Images of Puerto Rico

Images of Puerto Rico

by Roger LaBrucherie


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Images of Puerto Rico is a photographic-essay coffee-table book about Puerto Rico. It covers, in photographs, paintings, maps, and text Puerto Rico's history, culture, people, flora, fauna, geography, and scenery.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780939302246
Publisher: Imagenes Press
Publication date: 03/28/1985
Pages: 144
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)


The seed of the idea which grew into Images of Puerto Rico was planted, I suppose, some fifteen years ago when I first came to Puerto Rico to undergo my training for service in the Peace Corps. Like many newcomers to Puerto Rico, my first exposure was to Viejo San Juan; unlike many visitors, however, I had the opportunity to get to know the other Puerto Rico--that is, the Puerto Rico outside San Juan--la isla, as Puerto Ricans call it. And over the ensuing years of occasional travels to and through Puerto Rico I became aware of the general public's lack of knowledge and understanding of the whole of Puerto Rico, in both the geographic and cultural senses. Thus it was that when I began some years ago to compile written and photographic observations about different lands, Puerto Rico was often in the back of my mind as the next project. I am happy to now be able to bring that long-held ambition to fruition.

Images of Puerto Rico is my fifth in a series of photographic-essay books on various places, all with a similar theme. I explained that theme in an earlier work, and I will use the same words here, for I find I can not improve upon them now: " . . . As with my previous books, this one is an attempt to capture the essence of a place and its people, primarily for the person who has had only a relatively brief time to spend there.

. . . ever since I first lived abroad, well over a decade ago, I have been aware of the particular perspective and fresh insight a foreigner's eye can provide in looking at a country. Like a child, a newcomer is blessed with the ignorance that can lead to curiosity; from curiosity, to investigation; and from investigation, to understanding. It is that somewhat childlike curiosity, illuminated by understanding, that I have always tried to bring to my portrayal of a country, and in that respect this book has much in common with its predecessors. In fact, I find that that fresh perspective is so quickly dulled that after even a few weeks 'covering' a country I frequently seek out tourists for the very purpose of once again trying to 'see' through their fresh eyes.

It must be recognized that that special perspective does not come bias-free: a foreigner necessarily carries with him a set of values shaped by his own culture. Even were it remotely possible, I would not attempt to define all those values, but I feel I should comment on one: coming as I do from what is generally considered to be a 'developed' society, where a great deal is new, big, and impersonal, I am greatly captivated by those aspects of a country which are traditional, small and personal."

Thus, the reader should not be surprised to see a considerable emphasis in this book on the people of Puerto Rico and on the traditional aspects of her culture. While such a bias necessarily means slighting certain other aspects (there are relatively few photographs of the island's beaches and other tourist attractions, for example), I hope that this deficiency will be understood and accepted--especially in view of the ample coverage given those aspects by already-existing books about the island.

Anyone with an interest in Puerto Rico repeatedly encounters the assertion that the island has "a bad press," or "an image problem." If that allegation is true, I believe it stems in large part from the lack of understanding of the diversity and complexity of Puerto Rico and her culture. If Images of Puerto Rico can contribute in some measure to deepening that understanding, it will have fulfilled its overriding purpose."

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