These sixteen essays on art and literature cover a wide range of topics including American painting, the religious rites of the Aztecs, Marxism, linguistics and Picasso. He penetrates the meaning of modernism, gnosticism and the effect of Edith Piaf on pygmies. Also analyzed is American "cuisine", tantric Buddhism, the notion of nationhood, some haikus and manners good and bad. The author, as a poet, also considers his colleagues: Valery, Vasconcelos, Pound, Wallace, Stevens, Borges, Goethe, Sartre and Gide, amongst others. The work is presented here in translation from the author's original version. By the same author: "The Labyrinth of Solitude".