To go big is to go home

Mexico City as palimpsest
by
January–February 2022, no. 439
Buy this book

Horizontal Vertigo: A city called Mexico by Juan Villoro, translated by Alfred MacAdam

Pantheon Books, $62.99 hb, 357 pp

To go big is to go home

Mexico City as palimpsest
by
January–February 2022, no. 439

In Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series, the planet Trentor is the capital of the Galactic Empire. Seen from space, Trentor is nothing but city: there are no rivers, trees, or any other natural features, only an endless urban landscape, a metropolis that has taken over the planet. Landing in Mexico City feels like landing in Trentor: the size is overwhelming, and its apparent infinity challenges most people’s understanding of a city. Juan Villoro calls this sensation ‘horizontal vertigo’. The term is borrowed from a description of the grazing lands of the Argentine pampa, and Villoro chose it as the apt title of his chronicle of Mexico City.

Gabriel García Ochoa reviews 'Horizontal Vertigo: A city called Mexico' by Juan Villoro, translated by Alfred MacAdam

Horizontal Vertigo: A city called Mexico

by Juan Villoro, translated by Alfred MacAdam

Pantheon Books, $62.99 hb, 357 pp

Buy this book

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