Gustavo Sainz (saynz), Mexican novelist, critic, and journalist, is best known as a founder of the literature of la onda, a mid-1960’s countercultural movement in Mexico representative of the growing restlessness of youth and defined particularly by a lack of concern toward Mexican national identity.
Sainz’s early life was marked by the absence of the mother he did not know until adulthood and the influence of the father who raised him. Engaging his son in adventures such as mountain climbing, Sainz’s father shared his love of literature that eventually spawned an interest in language and writing. Nonetheless, poverty and a broken home were hardships, and the difficulties of his adolescence would later be reflected in his early work.
Between 1959 and 1962, Sainz published a number of short stories. He attended the National Autonomous University of Mexico, where a grant from the Centro Mexicana de Escritores allowed him to complete and preview the novel Gazapo. Initial reaction to the work was negative; however, when it was published several years later, the program’s director and others praised the book and welcomed Sainz’s entry into Mexican letters.
Published in 1965, Gazapo portrays a week in the lives of a group of middle-class teenagers in the Mexican capital. Seeking refuge in his mother’s vacant apartment, Menelao and his friends play out their fantasies through a series of conversations. Sainz employs several techniques to develop the narrative of the novel, most notably the fragments of tape recordings from which the protagonist splices together his own novel. The collage of real and imagined scenes defines the character’s emotional and sexual...
(The entire section is 711 words.)