Ignacio Manuel Altamirano, Great Mexican Literature

Ignacio Manuel Altamirano represents Mexico’s XIX century. He was born in Tuxtla, Guerrero, in 1834 and died in Italy during 1893. Altamirano evoked his own origin and experience, of an indigenous Mexico, exposed to Spanish domination and later to the political struggle in search of a national identity. He transcended his own economic and linguistic limitations, during an era when the education of native Mexicans was not highly regarded. He learned Spanish and received a scholarship at the Instituto Literario de la Capital del Estado de Mexico, Toluca. However, his literary progress had to be involved with ideologies that seemed defiant of his institution, when he wrote Los Papachos, he was expelled. Despite this, he didn’t abandon literary art and became a teacher to develop his activity in dramatic arts. His work refers to the rural world, the indigenous struggle for social restoration, as well as the difficult years of consolidating the Mexican State and his experience in the military, which made him stray away from his literary career for some time. He had posts of great importance and representation; after graduating as lawyer in 1859, he was deputy in the Congress of the Union on many occasions; General Attorney; Magistrate and President of the Supreme Court of Justice, among many other public posts. His influence and view on culture allowed him to carry out great projects as founding in 1867 the Mexican Post Office, publishing various magazines as El Renacimiento, newspaper El Federalista, in 1871; Tribuna in 1875 and La República in 1880. He was an essayist and critic, also working in narrative, short story, novel and poetry. He experimented with almost every gender, outstanding among his works are: Clemencia, 1869; El Zarco, 1869; La Navidad en las Montañas, 1871; Cuentos de invierno, 1880. During the XX century there were many anthologies of his works, with important editions in 1959 and 1986, with his complete work.