Wednesday, November 26, 2014

November 2014 Newsletter

My November newsletter chock full of articles, podcasts, events, workshops, and more, has just gone out into the ethers of email via the ever-fabulously silly Mailchimp. (The best part is the chimpy high-five when you hit the send button.) 

Read the November 2014 newsletter >here<.

And you are very welcome to sign up for the next one right >here<.

In progress: three podcast interviews, all fascinating, Rose Mary Salum for Conversations with Other Writers, and Greg Williams and Paul Chaplo for Marfa Mondays. Look for them next month.

Your COMMENTS are always welcome.

Emailed Newsletters: 

Marfa Mondays # 8:

Monday, November 24, 2014

Cyberflanerie: Naomi Shihab Nye, Chinese Chicken Pop, Ye Olde Checkers, Cool Tool for Creating Timewealth, Clay Shirky, Susan J. Tweit

Wang Rong Rollin does the chicken thing
Whatever has befallen you, you will feel better when you read Naomi Shihab Nye's "Gate A-4"

Soup or silly: Chinese Chicken Pop (does anyone remember the days of Mao pajamas? I visited in 1982 and now it seems like a surrealistic dream.)

From south of the border, pues si, amigos y amigas, dear readers, and all cockerspaniels gathered 'round, Nixon's Checkers speech has been Fukushimaed.

Speaking of Mexico, and how very weird things can get, Heribert von Feilitzsch blogs about the Hindu-German conspiracy.

No need to drink coffee, just watch Jason Silva.

An anti-zombie-shuffle fix, aka "cool tool" for creating "timewealth": my guest-blog for Kevin Kelly's Cool Tool blog on the Filofax Personal organizer.

Frank Chimero on What Screens Want.

The brilliantly insightful Clay Shirky on Publishing and Reading.

(Note to self: first shovel snow for 12 hours) Susan J. Tweit's lavender rosemary scones.

A gorgeous sample of four: Guarding the Air: poems by Gunnar Harding, translated by Roger Greenwald.


Friday, November 21, 2014

Lifting the (Very Heavy) Curtain on the Leader of Mexico's 1910 Revolution

November 18, 2014
Though the recent protests in Mexico City's historic center have made it impossible to continue the lecture series on Francisco I. Madero as originally scheduled in the National Palace, the lectures continue at the same day, same time, right next door in Museo de la SHCP / Antiguo Palacio del Arzobispado, Moneda 4. 

I am quite sure the long-ago resident Achbishops must be a-rollin' in their graves, for the topic of this conference is:

(Francisco I. Madero: From Spiritist to the Bhagavad-Gita and Other Esoteric Influences)
Free and open to the public
(en español, por supuesto)

This is an watershed of a conference. For those of you foggy on your Mexican history, Francisco I. Madero was the leader of Mexico's 1910 Revolution and President of Mexico, 1911-1913. He was also a Spiritist medium, a leading Spiritist organizer and evangelist, and as "Bhima," the name of a Hindu warrior, the author of a secret book, Manual espírita. A handful of Mexican historians, including Enrique Krauze, have written about Madero's Spiritism and how it was the source of his political inspiration and platform. Yet, incredible as it may sound, most historians of the Revolution, apart from a lickety-split footnote, have almost completely ignored it. As I noted in my talk for the American Literary Translators Association, I believe one reason is that most historians, who know next-to-nothing about it, consider Spiritism mere superstition and so beneath their notice. In my book, Metaphysical Odyssey into the Mexican Revolution, I have much to say about cognitive dissonance and the rich esoteric matrix from which Madero's version of Spiritism sprang.

This lecture series, sponsored by Mexico's Ministry of Finance-- which, by the way, has a long tradition of stellar cultural calendar with free book presentation, concerts, theater, childrens' workshops, and much more-- and, among other archives, holds that of Francisco I. Madero-- continues with:

Tuesday, November 25
@ 5 PM
CARLOS FRANCISCO MARTINEZ MORENO will talk about "Masonry, Spiritism and Hinduism: Interconnected Strands in Madero's Trio of Mystic Pillars"

Tuesday, December 2
@ 5 PM
Yours Truly, C.M. MAYO, will talk about my book, Metaphysical Odyssey into the Mexican Revolution: Francisco I. Madero and His Secret Book, Spiritist Manual [Odisea metafísica hacia la Revolución Mexicana: Francisco I. Madero y su libro secreto, Manual espírita], and IGNACIO SOLARES, an expert on Spiritism, will speak about his acclaimed novel, Madero, el otro [Madero, the Other].

Previous lectures were by Dr YOLIA TORTOLERO CERVANTES, author of the deeply researched and pathbreaking El espíritismo seduce a Francisco I. Madero, whom I had the very great honor of introducing; 

LUCRECIA INFANTE on "Spirits, women and equality: Laureana Wright and Kardecian Spiritism in Mexico"; 

and most recently, last Tuesday, ALEJANDRO ROSAS ROBLES talked about "The Revolution of the Spirits" and MANUEL GUERRA, the lost Spiritist writings of Madero.

Manuel Guerra de Luna is the author of Los Madero: La Saga liberal, and of the screenplay for the excellent documentary film directed by Alejandro Fernández Solsona, 1910: La Revolución espírita. Alejandro Rosas Robles, a prolific and very popular historian in Mexico, is the author of many books and editor of the 10-volume series of the collected works, Obras completas de Francisco Ignacio Madero (Clío, 2000).

Guerra de Luna's talk was especially fascinating for me, as he talked about Madero's Spiritist notebooks. Madero was a writing medium, and so his method of receiving communication was to go into a trance and allow the spirits to use his hand and pencil. We know from the notebooks that as Madero sat down to work on his political grenade, La sucesión presidencial en 1910, he would first channel the spirits' advice. These notebooks were rescued from a fire into which a relative wanted to consign them. They are held in the Francisco I. Madero archive in the Ministry of Finance (SHCP) and transcribed in Rosas' Obras completas de Francisco Ignacio Madero, volume VI, Cuadernos espíritas. [Spiritist Notebooks.]

(Mexican history aficionados will note that Rosas Robles has confirmed that on his birth certificate Francisco Madero's middle initial stands for "Ignacio," not "Indalecio.") 

Madero's channeled writings end abruptly in 1908. Based on a comment in one of Madero's letters, Guerra de Luna believes that at that time, Madero stopped "automatic writing," adopting the method of channeling he considered more advanced: direct telepathic communication. 

Both Guerra de Luna and Rosas Robles appear in the must-watch documentary film, 1910: La Revolución espírita. > WATCH IT HERE.<

One of the points I make in my book is that Madero's Spiritism was based on was very different from that of mid-19th century Spiritists, for by the late 19th century, thanks to various occult philosophers, Theosophists and others, Hindu philosophy and in particular, the Bhagavad-Gita, had become an important influence. In addition, Madero was a Mason and Rosicrucian. Next Tuesdays' talk by Carlos Francisco Martínez Moreno, an expert on Masonry, will be sure to be especially illuminating.

As for the recent political tumult here in Mexico, I steer clear of discussing current politics on this blog, but I will go so far as to suggest that a good source of reporting and opinion in a variety of media in English is via the Woodrow Wilson Center's Mexico Institute. The email signup is on their webpage.

Your COMMENTS are always welcome.

(Transcript of my talk for a panel at 
the American Literary Translators Association 
conference, Milkwaukee, November 2014)

(Madero, Spiritism, esoteric philosophies, history)

Cool Tool for Creating Timewealth:
(A guest-blog on Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools blog)

(book review)

(My essay and a podcast about an adventure in a remote area in 
Big Bend National Park, near the US-Mexico border)

Monday, November 17, 2014

Why Translate? The Case of the President of Mexico's Secret Book

Just back from ALTA, the American Literary Translators Association conference held this year in (brrr) Milwaukee, which had the theme "Politics & Translation." If you've been following this blog, you've already read reams about my latest book which is, indeed, about politics: Metaphysical Odyssey into the Mexican Revolution: Francisco I. Madero and His Secret Book, Spiritist Manual.

At ALTA, I spoke on two panels and read an excerpt from my translation of a work by Mexico's great novelist and short story writer Ignacio Solares. (Had the scheduling permitted, I would have loved to have also shared new translations of works by Mexican writers Agustin Cadena and Rose Mary Salum. Here's to ALTA in Tucson, Arizona in 2015!) 

Herewith the text of my talk for the second panel, "Why Translate?"


A transcript of the talk for the panel "Why Translate?" 
American Literary Translation Association (ALTA) Conference
Milwaukee, November 15, 2014
[Slightly edited for this blog]

President of Mexico
I translate for the same reasons that I write. There are many, but we have only a few minutes, so I will focus on two, which are: I want to understand, and I want to share that understanding. 

Sharing might just be with myself, as in a diary entry, or with a cadre of of loyal readers and any Internet surfers who happen onto this blog, Madam Mayo. Sharing ramps up, of course, when we start talking about books. 

People have many different and varied motivations for writing and publishing books— and for some, one of them is nothing less than to change the world. Or maybe, to change our understanding of some aspect of the world— and so change the world.

Whether in its original language or as a translation, a book is a vector for a set of ideas, a very unusual and efficient vector, for it can zing ideas from mind to mind, spreading out over great distances and, potentially, far into the future. 

Books can travel through two systems, or rather, an array of systems: at one extreme, the heavily intermediated, and at the other, the direct.

Our commercial publishing industry constitutes that first extreme. To give a stylized example, a book comes into the hands of an agent, then an acquiring editor, perhaps a developmental editor, a copyeditor, a book designer, a formatter, a cover designer, the proofreader, the printer, the delivery truck driver, the warehouse employees, the distributor, the sales rep, the bookstore's buyer, and so on and so forth until, finally, the cashier hands the book to its reader. Very possibly multiple corporate entities and dozens of individuals play some role in bringing a book to any given reader. 

At the other extreme, I scribble on a piece of paper and hand it to you. 

I submit that we tend to over focus on this heavily intermediated system; we often overlook the fact that it is not the only or even necessarily the best way for a book to fulfill its purpose.

The first page of Madero's
La sucesion presidencial en 1910
"To the heroes of our country;
to the independent journalists;
to the good Mexicans"
I'm going to focus on two books, both political, both by Francisco I. Madero. 

If you are at all familiar with Mexican history, Francisco I. Madero needs no introduction. If Mexican history is a mystery to you, the main thing you need to know is that Madero was the leader of Mexico's 1910 Revolution and President of Mexico from 1911 to 1913. 

His first book, La sucesión presidencial en 1910, or The Presidential Succession in 1910, published in 1909, served as his political platform in challenging the old regime. Though it was after the stolen elections of 1910 that Madero declared the Revolution on November 20, 1910, informally, we could say that the Revolution was launched with this book. 

Francisco I. Madero's secret book
Madero's second book is Manual espírita or Spiritist Manual, which he finished writing as he was preparing for the Revolution; it began to circulate in 1911, when he was president-elect. It is this second book which I translated, and my book about that book, which includes the translation, is Metaphysical Odyssey into the Mexican Revolution: Francisco I. Madero and His Secret Book, Spiritist Manual. 

Apropos of Madero's two books and the two systems to bring a book to its readers, the heavily intermediated and the relatively direct, a bit from the opening of chapter 2 of my book, Metaphysical Odyssey into the Mexican Revolution:

When we talk about a “successful book,” usually what we mean is one that has a brand-name publisher, enjoys prime shelf space in bookstores, and earns its author buckets of royalties. In other words, we talk about it as a commodity—or, if we’re a mite more sophisticated, a hybrid commodity / work of art / scholarship. I say “we” because I am writing and I presume you are reading this in a time and place where books are no longer banned by the government, their authors no longer casually imprisoned—or worse. Lulled by endless streams of made-for-the-movies thrillers and romances, we forget that, as Ray Bradbury put it, “A book is a loaded gun.” 
Francisco I. Madero intended his Manual espírita to be a beam of light, to heal Mexico and the world with his consoling concepts of the nature and meaning of life. However, it is a book that stands on the shoulders of his first book that was, indeed, a loaded gun: La sucesión presidencial en 1910, published in the winter of 1909 when Don Porfirio Díaz, the dictator who had stolen the presidency in a coup d’état and ruled Mexico on and off for over thirty years, was about to celebrate his eightieth birthday and, as Mexico’s so-called “necessary man,” take for himself a seventh term.
Madero had no interest in the capitalist concept of a book’s success; he wanted La sucesión presidencial en 1910 in people’s hands, and as fast as possible, and for that he did not need bookstores, he needed a jump-start on Don Porfirio’s police. He paid for the printing himself (a first edition of 3,000, and later more) and, as he noted in a letter:
[T]he first precaution I took was to hand out 800 copies to members of the press and intellectuals throughout Mexico, so when the Government got wind of the book’s circulation, it would be too late to stop it. . .

Now when we come to Madero's second book, Manual espírita, or Spiritist Manual, there are two reasons the subtitle of my book calls it his "secret book": First, he wrote it under a pseudonym; second, incredible as it may sound, for the most part, historians have ignored it. A few have begrudged it a footnote; only a very few— so few that I can count them on one hand— have dared to write about it in any depth and seriousness. 

The 1924 edition
published by
Casa Editorial Maucci
in Barcelona
In 1911 five thousand copies of Madero's Manual espírita went into circulation, one assumes, among Spiritists. It was reprinted in part by Madero's enemies, the Reyistas, as an attack-- their message being, "Madero is the true author, you see what a nut he is." And I discovered that in 1924 Casa Editorial Maucci in Barcelona brought out a reprint (print run unknown). I do not know what influence the Manual espírita may or may not have had in spreading Spiritism, whether in Mexico or abroad—it would make a fine PhD dissertation to delve into that question— but as far as historians of Mexico are concerned, until very recently, and apart from a very few and very hard-to-find editions published in Mexico, essentially, the Manual espírita disappeared into the ethers. 

In 2011, one hundred years after its publication, I published the first English translation as a Kindle. Earlier this year, 2014, I published my book about the book, which includes Madero's book, under the title Metaphysical Odyssey into the Mexican Revolution: Francisco I. Madero and His Secret Book, Spiritist Manual in both Kindle and paperback editions. And like Madero himself with both his books, I self-published.

I hasten to clarify that I did not self-publish after a string of rejections. I have already published several books, two with university presses and two with major commercial publishers, among others, so I know that, with patience and persistence, should those have proved necessary, my work would have found a home. My decision to self-publish was a deeply thought-out strategy, specific to my circumstances and specific to this title. In short,  I decided to skip the heavily intermediated system, which for this book probably would have been a university press. My three reasons:

First, I am not an academic angling for tenure, and as I have already published several books, as a writer and a translator I did not see much to gain by going to a traditional publisher, and in fact I had a lot to lose, mainly time and control;
Second, in English, alas (would that it were otherwise) books on Mexico are not particularly commercial, which makes me suspect that, whatever its merits may or may not be, mine would have taken a shoulder-saggingly long time to bring forth a contract I would have been willing to sign;
Third, for many readers, Spiritism is at once disturbing and beneath their notice. Let's say, all this concern with the Afterlife and communicating with the dead creeps them out, as would a book on, oh, alien abductions or crop circles. And I believe this explains why even many of the leading historians of the Mexican Revolution do not know about Madero's Spiritism, or know next to nothing about it. To give you an idea, one major textbook does not deign to mention it, while another textbook, also published by an important university press, blithely labels Madero an atheist, which is rather like calling the Pope of Rome a Protestant.

In our day, what we think of as self-publishing usually includes intermediaries such as In my case this would be and Ingram. Ingram's recent move into the realm of self-publishing is really the topic for another panel, but suffice it to say that for traditional publishing, no exaggeration, this is as momentous as Hiroshima. Ingram is a major book distributor and now also an on-demand book printer, and what listing with Ingram means is that all major on-line booksellers can now, on demand, easily source that self-published book. Libraries can order it, just as they order many of their books from Ingram, and while Barnes & Noble as well as many other major bookstore chains and independent bookstores may not necessarily stock it on their shelves, it's right there, as easy to order as any other book, on their webpagesagain, sourced from Ingram. 

As for getting my book into people's hands, that is a challenge, for without a publisher, I do not have a marketing staff and sales reps. Like Madero with his La sucesión presidencial en 1910, I simply identified key individuals and gave each a copy. These individuals, mainly but not exclusively academics, are experts on Madero, on the Mexican Revolution, Mexican history in general, the history of metaphysical religion, and Masonry (Madero was a Mason).

The process of the book, my little turtle, finding its readers may be a long and winding one, but it is underway [see reviews] and I feel no urge to hurry. Unlike a traditionally published book, which must dash out like a rabbit, digitally available books (ebooks and print-on-demand paperbacks sold on-line) are not so heavily dependent on "buzz" generated to coincide with the fleeting moment when a book, thanks to the efforts of marketing staff and sales reps, might be available on physical shelves in brick-and-mortar bookstores. Like grocery stores, brick-and-mortar bookstores must move their merchandize with the seasons and oftentimes, as with the proverbial cottage cheese, even more quickly. Digital bookshelves, however, are of a different nature; at the click of a button, they can unfurl vast dimensions, additions to which impose a marginal cost approaching, or in fact, zero. Now if, on a Tuesday at 4 am, say, seven months or, say, seven years in the future, someone in Oodnadatta, Australia wants to download my Kindle or order my print-on-demand paperback, with a click, he can do just that. 

Will my book with its translation of Madero's Spiritist Manual change our understanding of Mexican history? Well, I do think it blasts the sombrero off the reigning paradigm, to consider that Francisco I. Madero, the leader of Mexico's 1910 Revolution— an absolutely transformative episode in Mexican history and the first major revolution of the 20th century—was a not only a Spiritist but a leading Spiritist and a Spiritist medium. 

Madero believed that he was channeling written instructions and encouragement from spirits in writing both of his books, and furthermore, in his Spiritist Manual, he detailed his beliefs about such esoterica as astral travel and interplanetary reincarnation, and the moral duty of political action. 

For anyone who chooses to open their eyes and look at the overwhelming evidence, the connection between Madero's beliefs and his politics is clear. As Mexican historian Enrique Krauze writes in his seminal 1987 biography, Francisco I. Madero: Místico de la libertad, in the case of Madero, "Politics does not displace Spiritism; it is born of it."

I do not deny other motives and the millions of other participants in that Revolution. But its spark, and the way it played out, and, I believe, Madero's murder, are a radically different story once we take into account his Spiritism.

My aim with my book and my translation of Madero's book is to deepen our understanding of Madero, both as an individual and as a political figure; and at the same time, deepen our understanding of the rich esoteric matrix from which his ideas sprang, in other words, not to promote his ideas nor disparage them, but explain them and give them context. 

It is also then my aim to deepen our understanding of the 1910 Revolution and therefore of Mexico itself, and because the histories are intertwined, therefore also deepen our understanding of North America, Latin America, the Pacific Rim, and more for as long as a book exists, should someone happen to read it, it can catalyze change in understanding (and other changes) that ripple out, endlessly. 

Such is the wonder, the magical embryonic power of a book, any book, whether original or in translation: that, even as it rests on a dusty shelf for a hundred years, or for that matter, an unvisited digital "shelf," if it can be found, if it can be read, it holds such potential.

Your COMMENTS are always welcome.

***UPDATE: Now available:

[official webpage, with excerpts, Q & A, podcasts, 
and resources for researchers]

[about President Plutarco Elías Calles 
and the research séances of the IMIS]

My anthology of 24 Mexican writers on Mexico

Interview with C.M. Mayo on literary translation

A "Marfa Mondays" podcast interview 
with historian John Tutino

Monday, November 10, 2014

In Mexico's National Palace: Dr. Yolia Tortolero Cervantes and Her Pathbreaking Work on Francisco I. Madero, El espiritismo seduce a Francisco Madero


Last Thursday in Mexico's National Palace (Palacio Nacional), I had the great honor of introducing both the lecture series, Francisco I. Madero: Del espíritismo al Bhagavad-Gita y otras influencias esotéricas, [Francisco I. Madero: From Spiritism to the Bhagavad-Gita and Other Esoteric Influences] and its first speaker, Dr. Yolia Tortolero Cervantes, author of El espíritismo seduce a Francisco Madero. [Spiritism Seduces Francisco Madero.] 

The series continues each Tuesday at 5 pm through December 2, when I will be speaking with Ignacio Solares. All lectures are free and open to the public in the National Palace's Recinto Juárez. More information and the complete schedule is here. 

After her fascinating lecture about President Madero
and Spiritism in Mexico's National Palace
(The portrait is of President Benito Juárez)
If you have been following this blog, you already know all about my own book, Metaphyscal Odyssey into the Mexican Revolution: Francisco I. Madero and His Secret Book, Spiritist Manual, which includes my translation-- the first into English-- of Madero's Manual espirita. 

[>>Read excerpts and more.]

Herewith my translation of my introduction to the lecture series and of Dr. Yolia Tortolero Cervantes, followed by the Spanish original.

Good afternoon. It is a great honor for me to give you all a very warm welcome to this lecture series, "Francisco I. Madero: From Spiritism to the Bhagavad-Gita and Other Esoteric Influences." 
Profoundly respected and internationally famous as Mexico's "Apostle of Democracy," Francisco I. Madero was the leader of the 1910 Revolution and President of the Republic from 1911 to 1913. During his life, and for decades after his assassination in 1913, Madero's Spiritism and other esoteric ideas have been the topic of gossip, of rumor. In particular, during his brief administration, his enemies used such gossip as a weapon of attack. Later, the subject became taboo.
The "Gita"
also influenced
Mohandas Gandhi
This lecture series and the various works of the participants represent a parting of the waters, not only for the notable quality of the original research, but the fact that we are celebrating it the National Palace.
I hasten to clarify that we are not necessarily celebrating esoteric ideas in themselves; we celebrate the memory of this honored figure in Mexican history and these historians' efforts to comprehend the nature of his esoteric ideas, their context, and their role-- a role that was fundamental in his private life and his political life.
As Enrique Krauze tells us in his seminal work of 1987, Francisco I. Madero: Místico de la libertad [Francisco I. Madero: Mystic of Liberty], "Politics does not displace Spiritism; it is born of it."
Allan Kardec
Chef du Spiritisme
This series offers lectures each Tuesday here at the same time, at 5 pm. 
On November 11, we will hear from LUCRECIA INFANTE de about "Spirits, women and equality: Laureana Wright and Kardecian Spiritism in Mexico."
On November 18, we will hear from two experts on Madero and Spiritism, ALEJANDRO ROSAS ROBLES, who will talk about "The Revolution of the Spirits" and MANUEL GUERRA, on the lost Spiritist writings of Madero.
On November 25, we will hear from CARLOS FRANCISCO MARTINEZ MORENO on "Masonry, Spiritism and Hinduism: Interconnected Strands in Madero's Trio of Mystic Pillars."
And finally, on December 2, Yours Truly, C.M. MAYO, will talk about my book, Metaphysical Odyssey into the Mexican Revolution: Francisco I. Madero and His Secret Book, Spiritist Manual [Odisea metafísica hacia la Revolución Mexicana: Francisco I. Madero y su libro secreto, Manual espírita], and will will also hear from the Mexican novelist, IGNACIO SOLARES, about his work, Madero, el otro [Madero, the Other.].

The Kindle edition of Dr Tortolero's
pathbreaking work
Today [November 11, 2014], the opening of the series, is in the hands of the renowned Mexican historian, DR YOLIA TORTOLERO CERVANTES, with "Nine Readings About Francisco I. Madero and His Belief in Spiritism."  
Her work, El espiritismo seduce a Francisco I. Madero [Spiritism Seduces Francisco I. Madero], lit the way for many other works, including mine. 
I confess that it would have been impossible for me to see where to begin, never mind find my way out of the labyrinth of esoteric ideas in the life of Francisco Madero without this marvelous and deeply researched work as my guide. It is no exaggeration: it is not possible for anyone to find their footing in the history of Francisco Madero and the Revolution of 1910 without Dr. Tortolero's work.
A brief biography of Dr. Tortolero:
She received her doctorate from the Colegio de México in 1999 with a thesis about the influence of Spiritism on Francisco Ignacio Madero's political career (1873-1910), a work subsequently published by the National Fund for Culture and the Arts in 2001 (first edition);   by the Senate of the Republic in 2002 (second edition), and an electronic edition in Kindle format in 2013. In 1999 she was Chief of Research in the Recinto de Homenaje a Benito Juárez [National Palace] and from 2000 - 2010 she worked in Mexico's National Archive, as Chief of the National Rgistry and as Director of Research and Archival Standards. 
From 2011 - 2012 she worked in the Andrés Bello Catholic University in Caracas, Venezuela, as Professor in the Masters in the History of the Americas and the Masters in the History of Venezuela. Since January 2012 she has been visiting researcher in the Bolivarium Institute for Historical Research, in the Bolívar University in Caracas, where she has been researching the life of lawyer Joaquín Mosquera y Figueroa (1748-1830), who was  Oidor de la Real Audiencia de México at the end of the 18th century and Visitador Regente de la Real Audiencia de Caracas from 1805 to 1809. Beginning in October 2014 she is a CONACYT post-doctoral fellow in the Masters in History interdisciplinary program in the University of Guanajuato.
[NOTE: I hope to be able to link to the YouTube video of her talk soon.]


Muy buenas tardes. Es un gran honor para mi darles a todos ustedes la muy cordial bienvenida a este ciclo de conferencias, "Francisco I. Madero : Del espíritimo al Bhagavad-Gita y otras influencias esotéricas."

Profundamente respetado y ampliamente conocido como "El Apóstol de la Democracia", Francisco I. Madero fue  líder de la Revolución de 1910 y Presidente de la República de 1911 a 1913.

Durante su vida y décadas después de su asesinato en 1913, su espiritismo y sus otras ideas esotéricas han sido tópicos de chisme, de rumor. En particular durante su breve administración presidencial, tales chismes se utilizaron como armas de ataque para sus enemigos. Posteriormente, el tópico se convirtió en tabú.

Esta conferencia, al igual que las varias obras de sus participantes, representa un parte aguas, no solamente por la notable calidad de invtestigación original, sino por el hecho de que hoy en día estamos celebrandolo en Palacio Nacional. Quisiera aclarar que no estamos necesariamente celebrando las ideas esotéricas en sí. Celebramos la memoria de este gran personaje en la historia de México y celebramos los esfuerzos de os historiadores por comprender la naturaleza de sus ideas esotéricas, su origen, su contexto, y su papel-- un papel primordial para Francisco I. Madero tanto en su via privada como su vida política.

Como nos dijo Enrique Krauze en su obra seminal de 1987, Francisco I. Madero, Místico de la libertad, "La política no desplaza al espiritismo; nace de él."

El ciclo de conferencias se llevará a cabo cada martes a la misma hora. 

El 11 de noviembre, nos hablará Lucrecia Infante de espíritus, mujeres e igualdad. Laureana Wright y el Espiritismo Kardeciano en México.

El 18 de noviembre, 2014 nos hablarán dos expertos en la vida y espiritismo de Madero, Alejandro Rosas, de la Revolución de los espíritus y Manuel Guerra, de los escritos espiritistas perdidos de Francisco I. Madero.

El 25 de noviembre, nos hablará Carlos Francisco Martínez Moreno sobre la masonería, espiritismo e hindismo: senderos comunicantes en los tres pilares místicos de Francisco I. Madero.

Y por último, el 2 de diciembre, su servidor, C.M. Mayo, voy a hablar de mi libro, 
Odisea metafísica hacia la Revolución Mexicana: Francisco I. Madero y su libro secreto, Manual espírita, y nos va a hablar el gran novelista mexicano, Ignacio Solares, sobre su novela, Madero, el otro.

Hoy [el 11 de noviembre], la apertura del ciclo, está en manos de la renombrada historiadora, la Dra Yolia Tortolero Cervantes, con "Nueve lecturas sobre Francisco I. Madero y su creencia en el espiritismo".  Su obra, El espiritismo seduce a Francisco I. Madero, dio paso a muchas otras, incluyenda la mía. 

Confieso que hubiera sido imposible para mí saber dónde empezar ni hablar de salir del laberínto de las ideas esotéricas en la vida de Francisco Madero sin esta maravillosa y profundamente investigada obra como guía.

Digo sin exerageración, no les es posible a nadie ubicarse dentro de la historia de Francisco Madero sin esta obra de la Dra. Tortolero.

Ahora una breve biografía. 

Yolia Tortolero Cervantes 
Se doctoró en Historia en El Colegio de México en 1999 con la tesis sobre la influencia del espiritismo en la vida política de Francisco Ignacio Madero (1873-1910), obra publicada por el Fondo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes en 2001 (1ª edición); por el Senado de la República, 2002 (2ª edición) y en versión electrónica en formato Kindle, 2013. 
En 1999 fue Jefa de Investigación del Recinto de Homenaje a Benito Juárez y entre 2000 y 2010 trabajó en el Archivo General de la Nación de México, como Jefa del Registro Nacional de Archivos y Directora de Investigación y Normatividad Archivística. 
Entre 2011 y 2012 trabajó en la Universidad Católica Andrés Bello en Caracas, Venezuela, como profesora en la maestría en Historia de América y maestría en Historia de Venezuela. 
Desde enero de 2012 es investigadora visitante del Instituto de Investigaciones Históricas Bolivarium, de la Universidad Simón Bolívar en Caracas, en donde investiga la vida del abogado Joaquín Mosquera y Figueroa (1748-1830), quien fue Oidor de la Real Audiencia de México a fines del siglo XVIII y Visitador Regente de la Real Audiencia de Caracas entre 1805 y 1809. 
A partir de octubre de 2014 es becaria de CONACYT en la Estancia Posdoctoral en apoyo al Posgrado Nacional en la Maestría en Historia (Estudios Históricos Interdisciplinarios) de la Universidad de Guanajuato. 

[Espero poder añadir un enlace a su plática en YouTube próximamente.]

El espiritismo seduce a Francisco Madero

(on the webpage for my book, 
Metaphysical Odyssey into the Mexican Revolution)