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Gutiérrez Nájera, Manuel (1859–1895)

Gutiérrez Nájera, Manuel (1859–1895)

Manuel Gutiérrez Nájera (b. 22 December 1859; d. 3 February 1895), Mexican writer. Gutiérrez Nájera was born in Mexico City. His father was a journalist and writer and his mother a devout Catholic. The middle-class family privately educated him and he developed a strong interest in reading classic literature and contemporary French works. He worked as a journalist and in 1888 was appointed to a political post. Gutiérrez Nájera was one of the progenitors of Spanish American modernista writing in Mexico. Through his poetry, essays, short stories, and journalistic chronicles, he explored in Spanish the stylistic and linguistic potentials associated with the French Parnassian and Symbolist movements. He wrote under pseudonyms such as Mr. Can-Can, El Duque Job, Puck, and many others. Together with Carlos Díaz Dufoo, he founded Revista Azul (1894–1896; Blue Review), one of the principal modernista publications in Spanish America. He is frequently known only as a poet, but his prose writing in both the short story and chronicle genres is equally innovative and represents his aesthetic concerns and French cultural influences. His short stories include the collections Cuentos frágiles (1883; Fragile Stories) and Cuentos color de humo (1898; Smoke-Colored Stories). His chronicles appear in series such as Crónicas color de rosa (Rose-Colored Chronicles), Crónicas color de lluvia (Rain-Colored Chronicles), Crónicas color de oro (Gold-Colored Chronicles), and Crónicas de mil colores (Myriad-Colored Chronicles). Gutiérrez Nájera died in Mexico City at the height of his career.

See alsoJournalism; Literature: Spanish America.


Marina Gálvez, "Manuel Gutiérrez Nájera," in Historia de la Literatura Hispanoamericana. Vol. 2, Del neoclasicismo al modernismo, edited by Luis Íñigo Madrigal (1987), pp. 583-590.

Ivan A. Schulman, "Manuel Gutiérrez Nájera," in Latin American Writers, edited by Carlos A. Solé and María Isabel Abreu, vol. 1 (1989), pp. 351-357.

Additional Bibliography

Clark de Lara, Belem. Tradición y modernidad en Manuel Gutiérrez Nájera. México, D.F.: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto de Investigaciones Filológicas, 1998.

Gutiérrez, José Ismael. Manuel Gutiérrez Nájera y sus cuentos: de la crónica periodística al relato de ficción. New York: Peter Lang, 1999.

Puga y Acal, Manuel, and Eugenia Revueltas. Los poetas mexicanos contemporáneos: Ensayos críticos de Brummel: Salvador Díaz Mirón, Manuel Gutiérrez Nájera, Juan de Dios Peza. Mexico, D.F.: Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Coordinación de Humanidades, 1999.

                                     Danny J. Anderson

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