Biography (Cyclopedia of World Authors, Fourth Revised Edition)
Carlos Fuentes (FWAYN-tays) gained international recognition as a significant writer associated with the so-called boom period in Latin American literature, and he came to be regarded by many as Mexico’s foremost novelist in the twentieth century. The son of a career diplomat, Rafael Fuentes, and Berta Macias Rivas, Carlos Fuentes grew up in many different countries and attended excellent schools in several of the major capitals of the Americas. He learned English at the age of four while living in Washington, D.C., and for a time he lived in Santiago, Chile, and in Buenos Aires, before returning to study law at the University of Mexico. He also spent some time at the Institut des Hautes Études Internationales in Geneva.
From 1950 to 1952 Fuentes was a member of the Mexican delegation to the International Labor Organization in Geneva. Upon his return to Mexico in 1954 he became assistant head of the press section of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and from 1955 to 1956 he served in a similar capacity at the University of Mexico. During much of the time that he was head of the department of cultural relations at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from1957 to 1959, he was also editor of Revista mexicana de literatura; he later edited and coedited the leftist journals El espectador, Siempre, and Politica. After 1959 he...
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Biography (Critical Survey of Short Fiction, Second Revised Edition)
Carlos Fuentes was born into a Mexican family that he later characterized as typically petit bourgeois. Son of Rafael Fuentes, a career diplomat, and Berta Macias Rivas, Carlos traveled frequently and attended the best schools in several of the major capitals of the Americas. He learned English at the age of four while living in Washington, D.C. After he was graduated from high school in Mexico City, he studied law at the National University and the Institut des Hautes Études Internationales in Geneva, Switzerland. Fuentes also lived in Santiago, Chile, and Buenos Aires, Argentina.
From 1950 to 1952, Fuentes was a member of the Mexican delegation to the International Labor Organization in Geneva. Upon his return to Mexico, he became assistant head of the press section of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1954. While he was head of the department of cultural relations at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1957-1959), he also founded and edited Revista mexicana de literatura (Mexican review of literature). He later edited or coedited the leftist journals El espectador, Siempre, and Política.
In 1954, Fuentes published his first book, a collection of short stories, entitled Los días enmascarados (the masked days). About this time, Fuentes devoted himself to writing full-time—novels, book reviews, political essays, screenplays (for Luis Buñuel, among others), and plays.
La muerte de Artemio...
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Biography (Critical Survey of Long Fiction, Fourth Edition)
Even though Carlos Fuentes has described himself as a product of “petit bourgeois stock,” there is nothing common about him. His father was a diplomat, an attaché to the Mexican legation, when he was born. At the age of four, Fuentes learned English in Washington, D.C., where his father served at the Mexican embassy. Oddly enough, the dawning of Fuentes’s consciousness of Mexico occurred in the United States. He credits his father with having created a fantasy of his homeland, a “non-existent country invented in order to nourish the imagination of yet another land of fiction, a land of Oz with a green cactus road.” As a teenager, Fuentes began to travel on his own. He studied the politics, economics, and society of Spanish America, and he developed a sympathy for socialism that he has fervently maintained ever since. Fuentes’s interest in socialism blossomed in Chile, especially after he learned about Pablo Neruda, whose poetry had already become the anthem of the working person.
While living in Santiago, Fuentes attended The Grange, the Chilean capital’s bilingual British school, where he cultivated an appreciation of classical and modern writers. While enrolled there, he began to think about becoming a writer, he has recalled, in order to “show himself that his Mexican identity was real.” He started to read the Spanish masters of the Golden Age, and he contributed short stories, written in Spanish, to school magazines. After a...
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Carlos Fuentes is one of a small number of writers from Latin America whose works are recognized throughout the world. His life and work are truly international. His father was a diplomat, so Fuentes’ early life was influenced by his schooling and experiences in such capitals as Washington, D.C., Santiago, Buenos Aires, and Mexico City. He is equally fluent in Spanish and English and is familiar with the cultural life of most American and European countries. As one of Mexico’s most distinguished citizens, he has held important diplomatic positions in Europe, has lectured at major universities throughout the Western world, and has been awarded prestigious literary awards. The Old Gringo was made into a successful film and became the first novel by a Mexican writer to be included on The New York Times best-seller list.
All of his writings deal with the complexity of identifying what it means to be a Mexican. He seeks the identity of his people in the myth, legend, and history of the Aztec culture, in the traditions of the Catholic faith that the Spanish brought to the New World in the fifteenth century, and in the failed hopes of the Mexican Revolution. All these elements are included in his novel Terra Nostra.
Fuentes is also concerned with articulating Mexico’s relationship with the rest of the world. In...
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Biography (Magill's Survey of World Literature, Revised Edition)
Carlos Fuentes (FWAYN-tays) was born on November 11, 1928, in Panama City, Panama, into a Mexican family that he later characterized as typically petit bourgeois. As the son of a career diplomat, Rafael Fuentes, and Berta Macias Rivas, Carlos Fuentes traveled frequently, attending the best schools in several of the major capitals of the Americas. He learned English at the age of four while his family was living in Washington, D.C. He graduated from high school in Mexico City and then studied law at the National University and the Institut des Hautes Études Internationales in Geneva, Switzerland.
Upon his return to Mexico, he became assistant head of the press section of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1954. While he was head of the department of cultural relations at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he also founded and edited Revista mexicana de literatura (Mexican review of literature). He later edited or coedited the leftist journals El espectador, Siempre, and Política.
In 1954, Fuentes published a collection of short stories entitled Los días enmascarados (the masked days), his first book. He also began to devote himself to writing full time—novels, book reviews, political essays, film scripts (for Luis Buñuel, among others), and plays.
Fuentes’s first two novels reflect his social and artistic concerns at the time. La regíon más transparente (1958; Where...
(The entire section is 878 words.)
Biography (Magill's Survey of World Literature, Revised Edition)
In his fiction, Carlos Fuentes confronts the problems of Mexican identity through the presence of ancestral voices and indigenous mythologies. His is a view of humankind molded by history yet morally responsible for individual actions, situated in time yet responsive to eternal values. The fictional mode that he uses to express his view is Magical (symbolic) Realism, a realism that can be comprehended only through symbols.
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IntroductionCarlos Fuentes is arguably Mexico’s most prolific and important author. He published his first novel, La Región Mas Transparente, when he was just 28 years old. The novel featured Mexico City and delved into Mexican culture. A self-described “premodern” writer who prefers paper and pen to a word processor, Fuentes experiments with various narrative styles and is known for his exploration of society, identity, and history. In 1967, he began writing a series of Latin American biographies that was never completed. American audiences know Fuentes best for his novel Gringo Viejo, which was made into the 1989 film Old Gringo starring Gregory Peck and Jane Fonda.
- In 1965, Fuentes became a diplomat like his parents. At one point, he was ambassador to France, but he resigned in protest over another ambassador’s appointment.
- Fuentes’s 1994 novel Diana, The Goddess Who Hunts Alone fictionalized his affair with American actress Jean Seberg. There are many who doubt that he actually had an affair with her.
- Fuentes wrote for the Spanish newspapers El Pais and Reforma. He has also taught courses at several prestigious colleges including Brown, Harvard, and Princeton.
- Gringo Viejo has the distinction of being the first American best seller written by a Mexican author.
- Fuentes is also famous (or perhaps infamous) for his philandering. He was married to actress Rita Macedo for fourteen years, but his many affairs ruined their marriage.
Carlos Fuentes Criticism
Carlos Fuentes Criticism (Vol. 10)
Carlos Fuentes Criticism (Vol. 113)
Carlos Fuentes Criticism (Vol. 13)
Carlos Fuentes Criticism (Vol. 22)
Carlos Fuentes Criticism (Vol. 3)
Carlos Fuentes Criticism (Vol. 8)
Carlos Fuentes Criticism | Fuentes, Carlos
Latin American Literature Criticism
Myself with Others Review - Carlos Fuentes
Terra nostra Summary - Carlos Fuentes
The Buried Mirror Review - Carlos Fuentes
The Campaign Review - Carlos Fuentes
The Old Gringo Review - Carlos Fuentes
One of Mexico's premier novelists and its foremost 'ambassador without a portfolio' (someone who utilizes his celebrity status to political ends), Fuentes has been a champion of goodwill for relations between the West and Latin America; good relations between the United States and Mexico has been a particular interest. This agenda shows in his fiction and intellectual enterprises.
Like other prominent members of the intellectual elite in Latin America and key figures of "El Boom,’’ Fuentes comes from the ruling class. His father, Rafael Fuentes Boettiger, was a career diplomat stationed in Panama City in 1928 where his wife, Berta Macias Rivas, gave birth to Fuentes on November 11. Boettiger's career moved the family to Brazil in the early 1930s and then to Washington, DC from 1934 to 1940. While in Brazil, Boettiger served as secretary to Alfonso Reyes—a famous writer himself. Reyes later mentored Fuentes. At elementary school in Washington, DC, Fuentes experienced the tensions existing between the U.S. and Mexico for the first time. The impression stayed with him and became a major theme of his fiction. The family's next stop was Santiago, Chile, where Fuentes attended the Grange school with Jose Donoso, who later became a writer in his own right and who credits Fuentes with starting ‘‘El Boom.’’
Fuentes, after attending high school in Mexico City, stayed in his home country to attend the National University of Mexico. During...
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Carlos Fuentes is considered one of the preeminent voices in Mexican literature in the last half of the twentieth century. He was born in Panama City, Panama, in 1928, and is the son of a Mexican diplomat. Throughout his childhood, he moved from one country to another, living in Chile, Argentina, and the United States. In his early years, he spent much time in Washington, DC, which is described vividly in The Old Gringo. He attended high school in Mexico City and received degrees from the National University of Mexico and the Institut des Hautes-Etudes in Geneva, Switzerland.
Fuentes’s writing career developed after he already had a successful career in the diplomatic corps. Even after he was an internationally recognized novelist, he remained in politics, holding such positions as the chief of the Department of Cultural Relations of Mexico’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and, from 1975 to 1977, as his country’s ambassador to France. His development as a writer coincided with the emergence of a Latin American avante garde during the late 1950s and early 1960s. This movement also included Julio Cortazar and Nobel laureate Gabriel García Márquez.
Fuentes’s fiction has developed throughout the years. His first novels, The Good Conscience and Where the Air Is Clear, reflect the author’s concern with Mexican identity, using the magical realism techniques that came to be associated with him and his peers. Fuentes’s...
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