Carlos Fuentes. Universal Mexican. (1928-2012)
On May 15th, five years ago, Carlos Fuentes, Novelist, essayist and one of the greatest writers of Mexico, passed away at age 83.
In his obituary, the New York Times described him as “one of the most admired writers in the Spanish-speaking world” and also, (along with Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Julio Cortazar, Mario Vargas Llosa, Octavio Paz, Juan Rulfo and Jorge Luis Borges) an important influence on the “Latin American Boom”, the explosion of Latin American literature in the 1960s and ’70s.
And also in the words of the New York times, Carlos Fuentes was called as “Mexico’s elegant public intellectual and grand man of letters, whose panoramic novels captured the complicated essence of Mexico’s history for readers around the world”.
Carlos Fuentes was often called as “universal Mexican” and also, the Guardian called Carlos Fuentes as “Mexico’s most celebrated novelist”.
He won many literary honors like the “Miguel de Cervantes Prize” (the highest of Spanish literature) and Carlos Fuentes was often a candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature but unfortunately he never won.
He wrote many novels, short stories, plays and essays and he also wrote intellectual articles in journal newspapers, commenting not also about the political problems of Mexico and Latin America but also about the problems of the world.
Carlos Fuentes was indeed a man of culture, a true intellectual, he loved reading books and writing of course, it was also a pleasure to read his opinions about books, history, music and even movies.
The death of Carlos Fuentes in 2012 was a huge loss for Mexican Culture but luckily, his books are still in the list of the most readed books in many Mexican libraries and that makes the spirit of Carlos Fuentes more alive than ever, in the Mexican culture.
Some interesting trivia: Carlos Fuentes served as Mexico’s ambassador to France from 1975 to 1977.
He also taught at Cambridge, Brown, Princeton, Harvard, Columbia, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, and Cornell.
Among his favorite authors were Balzac, Pablo Neruda, Miguel de Cervantes, William Faulkner and James Joyce
His favorite books were:
Don Quijote de la Mancha, by Cervantes.
The Odyssey by Homer
Macbeth by Shakespeare
La Comédie humaine by Balzac
The poetic works by Quevedo
Our mutual friend by Dickens,
Absalom, Absalom! by Faulkner
Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo
Antigone by Sophocles