With the perspicacity of a keenly observant flâneur, Villoro wanders through the city seemingly without a plan, describing people, places, and things, while brilliantly drawing connections among them, the better to reveal, in all its multitudinous glory, the vicissitudes and triumphs of Mexico City's cultural, political, and social history: from indigenous antiquity to the Aztec period, from the Spanish conquest to Mexico City today, one of the world's leading cultural and financial centers. In his deeply iconoclastic book, Villoro organizes his text around a recurring series of chapter titles: "Living in the City," "City Characters," "Shocks, Crossings, and Ceremonies." What he achieves, miraculously, is a stunning, intriguingly coherent meditation on Mexico City's genius loci, its spirit of place.
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