Mexican literature is as old as the earliest civilized inhabitants of Meso-America (we assume that literature and civilization are coterminous), and as new, we might say, as one of Carlos Fuentes's recent international best-sellers (Gringo viejo [The Old Gringo; 1985]) and its adaptation for the silver screen (an English-language film made by an international production team). This statement is meant to give some idea of the incredible distances Mexican literature has traveled in its long history, but also of the continuity underlying its diverse manifestations. Mexico has one of the most mature, complex, and representative literary traditions in all of Latin America. In fact, it is so exemplary as to border on the exceptional, and it invokes many unique considerations.