By Brian L. Price (auth.)
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Extra info for Cult of Defeat in Mexico’s Historical Fiction: Failure, Trauma, and Loss
He had originally studied engineering but dropped out during his third year and went to work on the family farm in Guanajuato where he ran the day-to-day operations. In 1951, the diesel motor of his pickup truck broke down and he had to travel to Guanajuato to pick up parts. While there, he stopped in to see his mother and found the flamboyant Salvador Novo standing in his kitchen, promoting a performance of Emilio Carballido’s Rosalba y los llaveros in the Teatro Juárez that evening. He agreed to attend and was so impressed by what he saw that when the motor protested again A Mexican Comedy of Errors 33 the following morning, he gave up farm life.
In addition to the repressive actions of the national government, economic concerns also weighed on the minds of the nation’s intelligentsia. Since the 1940s, Mexico has been one of the few Latin American countries to enjoy substantial and continuous growth in the manufacturing, petroleum exports, and technology. Thanks in large part to steadily increasing oil prices, the peso was stronger than it had ever been, and Mexico seemed stable. Throughout the 1960s, the economy remained pinned to petroleum, which led to problems when the 1970s oil crisis cut into profits.
The scope reflects Novo’s advice to spare no expense in providing a full-scale spectacle for the sesquicentennial celebrations; nevertheless, or consequently, the play was never produced because, though artists fight tooth and nail to write or produce subsidized plays, there is no public to watch them, and once the subsidy expires, no interest in producing them. It is of little surprise, then, that La conspiración vendida has been relegated to the dustbin of literary history. The few existing parenthetical references to La conspiración vendida force an ironic or humorous reading that is absent from the play.