Altamirano, Ignacio Manuel (1834–1893)

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Altamirano, Ignacio Manuel (1834–1893)

Ignacio Manuel Altamirano (b. 13 November 1834; d. 13 February 1893), Mexican writer. Born in Tixtla, Guerrero, Altamirano learned Spanish and studied at the Instituto Literario de Toluca, a school for the education of indigenous scholars. Journalist, bureaucrat, statesman, and diplomat, Altamirano supported liberal causes in Mexico during the years of the Reform, the French Intervention, and thereafter. He founded the review El Renacimiento (The Renaissance), which lasted for one year (1869), in order to advocate and foment a national literary culture. His series of articles, Revistas literarias de México (Literary Reviews of Mexico [1868–1883]), constitutes the first serious attempt to produce a systematic history of Mexican literature since Independence. In his criticism, he viewed the novel as the ideal genre for educating readers and establishing a national literary culture. His narrative production includes a collection of novellas, Cuentos de invierno (Winter Tales [1880]); and three novels, Clemencia (1869), La navidad en las montañas (Christmas in the Mountains [1871]), and El Zarco (written between 1886 and 1888, published posthumously in 1901). After years of public service as a teacher in Mexico and as a consul in Spain and France, Altamirano died in San Remo, Italy.

See alsoLiterature: Spanish America .


Chris N. Nacci, Ignacio Manuel Altamirano (1970).

Ledda Arguedas, "Ignacio Manuel Altamirano," in Historia de la Literatura Hispanoamericana, vol. 2, Del neoclasicismo al modernismo, edited by Luis Íñigo Madrigal (1987) pp. 193-201.

Additional Bibliography

Chávez Guerrero, Herminio. Ignacio Manuel Altamirano: Biografía. Chilpancingo, Guerrero: Instituto Guerrerense de la Cultura, 1985.

Sierra, Catalina, and Cristina Barros. Ignacio Manuel Altamirano. Mexico City: Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes, 1993.

Wright-Rios, Edward N. "Indian Saints and Nation-States: Ignacio Manuel Altamirano's Landscapes and Legends." Mexican Studies/Estudios Mexicanos 20 (Winter 2004): 47-68.

                                       Danny J. Anderson