In this influential 1925 essay, Jose Vasconcelos predicted the coming of a new age, the Aesthetic Era, in which joy, love, fantasy and creativity would prevail over the rationalism he saw as dominating the current age. In this new age, marriages would longer be dictated by necessity or convenience, but by love and beauty; ethnic obstacles, already in the process of being broken down, especially in Latin America, would disappear altogether, giving birth to a fully mixed race, a cosmic race , in which all the better qualities of each race would persist by the natural selection of love. The work, which has generated much controversy since it was first published, is here presented in a bilingual format, and includes an introduction by its translator, Didier Jaen, and a new introduction by Joseba Gabilondo.
Jose Vasconcelos was born in Oaxaca, Mexico in 1882, to parents of European ancestry. Active in Mexican politics, he was exiled during the eras of Porfirio Diaz and Carranza, served as rector of the National University and as Minister of Education, and later ran unsuccessfully for president. He died in 1959.