Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Creator:
Mujica Láinez, Manuel, 1910-1984
Collector:
Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
Title:
Manuel Mujica Láinez Papers
Repository:
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/5138jd885
Dates:
1901-1984, bulk 1918/1983
Size:
9 boxes, 8 items, and 3.3 linear feet
Storage Note:

This collection is stored onsite at Firestone Library.

Abstract

The Manuel Mujica Láinez Papers consists of the papers of the Argentinian novelist, short story writer, biographer, and essayist Manuel Mujica Láinez (1910-1984). These papers primarily contain correspondence he received from Argentinian and Spanish writers, as well as family correspondence. Also included are a few manuscripts by Mujica Láinez, several poems and nonfiction manuscripts by others, and a small amount of photocopied or printed material.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Description:

The Manuel Mujica Láinez Papers consists of working and personal papers of the Argentinian novelist, short story writer, biographer, and essayist Manuel Mujica Láinez. The papers primarily contain correspondence he received from Argentinian and Spanish writers (1927-1984), as well as family correspondence (1901-1984). Also included are a few manuscripts by Mujica Láinez, several poems (some dedicated to Mujica Láinez) and non-fiction manuscripts by others, and manuscripts of conference papers. The strength of the collection is the documentation of Mujica Láinez's literary career, beginning with a letter received from poet Alfonsina Storni in 1927 and continuing with many letters acknowledging the publication and critical reception of Mujica Láinez's writings. The critical response to his novel Bomarzo, first published in 1962, and public controversy over the prohibition of staging the opera Bomarzo at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires in 1967, are particularly well-documented in the letters received by the author.

Correspondents represented in the collection include many writers who have figured prominently in twentieth-century Argentinian literature, such as Jorge Luis Borges, Victoria Ocampo, Silvina Ocampo, Adolfo Bioy Casares, Silvina Bullrich, Enrique Larreta, Eduardo Mallea, and Ricardo Rojas. In addition to novelists, Mujica Láinez corresponded with many poets and critics, including Gabriela Mistral, Bernardo Canal Feijóo, Enrique Pezzoni, Eduardo González Lanuza, Alejandra Pizarnik, Olga Orozco, Alberto Girri, and Alberto Manguel. European writers represented in the collection include Spanish authors Ramón Gómez de la Serna, Américo Castro, Luis Antonio de Villena, and Guillermo Carnero, French biographer André Maurois, novelist Joseph Kessel, and Swiss author Denis de Rougemont.

The few manuscripts by Mujica Láinez include an autograph essay on Victoria Ocampo, "Victoria Argentina," which was written for a commission formed to honor her ("Comisión de Homenaje a Victoria Ocampo"), and a draft speech by Mujica Láinez, honoring Victoria Ocampo in December 1965. The manuscripts written by others include two poems by Alberto Girri, and poems (one each) by Luis Antonio de Villena and Oscar Hermes de Villordo. Among the letters sent to Mujica Láinez, there are two letters about the suicides of two well-known Argentinian poets: one, by Alberto Gerchunoff, on Leopoldo Lugones' death in 1938; and the other, by Alberto Manguel, on Alejandra Pizarnik's death in 1972.

The family correspondence includes both letters written by and to Mujica Láinez, and letters written between other family members. (To assist with identification of other family members, their relationship to Mujica Láinez is included in brackets after their names. Refer also to the family tree in the Biographical Sketch section.) Mujica Láinez corresponded extensively with Ana de Alvear de Mujica Láinez ["Anita"] [wife], Lucía Láinez de Mujica Farías ["Chía"] [mother], Ana Mujica [daughter], and Justa Varela de Láinez ["Lala"] [grandmother]. A large portion of the correspondence of the other family members consists of letters between Lucía and Manuel Mujica Farías [father], and letters between Lucía, Justa, Ana María Láinez ["Anamama," "Viuda"] [aunt], Josefina Láinez ["Pepa," "Pepita," "Mamachica"] [aunt], Justita Láinez ["Tita," "Tina," "Vinagera"] [aunt], and Martha Láinez ["Nenatony"] [aunt].

Additional material consists of correspondence by Mujica Láinez to Alberto Manguel (1973-1984); a photograph of Mujica Láinez dedicated to Manguel (1971); and a copy of a typed manuscript by Jorge Luis Borges about Mujica Láinez, with holograph corrections by Mujica Láinez (1979).

Collection Creator Biography:

Manuel Bernabe Mujica Láinez was born on Sept. 10, 1910, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, son of Manuel Láinez, a lawyer, and Lucía Mujica Farías (Láinez). He was educated in Buenos Aires, and received his B.A. from the Escuela Nacional de San Isidro in 1928. In 1932, he began working as a staff member of the daily newspaper La Nación, a position which he held until his retirement in 1969.

Mujica Láinez first attained fame as a writer with the publication of two collections of short stories: Aquí vivieron (Sudamericana, 1949) and Misteriosa Buenos Aires (Sudamericana, 1951). In the 1950s, Mujica Láinez also achieved recognition for his cycle of novels known as "The Saga of Buenos Aires Society." The novels comprising the cycle are Los idolos (Buenos Aires: Sudamericana, 1953), La casa (Sudamericana, 1954, reprinted 1984), Los viajeros (Sudamericana, 1955, repr. 1984), and Invitados en El Paraíso (Sudamericana, 1957). In 1962, Mujica Láinez's novel Bomarzo was first published. This lengthy novel, based on the real-life Prince Pier Francesco Orsini, Duke of Bomarzo who lived in sixteenth-century Italy, is considered by many critics to be an ambitious and imaginative novel, which is quite different in subject matter and style from the Latin American "Boom" novels that were published in the early and mid-1960s.

Bomarzo was set into both a cantata and an opera by the noted Argentinian composer Alberto Ginastera; the opera's libretto was written by Mujica Láinez. The opera premiered at the Lisner Auditorium of George Washington University, in Washington, D.C., in 1967; in the same year, it was prohibited from being staged at the Teatro Colón, in Buenos Aires.

Other novels which Mujica Láinez has written include El unicornio (Sudamericana, 1965), published in English as The Wandering Unicorn (Taplinger, 1982), Cecil (Sudamericana, 1972), Sergio (Sudamericana, 1976), and Los cisnes. He also wrote biographies which were mostly of famous Argentinian gauchos, art criticism, and travel narratives (both of life in Buenos Aires and of travels in Europe). His Obras completas [complete works] were published by Editorial Sudamericana of Buenos Aires, in 1978 (Vol. 1) and 1980 (Vol. 2).

Throughout his career, Mujica Láinez was a member of literary societies in Argentina, namely, the "Sociedad Argentina de Letras" (SADE) and "Academia Argentina de Letras." He served as vice-president of SADE from 1950 to 1953, and was elected to membership of the Argentine Academy of Letters in 1956. He was friends with many poets and writers who were active in these groups, such as Ángel Battistessa, C. Cordova Iturburu, and Eduardo González Lanuza. He was also elected to membership in the "Academia Argentina de Bellas Artes" in 1959.

Mujica Láinez was awarded numerous literary prizes for his writings. In 1955, he won the "Gran Premio de Honor de la SADE" and also the Second National Prize for Literature (Argentina) for his novel La casa, published in 1954. In 1963, he won Argentina's First National Prize of Literature, and in 1964 he won the John F. Kennedy Prize for Bomarzo.

Mujica Láinez was married to Ana de Alvear ["Anita"], in 1936; they had three children Diego (b. 1937), Ana (b. 1939), and Manuel (b. 1941). He lived in Buenos Aires until December 1969, when he left Buenos Aires for the smaller city of Córdoba, where he bought and lived in an old, long-abandoned house called "El Paraíso" [Paradise]. Here, he wrote and entertained many writers and friends until his death on April 21, 1984.

For the names and relationships of family members, refer to the family tree: Family tree.

Manuel Bernabe Mujica Láinez was born on Sept. 10, 1910, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, son of Manuel Láinez, a lawyer, and Lucía Mujica Farías (Láinez). He was educated in Buenos Aires, and received his B.A. from the Escuela Nacional de San Isidro in 1928. In 1932, he began working as a staff member of the daily newspaper La Nación, a position which he held until his retirement in 1969.

Mujica Láinez first attained fame as a writer with the publication of two collections of short stories: Aquí vivieron (Sudamericana, 1949) and Misteriosa Buenos Aires (Sudamericana, 1951). In the 1950s, Mujica Láinez also achieved recognition for his cycle of novels known as "The Saga of Buenos Aires Society." The novels comprising the cycle are Los idolos (Buenos Aires: Sudamericana, 1953), La casa (Sudamericana, 1954, reprinted 1984), Los viajeros (Sudamericana, 1955, repr. 1984), and Invitados en El Paraíso (Sudamericana, 1957). In 1962, Mujica Láinez's novel Bomarzo was first published. This lengthy novel, based on the real-life Prince Pier Francesco Orsini, Duke of Bomarzo who lived in sixteenth-century Italy, is considered by many critics to be an ambitious and imaginative novel, which is quite different in subject matter and style from the Latin American "Boom" novels that were published in the early and mid-1960s.

Bomarzo was set into both a cantata and an opera by the noted Argentinian composer Alberto Ginastera; the opera's libretto was written by Mujica Láinez. The opera premiered at the Lisner Auditorium of George Washington University, in Washington, D.C., in 1967; in the same year, it was prohibited from being staged at the Teatro Colón, in Buenos Aires.

Other novels which Mujica Láinez has written include El unicornio (Sudamericana, 1965), published in English as The Wandering Unicorn (Taplinger, 1982), Cecil (Sudamericana, 1972), Sergio (Sudamericana, 1976), and Los cisnes. He also wrote biographies which were mostly of famous Argentinian gauchos, art criticism, and travel narratives (both of life in Buenos Aires and of travels in Europe). His Obras completas [complete works] were published by Editorial Sudamericana of Buenos Aires, in 1978 (Vol. 1) and 1980 (Vol. 2).

Throughout his career, Mujica Láinez was a member of literary societies in Argentina, namely, the "Sociedad Argentina de Letras" (SADE) and "Academia Argentina de Letras." He served as vice-president of SADE from 1950 to 1953, and was elected to membership of the Argentine Academy of Letters in 1956. He was friends with many poets and writers who were active in these groups, such as Ángel Battistessa, C. Cordova Iturburu, and Eduardo González Lanuza. He was also elected to membership in the "Academia Argentina de Bellas Artes" in 1959.

Mujica Láinez was awarded numerous literary prizes for his writings. In 1955, he won the "Gran Premio de Honor de la SADE" and also the Second National Prize for Literature (Argentina) for his novel La casa, published in 1954. In 1963, he won Argentina's First National Prize of Literature, and in 1964 he won the John F. Kennedy Prize for Bomarzo.

Mujica Láinez was married to Ana de Alvear ["Anita"], in 1936; they had three children Diego (b. 1937), Ana (b. 1939), and Manuel (b. 1941). He lived in Buenos Aires until December 1969, when he left Buenos Aires for the smaller city of Córdoba, where he bought and lived in an old, long-abandoned house called "El Paraíso" [Paradise]. Here, he wrote and entertained many writers and friends until his death on April 21, 1984.

For the names and relationships of family members, refer to the family tree: Family tree.

Collection History

Acquisition:

The collection was the property of the author's family until the University purchased the author's professional correspondence in 1997 and family correspondence in 2001. Additional materials were purchased from Alberto Manguel in 2003.

Archival Appraisal Information:

No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information:

This collection was processed by Claire A. Johnston and Karla J. Vecchia in 1997. Finding aid written by Claire A. Johnston and Karla J. Vecchia in 1997.

Access & Use

Access Restrictions:

Collection is open for research use.

Conditions for Reproduction and Use:

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.

Credit this material:

Manuel Mujica Láinez Papers; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/5138jd885
Location:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184