Mexican literature  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The literature of Mexico has its antecedents in the literatures of the indigenous settlements of Mesoamerica. The "mestizaje" of the literature of the colonial period is evident in the incorporation of numerous local terms and in some of the themes that are touched upon in works of the period. During this period, New Spain spawned baroque writers such as Bernardo de Balbuena, Carlos de Sigüenza y Góngora, Juan Ruiz de Alarcón and Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz.

Toward the end of the colonial period there emerged figures such as José Joaquín Fernández de Lizardi, whose work is considered emblematic of Mexican picaresque. Due to the political instability of the 19th century, Mexico—already an independent nation—saw a decline not only in its literature but in the other arts as well. During the second half of the 19th century Mexican literature became revitalized with works such as Los Mexicanos Pintados Por Si Mismos, a book that gives us an approximate idea of how intellectuals of the period saw their contemporaries. Toward the end of the century Mexican writers adopted the common tendencies of the period. Two modernist poets that stand out are Amado Nervo and Manuel Gutiérrez Nájera.

The inception of the Mexican Revolution favored the growth of the journalistic genre. Once the civil conflict ended, the theme of the Revolution appeared as a theme in novels, stories and plays by Mariano Azuela and Rodolfo Usigli. This tendency would anticipate the flowering of a nationalist literature, which took shape in the works of writers such as Rosario Castellanos and Juan Rulfo. There also appeared on the scene an "indigenous literature," which purported to depict the life and thought of the indigeneous people's of Mexico, although, ironically, none of the authors of this movement were indigeneous. Among them Ricardo Pozas and Francisco Rojas Gonzalez stand out.

There also developed less mainstream movements such as that of the "Estridentistas", with figures that include Arqueles Vela and Manuel Maples Arce (1920's). Other literary movements include that of Los Contemporáneos, which was represented by writers like Salvador Novo, Xavier Villaurrutia and José Gorostiza. Toward the end of the 20th century Mexican literature had become diversified in themes, styles and genres. In 1990 Octavio Paz became the first Mexican—and up until this point the only one—to win the Nobel Prize for Literature.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Mexican literature" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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