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Jaime Torres Bodet

Jaime Torres Bodet

[tawr-res baw-thet]
Torres Bodet, Jaime, 1902-74, Mexican poet, diplomat, short-story writer, and essayist. Torres Bodet's first book of poems, Fervor (1918), reveals the influence of symbolism and modernismo, but his later poetry shows the effect of the European avant-garde and is cosmopolitan in tone. His outstanding early poems were collected in Poesías (1926). Sin tregua (1957) and Selected Poems (bilingual ed. 1964) contain later verse. Narratives collected in Margarita de niebla (1927), Proserpina rescatada (1931), and Nacimiento de Venus (1941) reveal his refined, erudite playfulness. Contemporáneos (1938) and Tres inventores de realidad (1955) contain some of his major critical essays. Torres Bodet has held many important government posts.

See study by S. Karsen (1971).

(born April 17, 1902, Mexico City, Mex.—died May 13, 1974, Mexico City) Mexican poet, novelist, educator, and statesman. He held various diplomatic and government posts, including minister of public education (1943–46) and foreign minister (1946–48). His verse, which early on revealed the influence of Modernismo, often returned to the themes of loneliness, a search for identity, and a longing for death. Cripta (1937) is considered to include his most important poems. His poetry was collected in Obra poética (1967). Of six novels published between 1927 and 1937, Sombras (1937) is considered his best. Afflicted by cancer, he took his own life.

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Jaime Torres Bodet (17 April 190213 May 1974) was a prominent Mexican politician and writer who served in the executive cabinet of three Presidents of Mexico.

A native of Mexico City, Torres Bodet was appointed Secretary of Public Education (1943–46) by President Manuel Ávila Camacho; he then served as the Secretary of Foreign Affairs (1946–1951) under President Miguel Alemán. Later, in 1958-64, he was again appointed to serve as Secretary of Public Education, this time under President Adolfo López Mateos.

Between 1929 and the outbreak of the Second World War, Torres Bodet held diplomatic positions in Madrid, The Hague, Paris, Buenos Aires and Brussels. He served as director-general of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) from 1948 to 1952. From 1955 to 1958 he was Ambassador to France.

He received the Medal of Honor Belisario Domínguez from the Senate in the year 1971.

He was also a member of the Mexican Language Academy (the national correspondent agency to the Spanish Royal Academy) and of the National College.

Gravely ill, Torres Bodet committed suicide in Mexico City on 13 May 1974.

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