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Martín Luis Guzmán's autobiographical acts within and beyond "apunte sobre una personalidad"

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Abstract

This article examines the efforts of Martín Luis Guzmán (1887-1976), as both an author and publisher, to cultivate his legacy within the canon of Mexican letters. He begins this autobiographical project with a speech to the Mexican Academy of Language in 1954, "Apunte sobre una personalidad," where he links his identity as an artist to a glorified history of the Mexican Revolution. By portraying himself as a writer whose greatest work is perpetually deferred, he is able to unite his disparate literary production from the previous forty years under a single narrative. Using this renovated life story, the author goes on to republish his work to great success, as seen in the official celebrations surrounding his eightieth birthday. However, the drastic change that his reputation undergoes just one year later show the limits of Guzmán's autobiographical acts, the price that he ultimately pays for attempting to so closely control his life story, and the importance of referentiality in the study of autobiography.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)467-489
Number of pages23
JournalHispanic Review
Volume81
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2013

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reputation
academy
artist
writer
narrative
history
language
Life Story
Writer
Autobiography
Artist
Canon
History
The Great Work
Mexican Revolution
Letters
Referentiality
Birthday
Language
Late Show

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory

Cite this

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