Jorge Ibargüengoitia

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Jorge Ibargüengoitia
Born Jorge Ibargüengoitia Antillón
(1928-01-22)22 January 1928
Guanajuato, Guanajuato
Died 27 November 1983(1983-11-27) (aged 55)
Madrid, Spain
Occupation Writer
Language Spanish
Nationality Mexican
Alma mater National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM)
Period 1964-1983
Genres Novel
Notable work(s) Los relámpagos de agosto (1964)
Spouse(s) Joy Laville

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Jorge Ibargüengoitia Antillón (born January 22, 1928 in Guanajuato, Mexico; died November 27, 1983 in Madrid, Spain) was a Mexican novelist and playwright who achieved great popular (though not always critical) success with his satires, three of which have appeared in English: Las Muertas (The Dead Girls), Dos Crimenes (Two Crimes), and Los Relámpagos de Agosto (The Lightning of August). His plays include Susana y los Jóvenes and Ante varias esfinges, both dating from the 1950s. In 1955, Ibarguengoitia received a Rockefeller grant to study in New York City; five years later he received the Mexico City literary award. He died in 1983 in Avianca Flight 011.

Work[edit]

Often, in his fiction, he took real-life scandals and subjected them to whimsical, sardonic treatment. Thus, Los Relámpagos de Agosto (1964) uses cartoonish mayhem to debunk the Mexican Revolution's heroic myths; improbably it won for its author the Premio Casa de las Américas, despite or because of the consternation which its flippancy caused. For Las Muertas (1977) he turned to the most outrageous criminals of his native state: the brothel-keepers Delfina & María de Jesús González, whose decade-long careers as serial killers emerged in 1964. Ibarguengoitia himself met a tragic end, on what became one of the blackest days in Latin American artistic history: having visited Paris, he perished (along with Peruvian poet Manuel Scorza, Uruguayan critic Angel Rama, Argentinian academic Marta Traba, South African pianist Marc Raubenheimer, and 176 others) in the Madrid air disaster of November 1983.

La ley de Herodes (1967) is a collection of short stories, most of which are clearly based on details from his own life. He describes, among many other events, the misadventures of getting a mortgage in Mexico and his experiences at Columbia University's International House. Like his novels, these stories combine farce, sexual peccadilloes, and humor. "Estas ruinas que ves" is a farce based on realistic details of academic life that are still visible in early 21st century Guanajuato: the clanging of church bells disconcerting a speaker, cutting the ribbon at museum openings, the set of cultural movers and shakers who have known each other since kindergarten. "Maten al leon" although set on an imaginary island is another novel mirroring Guanajuato (or perhaps Mexican) society; its details are comic but the end is dark.

Ibarguengoitia was also known for his weekly columns in the Mexico City newspaper Excelsior which have been collected in a half dozen paperback volumes. His novels are also available in paperback.

The writer has been quoted as saying he never meant to make anyone laugh, that he thought laughter was useless and a pointless waste of time. He is buried in Antillon Park in Guanajuato where a talavera plaque marks his remains. In translation, it says simply, "Here lies Jorge Ibarguengoitia in the park of his great-grandfather who fought against the French."

Bibliography[edit]

Drama[edit]

  • Susana y los jóvenes (1954).
  • La lucha con el ángel (1955).
  • Clotilde en su casa, como Un adulterio exquisito (1955). Publicada, en Teatro mexicano del siglo XX. México: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1956.
  • Ante varias esfinges (1959).
  • El viaje superficial (1960). Publicada en Revista Mexicana de Literatura, junio-septiembre, 1960.
  • La conspiración vendida (1960).
  • El atentado. Premio Casa de las Américas 1963.
  • Los buenos manejos (1980).
  • Obras de Jorge Ibargüengoitia. Teatro I. Contiene: «Susana y los jóvenes», «Clotilde en su casa» y «La lucha con el ángel». México: Joaquín Mortiz, 1989.
  • Obras de Jorge Ibargüengoitia. Teatro II. Contiene: «Llegó Margó», «Ante varias esfinges» y tres piezas en un acto: «El loco amor viene», «El tesoro perdido» y «Dos crímenes». México: Joaquín Mortiz, 1989.
  • Obra de Jorge Ibargüengoitia. Teatro III. Contiene: «El viaje superficial», «Pájaro en mano», «Los buenos manejos», «La conspiración vendida» y «El atentado». México: Joaquín Mortiz, 1990.

Novels[edit]

  • Los relámpagos de agosto. México: Joaquín Mortiz, 1965.
  • Maten al león. México: Joaquín Mortiz, 1969.
  • Estas ruinas que ves. México: Novaro, 1974.
  • Las muertas. México: Joaquín Mortiz, 1977. (The dead girls)
  • Dos crímenes. México: Joaquín Mortiz, 1979. (Two crimes)
  • Los pasos de López. México: Océano, 1982.

Short story collections[edit]

  • La ley de Herodes y otros cuentos. México: Joaquín Mortiz, 1967.
  • Piezas y cuentos para niños. México: Joaquín Mortiz, 1990.
  • El ratón del supermercado y... otros cuentos. México: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2005.
  • El niño Triclinio y la bella Dorotea. México: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2008.

Essays[edit]

  • Teatro mexicano contemporáneo. Madrid: Aguilar, 1957.
  • Sálvese quien pueda. México: Novaro, 1975.

Article collections[edit]

  • Viajes en la América Ignota. México: Joaquín Mortiz, 1972.
  • Autopsias rapidas. México: Vuelta, 1988.
  • Instrucciones para vivir en México. México: Joaquín Mortiz, 1990.
  • La casa de usted y otros viajes. México: Joaquín Mortiz, 1991.
  • Sálvese quien pueda. México: Joaquín Mortiz, 2000.

See also[edit]