Mexico personified, A glimpse at the theater during the 19th century

Mexico personified, A glimpse at the theater during the 19th century

Tests and collection: Miguel Ángel Vásquez Meléndez

Writings: Manuel Peredo

México, 2012
541 p.

This wide perspective book gathers three essays of CITRU research along with valuable documentation and a selection of writings on theater (originally published in two 19th century newspapers) by Manuel Peredo, critic, teacher, director, translator and co-founder of the Mexican Academy of Language (Academia Mexicana de la Lengua). It is an immensely interesting material for the knowledge of theater during the 1900’s and the intricacy of its relationship with the history of Mexico.

The aspects of 19th century theater that the essays deal with, and which are complemented with a wide array of documentation, talk about the difficulties of a group of writers who propose the creation of a “literature of our own” and also about the several dramatic poets who paint on stage the living image of the Mexican people (“dramatic poetry driving nationalism”); as well as those situations involving the professional life of an actor (Merced Morales) trained on stage and who faces failed attempts to establish a dramatic conservatory, and finally the issues of the theater critic (Manuel Peredo). These three angles are presented here as a way to elucidate “the battles to shape a ‘national theater’”, the same battles that were intimately linked, due to the central place theater held in social life during the 19th century, with the “shaping of a country”.