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Mexican Revolution in popular culture

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Title: Mexican Revolution in popular culture  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Mexican Revolution, Mexican literature, Felicistas, Federal Army, Historical Museum of the Mexican Revolution
Collection: History of Literature, Mexican Literature, Mexican Revolution
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Mexican Revolution in popular culture

There is a wide range of ways in which people have represented the Mexican Revolution in popular culture. One of the most influential pioneers in this new philosophy of Mexican identity was Samuel Ramos who acknowledged Ortega for his influence of emphasizing the understanding of man in his concrete historical circumstances. In his book, Profile of man and Culture in Mexico, Ramos tried to develop a psychoanalysis of Mexican character. He felt Mexican problems were the result of imitating European models without being able to overcome the legacy of revolutions, dictatorships and economic stagnation. He felt that Mexican history was the expression of a collective inferiority complex stemming from the results of the Spanish Conquest, racial mixture and a disadvantageous geographical position. He believed that in hiding their inferiority, Mexicans had resorted to unhealthy compensations including aggressive assertions of power that have isolated Mexicans from one another and prevented the attainment of a sense of community. The solution Ramos proposed to this problem was a greater self-consciousness of a uniquely Mexican identity and the need for an education system with a humanistic orientation that would counter the materialistic civilization stemming from North American influence. Even though Ramos was an intellectual literary leader, in the effort to develop a national philosophy more effectively geared to Mexican circumstances, he was vulnerable to the accusations that he was attached to a type of utopian thinking. He was accused of not being able to bridge the gap between the values to which he was attached and the concrete political-economic circumstances of Mexican society. Octavio Paz carried on Ramos’ psychoanalytic approach but developed it in a closer relationship to the concrete realities of Mexican historical developments and its contemporary economic-political problems. Paz is also influential because he emphasizes context of Latin American and Third World political development.

The paragraphs thus far have described the history and development of the new paths and ideas that influenced the literature produced during the Revolution but here is a look at poetry specifically. The first decade of the Mexican Revolution put an end to the years of "peace" that the country was used to during the Diaz dictatorship. The turbulent political decade that followed the Diaz reign showed little cultural activity according to David Foster. But the revolutionary events did have some impact on literature and the plastic arts. Some poets like Nervo, never showed the conflict of the times in his poetry. But other poets like Tablada, Enrique González Martínez, and Ramón López Velarde who produced during this period between modernism and the vanguardia movement have been credited as the major figures who contributed to the development of twentieth-century poetry in Mexico. In 1911, Enrique González Martínez published "Tuercele el cuello al cisne" (Wring the Neck of the Swan) written in 1910 which called for a change to the new image and a new language. In Dario's "Cantos de vida y esperanza" (Songs of Life and Hope) he writes without breaking with past but returns to society and expresses concern with political events.

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