This paper analyzes the intense engagement of Estridentismo—Mexico’s most important avant-garde literary movement of the 1920s—with the contemporary culture of advertising. By focusing specifically on Manuel Maples Arce’s manifesto Actual Nº 1 and Germán List Arzubide’s El movimiento estridentista, this paper shows the ambiguous attitude of Estridentismo towards advertising. On the one hand, Estridentista artists showed a true fascination with advertising as a new artistic paradigm that, like the avant-garde project, broke with traditional artistic precepts. Despite their aesthetic attraction to advertising, both Maples Arce and List Arzubide used parody to mimic the discourse of marketing to criticize the culture of mass consumption that characterized contemporary capitalism. Through their parodic appropriation of advertising, both authors claim humor as an effective tool of political and social critique that challenges the economic values and literary expectations of their audiences.


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pp. 495-525
Launched on MUSE
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