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The Cold War Politics of Literature and the Centro Mexicano de Escritores

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 December 2015


This article describes the relationship of the Centro Mexicano de Escritores, Mexico's most important writing centre in the second half of the twentieth century, to the US foundations that funded it. The Centre was founded by a North American writer, Margaret Shedd, with the financial support of the Rockefeller Foundation. The Rockefeller Foundation understood the Centre as a ‘Pan-American’ effort to improve relations between the United States and Mexico by bringing its writers closer together. Later, there were also contributions from two CIA fronts, the Farfield Foundation and the Congress for Cultural Freedom, to the Centre and its star graduate, Juan Rulfo. However, this article argues that none of the US foundations realised the ambitions that they had for the Centre. Through a process of ‘Mexicanised Americanisation', a project that had elements of Yankee cultural imperialism produced instead one of the world's finest writing centres, but without any clear political benefit for the United States.

Spanish abstract

Este artículo describe la relación del Centro Mexicano de Escritores, el centro nacional de escritores más importante en la segunda mitad del siglo XX, con la fundación norteamericana que lo financió. El Centro fue fundado por una escritora estadounidense, Margaret Shedd, con el apoyo financiero de la Fundación Rockefeller. Dicha Fundación lo concibió como un esfuerzo ‘panamericano’ para mejorar las relaciones entre Estados Unidos y México al acercar a sus escritores. Más tarde, también hubo contribuciones al Centro de dos instituciones vinculadas a la CIA, la Fundación Farfield y el Congreso para la Libertad de la Cultura, y de su graduado estrella, Juan Rulfo. Sin embargo, el artículo señala que ninguna de las fundaciones norteamericanas lograron materializar las ambiciones que tenían para el Centro. A través de un proceso de ‘americanización mexicanizada’, un proyecto que tenía elementos de imperialismo cultural norteamericano produjo, sin embargo, uno de los centros de escritores mejores del mundo, aunque sin un beneficio político claro para los Estados Unidos.

Portuguese abstract

Este artigo descreve a relação entre o Centro Mexicano de Escritores, o mais importante centro de escritores do México na segunda metade do século XX, e as fundações estadunidenses que o financiavam. O Centro foi fundado pela escritora americana Margaret Shedd com o auxílio financeiro da Fundação Rockfeller. A Fundação Rockfeller entendia o Centro como um esforço ‘pan-americano’ para melhorar as relações entre os Estados Unidos e o México através da aproximação entre seus escritores. Posteriormente, houve contribuições de duas fundações de fachada da CIA, a Farfield Foundation e a Congress for Cultural Freedom, ao Centro e à sua principal estrela, Juan Rulfo. No entanto, este artigo argumenta que nenhuma das fundações estadunidenses alcançou as ambições que tinham para o Centro. Através de um processo de ‘americanização mexicanizada’, um projeto que apresentava elementos de imperialismo cultural americano produziu, pelo contrário, um dos mais refinados centros de escritores do mundo, todavia sem nenhum benefício político claro para os Estados Unidos.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2015 

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1 Juan Luis Espinosa, ‘Cierran Centro Mexicano de Escritores’, El Universal, 4 Sept. 2005.

2 For a recent example of this type of argument, see Inderjeet Parmar, Foundations of the American Century: The Ford, Carnegie, and Rockefeller Foundations in the Rise of American Power (New York: Columbia University Press, 2012), p. 2. Earlier scholarship that establishes a critical view of the major US foundations includes Robert F. Arnove  (ed.), Philanthropy and Cultural Imperialism: The Foundations at Home and Abroad (Boston: G. K. Hall, 1980); and Edward H. Berman, The Ideology of Philanthropy: The Influence of the Carnegie, Ford, and Rockefeller Foundations on American Foreign Policy (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1983). Other scholars have emphasised that, while the activity of major foundations does sometimes work to spread the ideology of a ‘dominant class’ in Gramscian fashion, the institutional evolution of the major foundations included many unexpected turns, and the interests of foundation elites and those whose projects were eventually funded diverged to at least some degree: Karl, Barry D. and Katz, Stanley N., ‘Foundations and Ruling Class Elites’, Daedalus, 116: 1 (Winter 1987), pp. 35, 30–2Google ScholarPubMed. Major studies of the Rockefeller Foundation's work in Latin America in public health, for example, tend to agree that its work was motivated by a desire to maintain the stability of international capitalism writ large, but that the ‘Americanisation’ of specific practices was uneven. Marcos Cueto (ed.), Missionaries of Science: The Rockefeller Foundation and Latin America (Bloomington and Indianapolis, IN: Indiana University Press, 1994), p. xi; Steven Palmer, ‘Central American Encounters with Rockefeller Public Health, 1914–1921’, p. 312, in Gilbert M. Joseph, Ricardo D. Salvatore and Catherine LeGrand (eds.), Close Encounters of Empire: Writing the Cultural History of U. S.-Latin American Relations (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1998).

3 Ricardo D. Salvatore, Imágenes de un imperio: Estados Unidos y las formas de representación de América Latina (Buenos Aires: Editorial Sudamericana, 2006), p. 12.

4 Scott Lucas, Freedom's War: The American Crusade against the Soviet Union (New York: New York University Press, 1999), p. 2.

5 Andrew Rubin, Archives of Authority: Empire, Culture, and the Cold War (Princeton, NJ and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2012), p. 20.

6 Eric Bennett, ‘The Pyramid Scheme’, in MFA vs. NYC: in Chad Harbach (ed.), The Two Cultures of American Fiction (New York: n + 1/Faber and Faber, 2014), pp. 51–72. Bennett argues that the consequence of the spread of ‘Iowa fiction’ has been an excessive focus on technique and interiority, leading to a lack of important novels of ideas in the United States.

7 Russell Cobb, ‘Promoting Literature in the Most Dangerous Area in the World: The Cold War, the Boom, and Mundo Nuevo’, in Greg Barnhisel and Catherine Turner (eds.), Pressing the Fight: Print, Propaganda, and the Cold War (Amherst and Boston, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 2010), 231–50; Deborah Cohn, The Latin American Literary Boom and U. S. Nationalism During the Cold War (Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University Press, 2012), pp. 8, 23. However, most of Mundo Nuevo's writers also rejected the identification of the Latin American Left with uncritical support for the Cuban Revolution.

8 Fein, Seth, ‘New Empire into Old: Making Mexican Newsreels the Cold War Way’, Diplomatic History, 28: 5 (November 2004), pp. 718–24CrossRefGoogle Scholar, 734–5.

9 Fein, ‘New Empire into Old’, p. 737.

10 See especially Reinhold Wagnleitner, Coca-colonization and the Cold War: The Cultural Mission of the United States in Austria after the Second World War (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1994), pp. 6–7; Victoria De Grazia, Irresistible Empire: America's Advance through Twentieth-century Europe (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2005), pp. 5–8.

11 John L. Comaroff, Ethnicity, Inc. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009).

12 The novel was received as a promising first effort. Marianne Hauser, ‘Hurricane Caye’, New York Times, 31 May 1942.

13 The previous paragraph is based on Hal Johnson, ‘Tropical Lady’, Berkeley Daily Gazette, 26 May 1942.

14 Three times Shedd finished among the finalists for the O. Henry Award for short fiction, taking second prize in 1946.

15 J. Manuel Espinosa, Inter-American Beginnings of U. S. Cultural Diplomacy, 1936–1948 (Washington, DC: Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U. S. Dept. of State, 1977); Justin Hart, Empire of Ideas: The Origins of Public Diplomacy and the Transformation of U. S. Foreign Policy (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2012); Frank A. Ninkovich, The Diplomacy of Ideas: U. S. Foreign Policy and Cultural Relations, 1938–1950 (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1981); Gisela Cramer and Ursula Prutsch (eds.), ¡Américas unidas!: Nelson A. Rockefeller's Office of Inter-American Affairs (Madrid and Frankfurt: Iberoamericana Vervuert, 2012). Julie Prieto shows that US public diplomacy began even earlier than the 1930s, as a response to the Mexican Revolution, Julie Prieto, ‘The Borders of Culture: Public Diplomacy in United States-Mexico Relations, 1920–1945’,  unpubl. PhD diss., Stanford University, 2013.

16 On the Benjamin Franklin library, see Prieto, Julie, ‘“The Sword and the Book”: The Benjamin Franklin Library and U. S.-Mexican Relations, 1936–1962’, Book History, 16 (2013), pp. 294317CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

17 Stephen Wilbers, The Iowa Writers' Workshop: Origins, Emergence and Growth (Iowa City, IA: University of Iowa Press, 1980), p. 39.

18 Charles E. Rankin and Stewart L. Udall, Wallace Stegner: Man and Writer (Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico Press, 1996); Jackson J. Benson, Wallace Stegner: His Life and Work (New York: Viking, 1996).

19 The list of writers whose discovery of Mexico was central to their development as authors would include John Dos Passos, D. H. Lawrence, Malcolm Lowry, B. Traven, Katherine Anne Porter, and many others. Helen Delpar, The Enormous Vogue of Things Mexican: Cultural Relations between the United States and Mexico, 1920–1935 (Tuscaloosa, AL: University of Alabama Press, 1992); Mauricio Tenorio Trillo, I Speak of the City: Mexico City at the Turn of the Twentieth Century (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2012). On the general expatriate scene in the early Cold War, see Diana Anhalt, A Gathering of Fugitives: American Political Expatriates in Mexico, 1948–1965 (Santa Maria, CA: Archer Books, 2001).

20 Charles B. Fahs (CBF) diary excerpt, 4 Nov. 1950, in Rockefeller Foundation (RF) records, record group 1.2, series 323, box 57, folder 446, Rockefeller Archive Center (RAC), Tarrytown, New York. All Rockefeller citations in this paper are from the Rockefeller Foundation records, record group 1.2, series 323 (Mexico), and will be henceforth abbreviated RF.

21 Beith to Shedd, 19 Aug. 1949, Margaret Shedd (MS) papers, box 18, folder 1, Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center (HGARC), Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts.

22 See Richard W. Wilkie, ‘Dangerous Journeys: Mexico City College Students and the Mexican Landscape, 1954–1962’, pp. 88–115 in Nicholas Dagen Bloom (ed.), Adventures into Mexico: American Tourism Beyond the Border (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2006). In 1963, following an embezzlement scandal, the name was changed to the Universidad de las Américas, and in 1970, the campus was moved from the capital to Cholula, in Puebla.

23 Edward Simmen, Gringos in Mexico: An Anthology (Fort Worth, TX: Texas Christian University Press, 1988), p. xlvi.

24 GWG interview with Shedd, 19 July 1952, RF, box 57, folder 447, RAC.

25 CBF diary excerpt, 4 Nov. 1950, RF, box 57, folder 446, RAC.

26 Anne Doremus, Culture, Politics and National Identity in Mexican Literature and Film, 1929–1952 (New York: Peter Lang, 2001), pp. 18–21. See also Guillermo Sheridan, México en 1932: la polémica nacionalista (México DF: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1999).

27 Samuel Ramos, Profile of Man and Culture in Mexico, trans. by Peter Earle (Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 1962), pp. 129–32.

28 Doremus, Culture, Politics, and National Identity in Mexican Literature and Film, pp. 157–64; Leopoldo Zea, Conciencia y posibilidad del mexicano (México DF: Porrúa y Obregón, 1952), pp. 11, 108; Solomon Lipp, Leopoldo Zea: From Mexicanidad to a Philosophy of History (Waterloo, Ont.: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 1980); Tzvi Medin, Leopoldo Zea: ideología, historia y filosofía de América Latina (México DF: UNAM, 1983), pp. 36–41.

29 ‘Dr. Zea's group's first proposal’, n.d. [rec'd 17 May 1951], RF, box 57, folder 446, RAC.

30 Mark McGurl, The Program Era: Postwar Fiction and the Rise of Creative Writing (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2009). McGurl describes the literary consequences of these programmes and as the ‘institutionalization of anti-institutionality’.

31 ‘Notes on Possibilities of Developing an Advanced Mexican-American Writing Group’, n.d. [1950], RF, box 57, folder 446, RAC. This was cultural stereotyping that was embraced in both North and Latin America. One of its key texts was the Uruguayan writer José Enrique Rodó's Ariel, published in 1900, which argued that Latin America excelled in spiritual matters, while the United States dominated in technology: José Enrique Rodó, Ariel (Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 1988), pp. 74–5. On the general problem, see Frederick Pike, The United States and Latin America: Myths and Stereotypes of Civilization and Nature (Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 1992).

32 Shedd to CBF, 25 Aug. 1952, RF, box 57, folder 447, RAC.

33 Shedd to CBF, 10 Oct. 1951, RF, box 57, folder 446, RAC.

34 ‘Notes on Possibilities of Developing an Advanced Mexican-American Writing Group’, n.d. [1950], RF, box 57, folder 446, RAC.

35 Discurso de la Sra. Shedd en el V Aniversario del CME, MS, box 18, folder 6, HGARC.

36 CBF to Shedd, 19 April 1951, RF, box 57, folder 446, RAC.

37 CBF to Paul V. Murray [Vice President and Dean of MCC], 11 May 1951, RF, box 57, folder 446, RAC. On Brickell, see Melvin S. Arrington, ‘Herschel Brickell: The Making of a Latin Americanist’, Chasqui, 23: 2 (Nov. 1994), pp. 3–11.

38 Philip Raine to CBF, 17 May 1951, RF, box 57, folder 446, RAC.

39 Herschel Brickell to CBF, 21 April 1951, RF, box 57, folder 446, RAC.

40 Shedd to CBF, 13 Dec. 1950, RF, box 57, folder 446, RAC.

41 CBF diary, 7 Oct. 1951, RF, box 57, folder 446, RAC.

42 Shedd to CBF, 10 Oct. 1951, RF, box 57, folder 446, RAC.

43 Neal Smith to CBF, n.d. [1952], RF, box 57, folder 447, RAC.

44 Prieto, ‘The Sword and the Book’, pp. 308–9.

45 Shedd to CBF, 7 Jan. 1952, RF, box 57, folder 447, RAC; ‘Resolved, RF 59050’, 24 Sept. 1959, RF, box 57, folder 446, RAC.

46 Alberto Vital, Noticias sobre Juan Rulfo, 1784–2003 (México DF: Ediciones RM: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2004), p. 113.

47 Martha Domínguez Cuevas, Los becarios del Centro Mexicano de Escritores (1952–1997) (México DF: Editorial Aldus: Editorial Cabos Sueltos, 1999), pp. 50–1; Ricardo Garibay, Cómo se gana la vida (México DF: Editorial Joaquín Mortiz, 1992), p. 176.

48 Garibay, Cómo se gana la vida, pp. 179–81.

49 Jorge Zepeda, La recepción inicial de Pedro Páramo, 1955–1963 (México DF: Ediciones RM: Fundación Juan Rulfo, 2005), p. 42; Reina Roffé, Juan Rulfo: biografía no autorizada (Madrid: Fórcola, 2012), pp. 111–13.

50 Ricardo Garibay, De vida en vida (México DF: Océano, 1999), p. 130.

51 Luisa Josefina Hernández to Fahs, 26 June 1956 and Carballido to Shedd, 25 June 1956, RF, box 58, folder 452, RAC.

52 Ibargüengoitia to Shedd, 28 June 1956, RF, box 58, folder 451, RAC.

53 ‘Colofón’, Metáfora, 3 (July–Aug. 1955), p. 46; ‘Colofón’, Metáfora, 10 (Sept.–Oct. 1956), p. 43. Colofón was written by Jesús Arellano. Boyd Carter, ‘Jesús Arellano y la revista “Metáfora”', Hispania, 45: 3 (Sept. 1962), 467.

54 José Vázquez Amaral, ‘A Literary Letter from Mexico’, New York Times, 16 Sept. 1956.

55 Shedd to Fahs, 9 Jan. 1958, RF, box 58, folder 455, RAC.

56 ‘Mexican-American Cultural Institute’, 4 June 1953, RF, box 57, folder 448, RAC.

57 Fahs to Shedd, 14 March 1952, MS papers, box 18, folder 1, HGARC.

58 Francis C. St. John to Rockefeller Foundation, 18 Dec. 1954, RF, box 58, folder 450, RAC.

59 Fundidora de Fierro y Acero de Monterrey and Ramón Beteta made their first donations in 1955. The Banco de México began in 1956; The News and UNAM in 1957. In the early 1960s, businesses and other groups like La Tolteca, Celanese Mexicana, la Unión de Productores de Azúcar, Altos Hornos de México, General Products, and Asbestos de México made contributions. ‘List of present donors’, 1963–64, RF, box 59, folder 459, RAC.

60 JPH talk with Octavio Paz, 15 Jan. 1957, RF, box 58, folder 454, RAC. Paz thought that the principal ‘Mexicanist’ in the CME was Julio Jiménez Rueda.

61 Marco Antonio Montes de Oca, Marco Antonio Montes de Oca (México: Empresas Editoriales, 1967), p. 48.

62 Guillermo Sheridan, Poeta con paisaje: ensayos sobre la vida de Octavio Paz (México DF: Ediciones Era, 2004).

63 For examples of this, see Poniatowska, Elena, ‘Artes plásticas: Juan Soriano’, Universidad de México, XII: 10 (June 1958), pp. 22–4Google Scholar; Cuevas, José Luis, ‘The Cactus Curtain’, Evergreen Review, 2: 7 (Winter 1959), pp. 111–20Google Scholar. The Cold War politics of these differening approaches to the visual arts are explored in Claire Fox, Making Art Panamerican: Cultural Policy and the Cold War (Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2013).

64 ‘Talón de Aquiles', Revista Mexicana de Literatura, 2 (Nov.–Dec. 1955), pp. 192–3; Jorge Portilla, ‘Crítica de la crítica’, Revista Mexicana de Literatura, 1 (Sept.–Oct. 1955), pp. 48–58.

65 Luis Guillermo Piazza, La mafia (México DF: J. Mortiz, 1967); René Avilés Fabila, Los juegos (Culiacán, Sinaloa: Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa, 1981); Cohn, Deborah, ‘The Mexican Intelligentsia, 1950–1968: Cosmopolitanism, National Identity, and the State’, Mexican Studies / Estudios Mexicanos, 21: 1 (Winter 2005), p. 141CrossRefGoogle Scholar; José Agustín, Tragicomedia mexicana, vol. 1 (México DF: Planeta, 1991), pp. 218–21.

66 Plácido García Reynoso, Eduardo Suárez, Mario Ramón Beteta, Arturo Arnáiz y Freg, and Carlos Prieto to Gerald Freund, 27 Nov. 1963, RF, box 59, folder 458.

67 Frances Stonor Saunders, The Cultural Cold War: The CIA and the World of Arts and Letters (New York: New Press, 2000), pp. 125–6.

68 The scholarly literature on the CCF is by now quite vast; the three most important general works are Peter Coleman, The Liberal Conspiracy: The Congress for Cultural Freedom and the Struggle for the Mind of Postwar Europe (New York: Free Press, 1989); Saunders, The Cultural Cold War; Hugh Wilford, The Mighty Wurlitzer: How the CIA Played America (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2008). In spite of the subtitle, it is Wilford who generally emphasises the limits of the CCF and other CIA programmes to achieve their goals.

69 The authoritarian/totalitarian distinction was made famous by Jeane Kirkpatrick, though it was fully operationalised long before it was articulated clearly. Kirkpatrick, Jeane, ‘Dictatorships and Double Standards’, Commentary, 68: 5 (Nov. 1979), pp. 3445Google Scholar.

70 On the history of the Congress for Cultural Freedom in Latin America, see Jean Franco, The Decline and Fall of the Lettered City: Latin America in the Cold War (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2002); Patrick Iber, Neither Peace nor Freedom: The Cultural Cold War in Latin America (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2015); Olga Glondys, La guerra fría cultural y el exilio republicano español: Cuadernos del Congreso por la Libertad de la Cultura (1953–1965) (Madrid: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, 2012); María Eugenia Mudrovcic, Mundo nuevo: cultura y guerra fría en la década del 60 (Rosario, Argentina: Beatriz Viterbo Editora, 1997).

71 Julián Gorkin to Rodrigo García Treviño, 22 and 23 Oct. 1958, International Association for Cultural Freedom (IACF) papers, series II, box 208, folder 2, University of Chicago Special Collections and Resource Center (UC/SCRC).

72 Shedd, Margaret, ‘I Hate You, Cruz Rivera’, Encounter, XIX: 4 (Oct. 1962), pp. 1115Google Scholar; Shedd, Margaret, ‘The Everlasting Witness’, Encounter, XXI: 2 (Aug. 1963), pp. 4853Google Scholar; Rulfo, Juan (tr. by Franco, Jean), ‘They Gave Us the Land’, Encounter, XXV: 3 (Sept. 1965), pp. 1115Google Scholar. Rulfo had also been paid US$ 125 for a story published by Encounter in 1955: The Miraculous Child’, Encounter, V: 3 (Sept. 1955), pp. 1319Google Scholar.

73 The issue featured work by Octavio Paz, Juan Rulfo, Elena Garro, Alí Chumacero, Carlos Fuentes, but is best known for containing the translation of the José Luis Cuevas essay ‘The Cactus Curtain’.

74 Hunt to Botsford, 27 June 1962, Keith Botsford (KB) Papers, box ‘Letters to Botsford, D-I’, folder ‘Hunt, John’, Yale.

75 Shedd to Hunt, 27 April 1964, KB papers, box ‘Letters to Botsford, D-I’, folder ‘Hunt, John’, Yale. Botsford would meet directly with Rulfo when Shedd was in the United States. Rulfo to Shedd, 6 April 1965, personal collection of Bill Fisher, San Antonio, Texas. I thank Bill Fisher for making this document available to me.

76 ‘Mexican Writers Center’, attached to Hunt to Botsford, 27 June 1962, KB papers, box ‘Letters to Botsford D-I’, folder ‘Hunt, John’, Yale.

77 Shedd to Botsford, 15 Dec. 1963, IACF series II, box 46, folder 6, UC/SCRC. In the late 1950s, the Rockefeller Foundation had provided grants directly to Juan Rulfo, but they did not increase his output. Servando Ortoll, ‘Obstáculos en la escritura de Juan Rulfo, Signos Literarios, 22 (June–Dec. 2015).

78 Hunt to Rulfo, 3 June 1964, KB papers, box ‘Letters to Botsford D-I’, folder ‘Hunt, John’, Yale. The salary supplemented Rulfo's work in the offices of the Instituto Nacional Indigenista and his ghostwriting for PRI politicians, and it was in this period that Rulfo finally became financially comfortable. Nuria Amat, Juan Rulfo, el arte del silencio (Barcelona: Ediciones Omega, 2003), p. 343; Roffé, Juan Rulfo, pp. 137–8.

79 Danny J. Anderson, Vicente Leñero: The Novelist as Critic (New York: Peter Lang, 1989), p. x.

80 Montes de Oca, Marco Antonio Montes de Oca, 58; Marco Antonio Montes de Oca, Pedir el fuego (México DF: J. Mortiz, 1968), pp. 82–3.

81 René Avilés Fábila, Recordanzas (México DF: Editorial Aldus, 1996), p. 96. Avilés Fábila was kicked out of the Communist Youth in 1967, and then readmitted in 1974. He was a member during the year he was at the CME. René Avilés Fabila, Memorias de un comunista: maquinuscrito encontrado en un basurero de Perisur (México DF: Gernika, 1991).

82 Monsiváis received grants in 1962–3 and 1967–8. In an interview with the author, Monsiváis insisted that politics did not enter into the day-to-day life of the Centre, and was shocked to hear of the political motives of the Foundations supporting it. Interview with Carlos Monsiváis, 27 Sept. 2007.

83 ‘La ley de Herodes’ is a Mexican idiom which depends on a rhyme for its reason: ‘O te chingas o te jodes’. The rough English equivalent is ‘Damned if you do, damned if you don't’.

84 Jorge Ibargüengoitia, Los relámpagos de agosto: la ley de Herodes (México DF: Promexa Editores, 1979), p. 235.

85 The English-born painter refers to Ibargüengoitia's real-life wife, Joy Laville.

86 Ibargüengoitia, Los relámpagos de agosto: la ley de Herodes, p. 229.

87 Iber, Neither Peace nor Freedom, pp. 186–9, 213–14.

88 In 1967, also facilitated by John Hunt, the Farfield Foundation provided funding to the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. See Bennett, ‘The Pyramid Scheme’.

89 Shedd to Plácido [García Reynoso], 15 July 1966, MS papers, box 18, folder 4, HGARC.

90 Shedd to Platt, 1 June 1969, MS papers, box 18, folder 6, HGARC.

91 Amat, Juan Rulfo, p. 345. Rulfo's novel, El gallo de oro, was not a complete work and not one that he liked. Carlos Fuentes and Gabriel García Márquez collaborated on a screenplay version that was released as a film in 1964.

92 The exact figures are unavailable, but ‘El pan de cada día’, Casa del Tiempo, I: 11 (julio 1981), pp. 11, 14 gave estimates current to 1980. The Subsecretaría de la Cultura gave Mex$ 250,000 pesos annually, UNAM MX$ 75,000, and the Secretaría de Educación Pública, el Fomento Cultural Banamex, the Fideicomiso de las Becas Novo, la Fundación Mary Street Jenkins, Petróleos Mexicanos, and Fomento Educativo between MX$ 30,000 to MX$ 40,000. Felipe García Beraza also mentions the support, in lesser quantities, of Carlos Prieto, Juan Cortina Portilla, Elizabeth de Cou de Beteta, Fundidora de Fierro y Acero, el Departamento del Distrito Federal, the Somex group, and the state governments of Guanajuato and Nuevo León. Although a precise estimate of the Mexican government is not possible, it is clear that it constituted a majority of the budget by the time of that interview.

93 Jorge Luis Espinosa, ‘Fin de una época’, El Universal, 4 Sept. 2005, section F.

94 Fein, ‘New Empire into Old’, p. 745.