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Home » Culture » Mexico » Literature

Mexican Literature

Liiterature of Mexico

The literature of Mexico is internationally renowned and prolific, with inspirational Mexican authors such as Carlos Fuentes, Juan Rulfo and Octavio Paz.

The literature of Mexico is internationally renowned and prolific, with inspirational Mexican authors such as Carlos Fuentes, Juan Rulfo and Octavio Paz, the country's strong literary tradition is still very much celebrated today.

Prior to colonization, Mexican books were in scarce supply. The indigenous population had their own system of writing, but its uses were limited to specific purposes. Instead they tended to rely heavily on the use of oral narration for transmitting and relying mythology and stories.

However, things quickly changed with the arrival of colonizers. European settlers began to write eye witness accounts analyzing the new land that they had discovered. Some of the first books about Mexico were written by the anthropologists Álvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca and Bernal Díaz del Castillo. As the Spanish continued to exert their authority on all realms of culture, Mexican writers were greatly affected by their influence, and as such soon the literature produced developed distinct characteristics. A hybrid of Spanish and Mexican literature developed, known as 'mestizaje', which saw the blending of common language used in the colonial Mexico with European subject matters. Some of the most prolific Mexican authors of the time included Bernardo de Balbuena, Juan Ruiz de Alarcón, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz and Carlos de Sigüenza y Góngora

The Mexican Revolution was a fundamental subject matter and inspiration in the development of modern Mexican novels such as Como Agua Para Chocolate and Los de Abajo.  Mexican writers of the last century are perhaps the most celebrated throughout the history of Mexican literature, with household names such as Carlos Fuentes, Juan Rulfo's unique representation of the Mexican Revolution in Pedro Paramo, and the legendary Cien Años de Soledad by Octavio Paz. Mexico really has earned its place in the international literary forefront.

Wherever your literary interests lie, this section will provide you with more detail about the fascinating range of Mexican literature on offer.