A poetic interpretation of Mexico, halfway between travel and philosophy, done with imagination and urbane wit. The Mexican character is contrasted with the Spanish in all the unimportant details that make important differences between allied nations. Its oriental tinge is emphasized. The author casts a perceptive eye at native dishes, colloquialisms, gestures, social amenities, and their influence on the national psychology. Painter and poet, his observations are often sensous with color, texture, the smell and taste of tropical fruits. Amusing in parts, subtle and stimulating in others, this is sophisticated stuff, but with ""el poquito de chile"" that makes Mexico.