Azuela, Mariano

Azuela, Mariano

(märyä`nō äswā`lä), 1873–1952, Mexican novelist. Azuela began his medical practice in 1899, writing short stories and novels in his spare time. In 1915 he joined Francisco Villa's revolutionary forces as a surgeon. From this experience came his modern classic, Los de abajo (1915, tr. The Underdogs, 1929), which depicts the military exploitation of indigenous people. The novel is composed of linked sketches that are starkly realistic. After Villa's defeat Azuela took refuge in Texas. Returning to Mexico in 1916, he resumed his medical practice and his writing, taking little interest in politics. Among his later novels are María Luisa (1907); Los fracasados [the defeated] (1908); Mala yerba (1909); Los caciques (1917, tr. The Bosses, 1956); Las moscas (1918, tr. The Flies, 1956); and San Gabriel de Valdivias (1938).

Azuela, Mariano


Born Jan. 1, 1873, in Lagos de Moreno; died Mar. 1, 1952, in Mexico City. Mexican writer.

In his novels The Defeated (1908) and The Tall Weeds (1909), Azuela critically depicted the social life of Mexico during the Díaz dictatorship. He participated in the Revolution of 1910 and was the author of the first novel devoted to its historical events, The Underdogs (1916; Russian translation, 1960), which initiated a whole literary current known as the novel of the Mexican revolution. After a period of enthusiasm for surrealism (his novels of the 1920’s), he returned to the realistic depiction of life, which he perceived pessimistically. In his novels Comrade Pantoja (1937), Regina Landa (1939), The New Bourgeoisie (1941), and The Curse (1955, posthumously), he presents a satirical picture of life in postrevolutionary Mexico, sharply and angrily stigmatizing demagoguery and political intrigue.


Obras completas, vol. 1–3.Mexico City, 1958–60.


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Torres-Rioseco, A. Grandes novelistas de la América Hispana, vol. 1.Berkeley-Los Angeles, 1941.
Leal, L. Mariano Azuela: Vida ν obra. Mexico City, 1961.