Don’t Take Life Too Seriously
By Carlos Alberto Sanchez
SUNY Press, $80.00, 227 pages
The idea of being serious, and the idea of disrupting it in some way, goes back many years, to the time of the post-colonial world as Mexico’s people struggled to find their voice. A little-known (outside of Mexico in the middle of the 20th century) essay explores this concept of disrupting the seriousness of life, of throwing a wrench, of making a disruption. The author only ever wrote one philosophical essay and it was not published until after his death. He did not formally teach in any of the universities, but he was recognized by his peers as a major voice in the identification of Mexican identity and what it means to be Mexican in the 20th century.
This book brings the Mexican philosopher to an American audience and a new platform. With his essay never before published in English, and his work never examined in depth, this book is a major contribution to the ideas and topics of Mexican identity in the mid 20th century. Carlos Sanchez does an excellent job of bringing his concepts and ideas to life in a way that can be understood by anyone. He explores the themes, contexts and times of Jorge Portilla and why he is an important figure. This is a major work in the field of Latin America philosophy.
Reviewed by Kevin Winter