Laura Isabel Serna and Colin Gunckel are working on a volume tentatively titled Gabriel Navarro: El Mago del Cine that brings together three short novels written by Gabriel Navarro in the 1920s. Not available in print since their initial publication and never before translated into English, each novel is centered on a different aspect of film culture that emerged in the Mexican immigrant community. In addition to the novels, the book will include a co-written introductory essay that situates Navarro in the context of ethnic Mexican cultural life in the Southwest, a biographical overview of Navarro, translations of selected cultural criticism written by Navarro and published in La Prensa and La Opinión, and a number of images from archival and family collections.
Our new project gathers translated motion-picture fiction -- novels that in some way took up the world of Hollywood and filmmaking -- and critical writing about films and film culture by a journalist named Gabriel Navarro (1894-1950) who was active in Los Angeles during the 1920s and ’30s. Through the publication of a representative sample of his work in translation, we present a new perspective on Hollywood history and offer a glimpse of an early form of Latina/o media criticism, activism, and advocacy.
To read more on Gunckel's upcoming work, click here to access Film Comment.
Image above courtesy of Laura Isabel Serna