MEXICO: Carlos Fuentes dies

Mexican novelist Carlos Fuentes has died. He was 83.

One of the country’s foremost literary voices from Mexico in the 20th Century, Fuentes spent years living abroad and explaining the country to those who were not Mexican. He was mentioned often as a candidate for a Nobel Prize, but never won it.

He also feuded famously with Mexico’s other 20th Century literary giant, Nobel Prize winner Octavio Paz, who gave a speech criticizing the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. Paz had criticized the Sandinistas for their undemocratic methods after they came to power. The speech caused effigies of Paz to be burned in Mexico.

Fuentes supported the Sandinistas and was critical of Paz. A magazine Paz directed published an article attacking Fuentes, which the novelist took as an attack from Paz.

The two men, who’d once been friends, never spoke after the dispute.

“Lamento profundamente el fallecimiento de nuestro querido y admirado Carlos Fuentes, escritor y mexicano universal. Descanse en paz,” tweeted President Felipe Calderon today upon learning the news.




Filed under Culture, Mexico

2 Responses to MEXICO: Carlos Fuentes dies

  1. It’s impossible to overstate Fuentes’ influence on Mexican letters, and he had a stature in Mexico than no writer I can think of has in the United States. He had such an audaciously wide-ranging imagination. When I was looking for a piece set on the US-Mexico border for my anthology, Mexico: A Traveler’s Literary Companion, to my surprise, Fuentes’ story set in Cd Juarez, and from a woman’s point of view, was my first choice. A fun detail: in Washington DC’s Mexican Cultural Institute on 16th St, there is a mural from, I think, the 1930s that includes a little boy, as I recall, in overalls and a sombrero. That’s Fuentes– his father was a diplomat in DC at the time.

    • samquinones

      CM — This is the kind of comment that I should have added to my post, but wasn’t capable of. Thanks so much for adding to what I put up.

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