Contemporáneos By Murrieta Flores, David A.J.
Contemporáneos: Mexican Magazine of Culture, edited from 1928 to 1931 in Mexico City, Mexico, was a literary journal founded by several writers whose formative context was post-revolutionary Mexico of the 1920s, and who were mainly identified as a group, in their own time, by their detractors, and later on by critics and scholars. The main ‘members’ were Xavier Villaurrutia, Jaime Torres Bodet, Carlos Pellicer, Bernardo Ortiz de Montellano, Salvador Novo, Enrique González Rojo, José Gorostiza, Gilberto Owen, and Jorge Cuesta, although the network in which they developed their poetic and prose work was sufficiently extensive to reach other genres such as theatre and essay. Nevertheless, José Gorostiza characterised the group as an ‘irreducible sum of individualities’ that produced a multiple and distinct oeuvre; the principal overarching commonality shared among them was the deeply held belief in the autonomy of art, understood within the historical current of Western Modernism in terms of its radical modification of tradition, as well as against the Mexican avant-garde’s demands to commit to the nationalist political programme outlined by the state after the revolution. Closer to an ideal of art as a rational expression of the universal as emerging from the particular, the Contemporáneos found kinship in the writings of James Joyce, André Gide, D.H. Lawrence, T.S. Eliot, Jorge Luis Borges, Vicente Huidobro, among other representatives of international literary Modernism in the first half of the twentieth century.