Jorge Ibargüengoitia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Jorge Ibargüengoitia
BornJorge Ibargüengoitia Antillón
(1928-01-22)22 January 1928
Guanajuato, Guanajuato
Died27 November 1983(1983-11-27) (aged 55)
Mejorada del Campo, Madrid, Spain
Alma materNational Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM)
Notable worksLos relámpagos de agosto (1964)
SpouseJoy Laville

Books-aj.svg aj ashton 01.svg Literature portal

Jorge Ibargüengoitia Antillón (born January 22, 1928 in Guanajuato, Mexico; died November 27, 1983 in Mejorada del Campo, Madrid, Spain) was a Mexican novelist and playwright who achieved great popular and critical success with his satires, three of which have appeared in English: Las Muertas (The Dead Girls), Dos Crímenes (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 Avianca Flight 011 en route to Frankfurt via Paris, Madrid, and Caracas to Bogotá that crashed on November 27, 1983.


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 and 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: departing from his then home in Paris, he perished along with Peruvian poet Manuel Scorza, Uruguayan critic Ángel Rama, Argentinian academic Marta Traba, and 177 others in the crash of Avianca Flight 011 on 27 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 a novel mirroring the Latino-american dictatorships; 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."



  • 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). Published in 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.


  • Los relámpagos de agosto. México: Joaquín Mortiz, 1965. (English translation: The Lightning of August, 1986)
  • Maten al león. México: Joaquín Mortiz, 1969.
  • Estas ruinas que ves. México: Novaro, 1974.
  • Las muertas. México: Joaquín Mortiz, 1977. (English translation: The Dead Girls, 2018)
  • Dos crímenes. México: Joaquín Mortiz, 1979. (English translation: Two Crimes, 1984)
  • 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.


  • 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 rápidas. México: Vuelta, 1988.
  • Instrucciones para vivir en México. México: Joaquín Mortiz, 1990.
  • La casa de usted y otros viajes. México: Joaquín Mortiz, 1991.

See also[edit]