CULTURE: LITERATURE. THE TWENTIETH CENTURY AND THE EARLY 2000S
According to cheeroutdoor, the revolutionary decade (1910-20) that upset Mexico influenced, more or less directly, all the literature of the early twentieth century, in particular fiction, with M. Azuela (1873-1952), ML Guzmán (1887-1977), friend and collaborator of Pancho Villa, R. Muñoz (1899-1971), J. Vasconcelos (1881-1959), also important as an essayist and politician, JR Romero (1890-1952), G. López y Fuentes (1897-1969). The flowering of fiction has continued to this day, with peaks of universal importance. Al filo del agua (1947) by A. Yáñez (1904-1980), Pedro Páramo (1955) and El llano en llamas (1970) by J. Rulfo (1918-1986), La muerte de Artemio Cruz (1962), Terra nostra (1975) and Cristobal Nonato (1987) by C. Fuentes (b.1928), Las muertas (1977) by J. Ibargüengoitia (1928-1983), Gazapo (1965) by G. Sainz (b. 1940) marked decisive stages for the development of the contemporary Spanish-American novel. More globally, the current fortune of Mexican prose is due to the work of a large group of distinguished novelists, including JJ Arreola (b.1918), S. Elizondo (b.1932), J. García Ponce (b.1932), S. Pitol (b.1933), V. Lenero (b.1933), R. Castellanos (1925-1974), JA Ramírez (b.1944), R. Avilés Fabila (b.1940). No less significant was the poetic flowering initiated by R. López Velarde (1888-1921) and continued in its most extreme manifestations by the so-called “Estridentist” movement (1921-27) and in the more moderate ones by the group of Contemporáneos formed around C. Pellicer (1899-1977), J. Gorostiza (1901-1973) and X. Villaurrutia (1903-1950). This group represented the “pure” side of Mexican poetry of the early twentieth century. Proof of this is the selected repertoire of verses that make up Pellicer’s work (essentially attributable to Material poético, 1956 and Teotihuacán y 13 de agosto, 1965), the metaphysical tension that sustains the verse of Gorostiza in Muerte sin fin (1939), the clarity of that of Villaurrutia in Nostalgia de la muerte (1939-46). On the other hand, the verse by J. Torres Bodet (1902-1974), oscillating between avant-garde experimentalisms and classical forms, accords with more harsh and metallic tones. However, it is with the poet and essayist of the highest order in the literature of the twentieth century, the Nobel laureate O. Paz (1914-1998), that Mexico finds its most generous, authoritative and extraordinarily versatile voice. Lyrical experience and meditative effort confront in Paz with the dimension of the modern – perceived in all its intrinsic contradiction – and at the same time dialogue with the most varied literary traditions, ancient and modern, Western and Eastern: from the Spanish and Hispano-American North American, European, Indian. Together with Paz poets and writers gradually emerged, including MA Montes de Oca (b.1932), JE Pacheco (b. 1939), narrator, poet and literary critic, author of verses of remarkable formal quality and at the same time anti-rhetorical and anything but precluded to innovations and experimentalisms; G. Zaid (b. 1934), refined and sensitive interpreter of the anguish of living; H. Aridjis (b. 1940), singer of eternal themes (love, life, death) expressed with breadth of register and absolute formal domination; Elena Poniatowska (b. 1932), journalist and essayist whose books have contributed significantly to the export of Mexican culture and events. Among the narrators, J. Aguilar Mora (b.1946), with Si muero lejos de ti (1979) and D. Ojeda (b.1950), with Las condiciones de la guerra deserve a special mention (1978). Excellent fruits are also gathered in the story and in the fantastic narrative. The early nineties saw the intense literary activity of the country continue, with an effervescent narrative, enlivened, as well as by the practice of talleres literarios (literary workshops) encouraged by the National Institute of Fine Arts, by the numerous meetings of writers who come held annually in different cities and by the work of criticism and diffusion carried out by the various magazines and literary supplements of the newspapers. The most characteristic feature was the growth of those authors who had begun to publish in the seventies, whose works demonstrate an ever greater domination of the means of expression: among many, they can be cited Un chavo bien helado, 1990), Federico Patán (Puertas Antiguas, 1989), María Luisa Puga, Rafael Ramírez Heredia, Jesús Gardea, Ignacio Solares and Luís Arturo Ramos. Other prominent personalities of the literary world are Laura Esquivel (b. 1950) author of Dolce come il cioccolato (1989); Alejandro Hernández (Nos imputaron la muerte del perro de enfrente, 1988); S. Pitol (b.1933), Cervantes prize 2005, and J. Villoro (b.1956), author of El testigo (2004). A name that, for critical and public success, is undoubtedly that of PI Taibo II (b. 1949), born in Spain in Gijon and moved to Mexico a few years later with his family to escape the dictatorship. Academic, journalist, essayist, he achieved notoriety thanks to works such as Heroes summoned (1982), Without losing tenderness (1996), a biography of Ernesto Che Guevara, and Morti inconodi (2004), written with Subcomandante Marcos. However, it should be noted that the authors who have continued to dominate the Mexican literary scene are Fuentes and Paz, although their position towards the country’s official culture has been extremely different, with which Paz has always been on excellent terms, while Fuentes has undoubtedly retained a more critical attitude. The most recent novelty in the literary panorama is constituted by the writers of the so-called “crack” generation, understood as a “break”, “break” with the past of Mexico and Mexican literature, or at least with that part that has now become a caricature of itself. itself, supermarket literature. Among the main exponents we remember Ignacio Padilla (b. 1968), Ricardo Chávez Castañeda (b. 1961), Jorge Volpi (b. 1968), Pedro Ángel Palou (b. 1966).