The Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter
“In a Mexican Patio” first appeared in The Magazine of Mexico (April 1921) and was reprinted from Uncollected Early Prose (1993). The text from Uncollected Early Prose is used here.
“Leaving the Petate” first appeared in The New Republic (February 4, 1931); it was revised for inclusion in The Days Before (1952) and reprinted in Collected Essays (1970). The text from Collected Essays is used here.
“The Charmed Life” first appeared in Vogue (April 15, 1942); it was revised for inclusion in The Days Before (1952) and was reprinted in Collected Essays (1970). The text of Collected Essays is used here.
“Corridos” first appeared in Survey Graphic (May 1924) and was reprinted in Uncollected Early Prose (1993). The text from Uncollected Early Prose is used here.
“Sor Juana: A Portrait of the Poet” first appeared, as “To a Portrait of the Poet,” in Survey Graphic (May 1924) and was reprinted in Uncollected Early Prose (1993). The text from Uncollected Early Prose is used here, under a title supplied by the editor.
“Notes on the Life and Death of a Hero” first appeared as the introduction to Porter’s translation of The Itching Parrot (El Paraquillo Sarniento) by José Joaquín Fernández de Lizárdi (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, Doran, 1942). It was revised for inclusion, under its present title, in The Days Before (1952) and was reprinted in Collected Essays (1970). The text from Collected Essays is used here.
This volume collects ten book reviews written by Porter in 1920–43 under the heading “A Mexican Chronicle.” “Blasco Ibanez on ‘Mexico in Revolution’” first appeared in El Heraldo de México (November 22, 1920) and was reprinted in Uncollected Early Prose (1993). The text from Uncollected Early Prose is used here. “Paternalism and the Mexico Problem” first appeared in New York Herald Tribune Books (March 27, 1927) and was reprinted in “This Strange, Old World” (1991). The text from “This Strange, Old World” is used here. “La Conquistadora” first appeared in New York Herald Tribune Books (April 11, 1926); it was revised for inclusion in The Days Before (1952) and was reprinted in Collected Essays (1970). The text from Collected Essays is used here. “¡Ay, Que Chamaco!” first appeared, as “Ay, Que Chamaco,” in The New Republic (December 23, 1925) and was reprinted, as “Ay, Que Chamaco,” in “This Strange, Old World” (1991). The text from “This Strange, Old World” is used here, under a title revised by the editor. “Old Gods and New Messiahs” first appeared in New York Herald Tribune Books (September 29, 1929) and was reprinted in “This Strange, Old World” (1991). The text from “This Strange, Old World” is used here. “Diego Rivera” collects two reviews of books about the artist and his work. “These Pictures Must Be Seen” first appeared in New York Herald Tribune Books (December 22, 1929) and was reprinted in “This Strange, Old World” (1991). The text from “This Strange, Old World” is used here. “Rivera’s Personal Revolution” first appeared, as “Rivera’s Personal Revolution in Mexico,” in New York Herald Tribune Books (March 21, 1937) and was reprinted, as “Rivera’s Personal Revolution in Mexico,” in “This Strange, Old World” (1991). The text from “This Strange, Old World” is used here, under a title revised by the editor. “Parvenu. . .” was commissioned by The New Republic in 1931 but unpublished during Porter’s lifetime; it first appeared in Uncollected Early Prose (1993). The text is based on a 4-page typescript in the Katherine Anne Porter Papers, Archives and Manuscripts Department, University of Maryland Libraries, College Park, Maryland, and was given its title by the editors of Uncollected Early Prose. The text from Uncollected Early Prose is used here. “History on the Wing” first appeared in The New Republic (November 18, 1936) and was reprinted in “This Strange, Old World” (1991). The text from “This Strange, Old World” is used here. “Thirty Long Years of Revolution” first appeared, as “Mexico’s Thirty Long Years of Revolution,” in New York Herald Tribune Books (May 30, 1943); it was reprinted, as “Mexico’s Thirty Long Years of Revolution,” in “This Strange, Old World” (1991). The text from “This Strange, Old World” is used here, under a title revised by the editor.
AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL: “About the Author” first appeared, as “Katherine Anne Porter, 1894–,” in Authors Today and Yesterday, edited by Stanley J. Kunitz with Howard Haycraft and Wilbur C. Hadden (New York: The H. W. Wilson Co., 1933). The text from Authors Today and Yesterday is used here, under a title supplied by the editor.
“The Land That Is Nowhere” first appeared, as “You Are What You Read,” in Vogue (October 1974). The text from Vogue is used here, under Porter’s preferred title as evidenced by a typescript of the essay in the Katherine Anne Porter Papers, Archives and Manuscripts Department, University of Maryland Libraries, College Park, Maryland.
This volume presents the texts of the printings chosen for inclusion here but does not attempt to reproduce nontextual features of their typographic design. The editor has supplied headnotes to the book reviews, introductions, and symposium questions, datelines to the reports from Mexico City, “Notes on the Texas I Remember,” and “The Land That Is Nowhere,” and the titles, headings, and rubrics noted above; otherwise, the texts are printed without change, except for the correction of typographical errors. Footnotes, and datelines except those mentioned above, are Porter’s own. Spelling, punctuation, and capitalization are often expressive features, and they are not altered, even when inconsistent or irregular. Except for clear typographical errors, the spelling and usage of foreign words and phrases are left as they appear in the original texts. The following is a list of typographical errors corrected, cited by page and line number: 88.27, Cornalia; 97.5, a a very; 102.21, Zócolo,; 128.22, Missus; 138.31, sittling; 149.17, rawidhe; 164.16, beach.; 168.33, Doña; 173.4, fly-brown; 178.6, better the; 186.17, Eve; 190.35, me. He; 205.4, jocky; 209.36, exactly if; 235.18, Swede.”; 243.7, “You’re; 258.26, an he; 291.29, strait jacket; 307.16, ouf; 337.17, Grandchildren; 395.15, splender; 399.28, ballons; 421.37, Old; 470.27, tones, with; 481.39, of; 483.10, steer’s; 491.5, it?; 487.20, his agony; 501.6, them!”; 523.26, on; 559.21, miniscule; 587.18, live; 590.1, Wingéd; 593.29, highfalutin’; 594.14, wingéd; 619.15, how; 623.4, Chatterly’s; 624.4, bestwritten; 634.6–7, man-and-yet and-yet-; 637.9, into here.; 656.6, lykewake; 658.21, tardily he; 659.34, (her); 662.7, male,; 665.34, dreams. . .” the; 686.4, fas; 687.7, Stendahl; 687.11, Stendahl; 687.17, Stendahl; 687.19, Stendahl,; 689.30, Steven; 696.38, by C.; 702.29, Whitman,; 704.18, advertising in; 709.30, system the; 712.21, foundation; 773.11, Gardens; 773.20, kind in; 774.13, of Jerico.”; 778.25, victim*; 809.24, Popocatepetl which; 814.8, Weston; 816.17, Weston’s; 833.25, 1691,; 842.16, O’Lochlain; 845.36, O’Lochlain; 853.18, person; 855.34, O’Lochlain; 859.36, Hayes,; 861.3, Hayes; 878.3, man either; 881.8, dusty drinks; 881.32, kind must; 883.10, Cut; 898.33, furnishing; 903.14, Villareal,; 939.10, “edgy”; 959.36, painly; 965.14, Crux; 976.1, capitol; 991.23, wearing; 996.9, beginning;; 1011.19, Moires.
In the notes below, the reference numbers denote page and line of this volume (the line count includes headings). No note is made for material found in standard desk-reference books such as The Columbia Encyclopedia or the eleventh edition of Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. Biblical quotations are keyed to the King James Version. For references to other studies, and further biographical background than is contained in the Chronology, see Katherine Anne Porter: Conversations, edited by Joan Givner (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1987); Katherine Anne Porters Poetry, edited by Darlene Harbour Unrue (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1996); Letters of Katherine Anne Porter, edited by Isabel Bayley (New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1990); Mae Franking’s “My Chinese Marriage,” by Katherine Anne Porter: An Annotated Edition, edited by Holly Franking (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1991); “This Strange, Old World” and Other Book Reviews by Katherine Anne Porter, edited by Darlene Harbour Unrue (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1991); Uncollected Early Prose of Katherine Anne Porter, edited by Ruth M. Alvarez and Thomas F. Walsh (Austin: University of Te
THE COLLECTED STORIES OF KATHERINE ANNE PORTER
3.29 Carl Van Doren] Van Doren (1885–1950) was literary editor of The Century Magazine from 1922 to 1925.
12.8 fig-cactus] Prickly pear (Opuntia).
17.25 informal] The Spanish informal means “unreliable,” “irresponsible.”
17.33–34 I say to her. . . she goes quickly.] Cf. Matthew 8:9.
18.38 Death and Resurrection” pulque shop] The death and resurrection of Christ is a common subject for murals decorating pulquerías, or shops dispensing pulque, a milky alcoholic beverage made from the juice of the agave plant.
20.21–22 shrine at Guadalupe Villa] The Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe (erected 1532–1709), in the Villa de Guadalupe Hidalgo, north of Mexico City, is sited on Tepeyac Hill, where it is said the Virgin Mary appeared to the humble Indian Juan Diego in December 1531. The shrine that houses Juan Diego’s tilma (cloak), miraculously imprinted with an image of Mary, is the most-visited Roman Catholic pilgrimage site in North America.
21.2 Belén Prison] Mexico City prison (1880–1935) legendary for its brutality.
21.17 brasero] Small grill with a coal box underneath.
28.15–16 “This torment of love. . . why.’”] These and other lines attributed to Carlos throughout the story parody the diction and rhythms of Salomón de la Selva (1893–1959), Nicaraguan poet and onetime lover of Porter whose poems in English are collected in Tropical Town (1918) and A Soldier Sings (1919).
29.23 St. Anthony] Antony of Padua (1195–1231), associated with the lily, a symbol of chastity.
29.29 Tacubaya] Ancient village within Mexico City.
30.39 paseo] Both a tree-lined boulevard and the leisurely, recreational drive or stroll one takes there.
30.39–31.1 Chapultepec Park] Sixteen-hundred-acre park on the outskirts of Mexico City.
31.24 membrillo] Quince paste.
32.11 ¡Ay de mi!] Woe is me!
42.39 The Little Monkeys”] Los Monotes, Mexico City café that in the 1920s was frequented by the muralist Diego Rivera, his wife, Frida Kahlo, and the caricaturist Miguel Covarrubias.
45.33 sou marqué] Coin of the French colonies, worth less than a penny.
47.2 Basin Street] Street bordering Storyville, famed red-light district of New Orleans.
65.8 the Elevated] One of three elevated train lines that ran north and south through Manhattan from the 1850s through the 1950s.
68.16 Ricci’s] Seymour de Ricci (1881–1942), British expert in rare books and manuscripts, tapestries, rugs, and fine furniture, long associated with Anderson Galleries, New York.
68.18 Marie Dressler] Comic actress of vaudeville, stage, and screen (1868–1934).
74.26–27 since. . . Independence] Since 1821, when Mexico won its sovereignty from Spain.
74.31 Hotel Regis] Expensive hotel on the Avenida Juárez, favored by American tourists and expatriates.
76.7 the North] The north of Mexico, where revolutionary forces were under the direction of General Doroteo Arango Arámbula (1877–1923), better known as Pancho Villa.
76.8 in the old days] Between July 1914, when forces led by revolutionary general Álvaro Obregón (1880–1928) overthrew the dictatorship of Victoriano Huerta, and May 1917, when Venustiano Carranza (1859–1920) was inaugurated as the first president of Mexico under its present constitution.
81.11–12 heaven tree] Ailanthus altissima, also known as Tree-of-Heaven or stinkbloom.
84.10 Dinty Moore’s or the Black Cat] Mexico City cafés popular with American expatriates.
94.12 St. Michael] The archangel Michael, commander of God’s army; see Daniel 10 and Revelation 12.
96.25–26 Sixteenth of September Street] Calle Diez y Seis de Septiembre, named to commemorate the day in 1810 when the War of Independence from Spain began.
97.6–7 gringa. Gringita!] “Gringa” and its diminutive, “gringrita,” are disparaging Latin American words for a foreign-born woman, especially a light-skinned English-speaker from the United States.
98.24–26 He has. . . lonely as a wave.] Cf. “A la Orilla de un Palmar” (“At the edge of a Palm-grove”), folk song popularized by Manuel Maria Ponce (1882–1942).
99.1 Jockey Club] Men’s cologne by the U.S. perfumery Caswell-Massey.
100.22 Alameda] Historic park in the center of Mexico City.
101.12–13 Zapata’s army] The Liberation Army of the South, formed in 1910 by revolutionist Emiliano Zapata (1879–1919).
101.22 full charro dress] Colorful folkloric costume (traje de charro) typical of a cowboy from the Mexican state of Jalisco.
102.5–6 Judas tree] Redbud tree (Cercis silliquastum); in Christian folklore it is said that Judas Iscariot, the betrayer of Christ, hanged himself from such a tree, and since then its flowers, originally white, have bloomed blood red.
102.15 corridos] Mexican popular ballads, cheaply printed as illustrated broadsides.
102.15 Merced market] La Merced, the largest open-air market in Mexico City.
102.21 Zócalo] Central square in Mexico City; also called the Plaza de la Constitución.
102.22 Francisco I. Madero Avenue] Street named for the pro-democracy Mexican politician (1873–1913) who was a candidate for president in 1910, a year marked by widespread fraud at the polls by the incumbent administration of President Porfirio Díaz. Following the popular revolt against Díaz, Madero was installed as president (1911–13). He was executed after the 1913 coup d’etat by Victoriano Huerta.
102.22–23 Paseo de la Reforma] Grand boulevard that cuts diagonally across Mexico City; it commemorates the liberal reforms of Benito Juárez (1806–1872), five-term president of Mexico (1858–72).
102.23–24 Philosopher Footpath] Avenida de los Poetas, in Chapultepec Park (see note 30.39–31.1).
103.31–32 O girl with the dark eyes] Cf. “Aquellos Ojos Verdes,” Mexican popular song of the 1920s by Aldolfo Ultera and Nilo Menéndez.
104.13 Delgadito] Skinny little one.
104.34 Paseo] Traditional parade of automobiles and carriages in the Paseo de la Reforma (see note 30.39).
105.8 net] Neto; entirely; complete and unadulterated.
105.32–33 May-day. . . Morelia] On May 13, 1921, a riot erupted between revolutionists and Catholics at Morelia, Michoacán. More than 50 persons were killed, many by police.
106.27 General Ortiz] Pascual Ortiz Rubio (1877–1963), president of Mexico in 1930–32.
112.27 County Sligo hall] The meeting hall of the County Sligo Men’s Social and Benevolent Association, founded in 1887 in New York City.
112.32 outland Irish] Irish emigrants and their descendants, especially those settled in Great Britain.
113.37 Black Protestants] Evangelical Protestants of Northern Ireland.
123.11 Sons of Temperance] Fraternal order for Protestant men, founded in New York City in 1842. One of the largest temperance organizations, it had chapters throughout the English-speaking world and thrived for half a century.
123.19–21 At midnight. . . hour—”] From “Marco Bozzaris,” by the American poet Fitz-Greene Halleck (1790–1867).
128.38 Azurea] Line of fragrance products (perfume, face powder, etc.) by L. T. Piver, Paris.
142.17 any. . . north.] See note 76.7.