Pitol, Sergio 1933–

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Pitol, Sergio 1933–


Born 1933, in Puebla, Mexico. Education: Studied in Mexico City, Mexico. Politics: Democratic socialist. Religion: Agnostic.


Home—Xalapa, Mexico.


Writer, translator, educator. Served as university professor in Xalapa, Mexico, and Bristol, England; diplomat for Mexico, including cultural attaché to Warsaw, Paris, Moscow, and Budapest, and Mexican ambassador to Czechoslovakia, 1960-88.


Cervantes Prize, 2005.


Infierno de todos (cuentos), Universidad Veracruzana (Xalapa, Mexico), 1964, Editorial Seix Barral (Barcelona, Spain), 1971, Universidad Veracruzana (Xalapa, Mexico), 1997.

Sergio Pitol: voz del autor (sound recording), Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (Mexico City, Mexico), 1968.

Del encuentro nupcial, Tusquets Editores (Barcelona, Spain), 1970.

Los climas, Editorial Seix Barral (Barcelona, Spain), 1972.

El tanido de una flauta (novella), Ediciones Era (Mexico City, Mexico), 1972, Grijalbo (Mexico City, Mexico), 1987.

De Jane Austen a Virginia Woolf: seis novelistas en sus textos, Secretaría de Educación Pública (Mexico City, Mexico), 1975.

Asimetría: antología personal, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (University City, Mexico), 1980.

Nocturno de bujara, Siglo Veintiuno Editores (Mexico City, Mexico), 1981.

Juegos florales, Siglo Veintiuno Editores (Mexico City, Mexico), 1982.

Cementerio de tordos, Ediciones Océano (Mexico City, Mexico), 1982.

Olga Costa, Gobierno del Estado de Guanajuato (Guanajuato, Mexico), 1983.

El desfile del amor, Editorial Anagrama (Barcelona, Spain), 1984.

Vals de Mefisto, Editorial Anagrama (Barcelona, Spain), 1984.

Domar a la divina Garza, Anagrama (Barcelona, Spain), 1988.

La vida conyugal, Ediciones Era (Mexico City, Mexico), 1991.

El relato Veneciano de Billie Upward, Monte Avila Editores (Caracas, Venezuela), 1992.

Juan Soriano: el perpetuo rebelde, Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes: Ediciones Era (Mexico City, Mexico), 1993.

Luis García Guerrero, Gobierno del Estado de Guanajuato (Guanajuato, Mexico), 1993.

El arte de la fuga, Ediciones Era (Mexico City, Mexico), 1996.

Rocío Maldonado, Grupo Financiero Serfin (Mexico City, Mexico), 1996.

Miradas a la obra de Sergio Galindo, Instituto de Investigaciones Linguistico-Literarias (Xalapa, Mexico), 1996.

Sonar la realidad: una antología personal, Plaza & Janés (Barcelona, Spain), 1998.

Pasión por la trama, Ediciones Era (Mexico City, Mexico), 1998.

Un largo viaje, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (Mexico City, Mexico), 1999.

El viaje, Ediciones Era (Mexico City, Mexico), 2000.

Diario Argentino, A. Hidalgo (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 2001.

Hasta Manana y Buenos Días, Gobierno del Estado de Aguascalientes (Aguascalientes, Mexico), 2001.

El Oscuro Hermano Gemelo, Gobierno del Estado de Veracruz (Veracruz Llave, Mexico), 2001.

De la realidad a la literatura, Tecnológico de Monterrey (Monterrey, Mexico), 2002.

Obras Reunidas, Fondo de Cultura Económica (Mexico City, Mexico), 2003.

Los Mejores Cuentos, Editorial Anagrama (Barcelona, Spain), 2005.

El Mago de Viena, Pre-Textos (Valencia, Spain), 2005.

El Viaje de una vida: Sergio Pitol, Premio Cervantes 2005: Exposicion y Catálogo, Servicio de Publicaciones de la Universidad de Alcalá (Alcala, Mexico), 2006.


Writer and diplomat Sergio Pitol was born in Puebla, Mexico. He studied law and literature in Mexico City, and went on to join the Mexican diplomatic corps, serving first as a cultural attaché for Mexico to various foreign cities, including Warsaw, Paris, Budapest, and Moscow, and eventually becoming the Mexican ambassador to Czechoslovakia. In addition to his diplomatic career, Pitol worked as a translator, taught at the university level, and has written numerous books. His translations have brought the classic works of several foreign writers into prominence in Mexico, including Jane Austen, Anton Chekhov, Henry James, and Joseph Conrad. In addition, his own writings have brought him considerable respect, both in Latin America and abroad. In 2005, he was awarded the prestigious Cervantes Prize. Pitol credits reading with making difficult phases of his life bearable, such as the loss of his parents and an extended illness. He maintains that these hardships in his life have also been responsible for shaping his own style as a writer, using humor and ridicule in the face of misery. In El Mago de Viena, as with much of his work, Pitol offers readers a combination of various methodologies, including memoir, essay, fiction, and literature. While the book is in first person and often recounts events in Pitol's life, it is by no means a true autobiography. In a sense, Pitol's work reflects real life in the sense that it is all-encompassing and leaves no aspect of the world behind. Will H. Corral, writing for World Literature Today, commented: "Pitol's world relies exclusively on the examined literary life, without Socratic obfuscations."



EFE World News Service, December 1, 2005, "Mexican Wins Big Spanish Literary Award"; December 7, 2005, "Mexican Writer Hails Cer- vantes and ‘Don Quixote’;" April 21, 2006, "Sergio Pitol Praises the Yearning for Freedom in Cervantes' Works."

M2 Best Books, December 5, 2005, "Winner of the 2005 Cervantes Prize Announced."

World Literature Today, spring, 1998, George R. McMurray, review of El arte de la fuga; July 1, 2006, Will H. Corral, review of El Mago de Viena, p. 79.

Xinhua News Agency, December 1, 2005, "Mexican Writer Pitol Wins Spain's Cervantes Prize"; April 21, 2006, "Mexican Novelist Wins Spain's Cervantes Prize."


America Reads Spanish Web site,http://www.americareadsspanish.org/ (October 10, 2007), author biography.

CBC/Radio Canada Web site,http://www.cbc.ca/ (April 21, 2006), Cervantes Prize announcement.

International Literature Festival Berlin Web site,http://www.literaturfestival.com/ (October 10, 2007), author biography.