At the outset, grand notions of national character and civilization are not foremost in the author’s mind; indeed, he consciously puts aside such musings in order to set down more immediate impressions of his surroundings. Sunshine and the smell of carnations, the sound of cocks crowing, and the scent of leaves, wood resin, and coffee suggest whatever is most typical about a bright, clear morning in a small Mexican town. A pleasant day, warm enough for writing outdoors, sets in motion some gentle and unpretentious thoughts centering on Corasmin, a white, curly-haired little dog that cannot fathom the mimicry of two parrots which can “bark” in much the same way that he does. The dog’s discomfiture moves the writer to speculate about the natural scheme of things.
Theories of evolution were not to Lawrence’s liking, because they presume too much of an orderly sequence that reduces living creatures to causal links in an inflexible chain of events. Half seriously, he would cogitate upon Aztec cosmology, which he thought was more amenable to notions of volition and individuality. According to early Mexican beliefs, periodic outbursts of cosmic convulsions during epochs of chaos and creation have ushered in new ages in the development of life on the planet. In Mornings in Mexico, such reflections, which are followed by lighthearted asides, set the tone for the sketches. This effect of varying depth, in a work that never quite renounces its air...
(The entire section is 1835 words.)
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