Skip to main content

Novo, Salvador (1904–1974)

Novo, Salvador (1904–1974)

Salvador Novo (b. 30 July 1904; d. 13 January 1974), Mexican writer. Born in México City, Salvador Novo was one of the first Mexican authors to demonstrate that a Mexican writer could earn a living by the pen. Novo entered the world of letters as a poet at a time when artists supported themselves by means of government appointments as teachers or bureaucrats. He led the way in breaking this dependence on the government when he became a professional essayist and editoral writer, as well as a playwright/director. Throughout most of his writing career his journalistic fee was "cinco centavos la palabra." He estimated that by the time he was fifty he had earned 425,250 pesos at this rate. He is known today primarily for his theater direction and for the incisive wit of his several plays, as well as for his autobiographical travel books and his essays.

With characteristic self-mockery, Novo described his youthful artistic posture as that of "an old, world-weary author whose writings deliberately betrayed the youth of the penman." He contrasted this with the creative stance he assumed during his middle years which he described as "a youthfulness only half-trying to disguise the venerable mind of the penman."

Along with Xavier Villaurrutía and Rodolfo Usigli, Salvador Novo is one of the pillars of contemporary Mexican theater. His first work for the stage was El Tercer Fausto (1934, French; 1956, Spanish), and his best-known plays include La culta dama (1951), Yocasta, o casi (1961), and La guerra de las gordas (1963). He also wrote a collection of dialogues and short plays. Novo directed well over fifty stage productions and even wrote a text on acting, Diez lecciones de técnica de actuación (1951). Novo's best-known works of poetry are XX poemas (1925) and Nuevo amor (1933); his travel book is Return Ticket (1928). His critical writings have been collected in several anthologies.

See alsoJournalism; Journalism in Mexico; Theater.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

See Salvador Novo, Nuevo amor, translated into English by Edna Worthley Underwood (1935). For a thorough bibliography see the appendix of Novo's Yocasta, o casi (1985).

Additional Bibliography

Acero, Rosa María. Novo ante Novo: Un novísimo personaje homosexual. Madrid: Editorial Pliegos, 2003.

Monsiváis, Carlos. Salvador Novo: Lo marginal en el centro. México, D.F.: Ediciones Era, 2004.

                                       William I. Oliver

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Novo, Salvador (1904–1974)." Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture. . Encyclopedia.com. 25 May. 2019 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Novo, Salvador (1904–1974)." Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture. . Encyclopedia.com. (May 25, 2019). https://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/novo-salvador-1904-1974

"Novo, Salvador (1904–1974)." Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture. . Retrieved May 25, 2019 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/novo-salvador-1904-1974

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.