“Thesis and Materials for a Script on Mexico”

Katharine A. Rodger

in Breaking Through

Published by University of California Press

Published in print May 2006 | ISBN: 9780520247048
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520932661 | DOI:
“Thesis and Materials for a Script on Mexico”

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During the summer of 1940, Edward F. Ricketts composed an antiscript entitled “Thesis and Materials for a Script on Mexico Which Shall Be Motivated Oppositely to John's ‘Forgotten Village’.” A thirteen-page typescript partly in outline form, the antiscript was Ricketts's pointed response to John Steinbeck's movie script The Forgotten Village, in which technology triumphs over traditional custom. Even more important, it reveals Ricketts's growing discomfort with the global decline of indigenous culture crowded out by sprawling modernity, a phenomenon he witnessed firsthand in his travels to the Sea of Cortez and later the outer shores of British Columbia. This widening gap between cultures—which he saw in Steinbeck's The Forgotten Village and objected to—would lead, Ricketts believed, to disharmony among human beings and disengagement from a nurturing natural world. The antiscript includes some of the most explicit statements he made about the interconnectedness between human societies and the environment, and demonstrates how his unified field hypothesis continued to broaden during the 1940s to reconcile human interactions among groups and their subsequent effects on the natural world.

Keywords: Edward F. Ricketts; John Steinbeck; antiscript; Mexico; Forgotten Village; technology; custom; indigenous culture; modernity; unified field hypothesis

Chapter.  5317 words. 

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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