Biography and History

Jorge Ibargüengoitia was born in Guanajuato, Mexico on January 22, 1928. As a child, he moved to Mexico City, where he spent most of his life. After training as an engineer and administering his family’s hacienda, Ibargüengoitia studied drama at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México under Rodolfo Usigli, then Mexico's leading playwright. From 1953-1960, Ibargüengoitia wrote ten plays and achieved modest success with some, including Susana y los jóvenes and Clotilde en su casa. In 1962, he wrote El atentado, a farce about the assassination of a Mexican president by a militant Catholic in 1928. Discouraged from producing the play in Mexico, Ibargüengoitia premiered El atentado in Cuba and won the Casa de las Américas prize. In 1963, Ibargüengoitia turned from drama to novels and short stories. In novels such as Los relámpagos de agosto (1963), Las muertas (1977), and Los pasos de López (1982), he satirized Mexican society, particularly the uncritical veneration of the Mexican Revolution and the corruption and hypocrisy of the powerful. Ibargüengoitia brought his mordant wit to his nonfiction writing, which included columns in Excélsior (1968-1976), later gathered in book-length collections, and essays for Vuelta. Ibargüengoitia and his wife, the painter Joy Laville (full name, Helene Joy Laville), moved from Mexico to Paris in 1980. He lived there until his death in the Madrid Avianca Air accident on November 27, 1983.

Source: From the finding aid for C1334