Mexico has produced a number of well-known writers who have received worldwide critical acclaim. Mexican literature derives its vitally from the country's rich folk traditions while maintaining strong classical and modern elements. Mexican literary greats like Octavio Paz are well known the world over. A famous poet and writer, Octavio Paz is also considered by many as one of Latin America's greatest 20 th Century literary figure. As a member of Mexico's foreign service, Paz served, amongst other postings, as his country's ambassador to India from 1962 to 1968. Profoundly influenced by the Surrealist Movement, Octavio Paz won the Cervantes Prize, the highest Spanish language literary award and in 1990 he received the Nobel Prize for literature. One of his most famous works is The Labyrinth of Solitude , which is a vivid portrayal of the culture and character of his country. Another of Mexico's foremost writers is Carlos Fuentes who has created a tremendous influence in Latin America's literary circles. His novels while exhibiting a strong element of post-modern sensibility throw light on the impact of foreign cultures on Mexico's identity and character. Also a career diplomat who served, amongst other postings, as Mexico's ambassador to France, Fuentes won the Cervantes Prize in 1987. Juan Jose Arreola was another famous Mexican literary figure whose comic humor and satirical insights endeared him to many lovers of modern fiction.
Painting and the Visual Arts
Mexico's painters and artists are more universally recognized for their contribution toward making mural painting a popular Mexican art form. The influence of Mexico's rich pre-Colonial history and colorful folk art traditions is reflected in the rich tapestry of its mural painting movement. Mexican Muralist Painting also depicts the social and political history of the country. One of the most famous Mexican mural painters was Diego Rivera who popularized fresco painting in Latin America. Originally an adherent of Cubism influenced as he was by his friendship with Pablo Picasso in Paris, Rivera later on moved closer to the Post-Impressionist School and experimented with bold colors and forms. Together with another famous mural painter David Alfaro Siqueiros, Rivera popularized a new national art form in Mexico that adopted mural painting to depict large scenes on revolutionary themes. Rivera married, separated and remarried Frida Kahlo, who was also one of Mexico's most famous art exponents and an accomplished painter in her own right. More popularly well known for her bright and vividly painted self-portraits, Kahlo was considered to be under the influence of Surrealism despite her repeated denials in that regard.
Music, Dance and CinemaMexico's musical tradition shows strong folk as well as modern influences. However, the various music traditions have managed to unite Mexican society into one popular musical culture and following. Modern Mexico's music lovers are equally swayed by the tunes and rhythm of traditional music like mariachi and ranchero songs as well as by the Latino beats of hip-hop and salsa. Mexico also has a flourishing film industry and have produced a number of internationally acclaimed film directors. However, Mexico's most famous contribution to popular cinema is perhaps the beautiful Mexican actress Salma Hayek who has endeared herself to thousands of fans across the world.
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