Margo Glantz - Biography

Biography

Margo Glantz's family immigrated to Mexico from Ukraine in the 1920s. Her father, Jacobo Glantz, met her mother, Elizabeth (Lucia) Shapiro in Odessa, where they married. They tried to emigrate to the United States of America, where they had relatives, but were denied entry and had to remain in Mexico. Although they stayed faithful to Jewish traditions, they soon moved in Mexican artistic circles. Her father was a friend of Diego Rivera, and had great interest in the new cultural currents of his new adoptive country.

For many reasons, the family (including four daughters) had to move quite often. As a result, Margo went to several schools. She spent two years in the Secondary School No. 15, a year in the Israelite School of Mexico, and earned her baccalaureate in the National Preparatory School Number 1, the old school of San Ildefonso, where she was strongly influenced by one of her teachers, Agustín Yáñez.

From 1947 to 1953, Margo Glantz studied English and Spanish Literature, as well as Art history, majoring in Theater History at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Here she had many outstanding professors, among them writers and philosophers such as Alfonso Reyes, Julio Torri, Rodolfo Usigli, Samuel Ramos and Leopoldo Zea. In 1953 she left for Europe, where she earned her doctorate in Hispanic Literature at the Sorbonne. It was there where she presented her thesis on "The French Exoticism in Mexico (From 1847 to 1867)".

On her return to Mexico, she became a teacher in the Department of Theater History in the Faculty of Philosophy and Literature. In 1959 her first daughter, Alina, was born. After a journey to Cuba in 1961, she started to teach a course in Mexican Literature at the National Preparatory School Number 1, as well as courses in Universal Literature and of Mexican Literature at the Preparatory No. 5. In the same year she started to teach at the University Center of Theatre, at the School of Theater and Fine arts of the UNAM, and at the Center of Classic Theater of the "Casa del Lago" (Lake House). During these years she published several essays and theater reviews in a variety of cultural magazines and handouts.

In 1966 she became a permanent, full-time Professor at the Faculty of Philosophy and Literature, specifically in Hispanic Literature and Comparative Literature. She founded and directed the university magazine Punto de Partida. She was also the director of the Israel-Mexico Cultural Institute until 1969. In 1971 her daughter Renata was born. In the same year she set out for the United States of America, where she taught classes at Montclair State College in New Jersey. She published Onda y escritura en Mexico (Wave and writing in Mexico), Jovenes de 20 a 33, which gave name to a wave of emerging literature in the 60s, the "Onda" (the Wave).

She returned to Mexico in 1974, where she rejoined the Faculty of Philosophy and Literature, teaching courses in Latin American and Mexican Literature. In 1978 she edited her first fictional book, Las mil y una calorias, novela dietética (A Thousand and One Calories: A Dietetic Novel), which inspired a great number of other books in the field of creation and criticism (see bibliography). In 1981 she dedicated her autobiographic work, Las genealogias, to her father, who died one year later.

In 1983 she was named Director of Literature at the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes (INBA), where she promoted and directed a number of publications. A year later she obtained the "Premio Xavier Villaurrutia" (The Xavier Villaurrutia Award) for her work Síndrome de Naufragios. In 1986 she set out for England, where she worked as a Cultural Associate in the Mexican Embassy in London, until 1988.

That same year she returned to Mexico, and since has led courses at the Faculty of Philosophy and in numerous universities overseas. In 1989 she was named Member of the National System of Researchers. In 1991 she obtained the National University Prize and again in 1994 she was given the title of Emeritus Professor, both by UNAM. Likewise, the University of Princeton has since awarded her the nomination of Honorary Emeritus Creator of the National System of Creators, as well as the Council of Humanities Fellow.

In 1995 she was elected to be a member of the Academia Mexicana de la Lengua (Mexican Language Academy). In 2004 she was awarded the "Premio Nacional, campo I, Área de Lingüística y Literatura" (National Prize, field 1, Are of Linguistics and Literature). That same year she was granted the distinction of Emeritus Investigator of the Sistema Nacional de Investigadores (National System of Investigators). A year later, in 2005, she was honored with the Doctorate Honoris Causa by the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana and with her nomination as an Emeritus Honorary Creator of the National System of Creators. In 2006 a web page was published about her, which was coordinated by Beatriz Aracil Varón, in the Virtual Library Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, of Alicante University.

Read more about this topic:  Margo Glantz

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