In the mid-1990’s, in Mexico, a group of novelists emerged during a public appearance at a literary venture aimed to go against predominant forms of aesthetics, canon, groups or literary ‘mafias’ prevalent during that time period. The group of five young writers called themselves “El grupo crack,” (The crack group). They brought with them the crack manifesto (1996) where each member of the group wrote to plea for a renovation of the novel with the assurance of having literary works that would challenge the reader as much as the literary status quo. Along with the manifesto, each one of them presented a novel. A few years after the presentation, the members of the group received many literary prices and accolades, inside and out of academic circles.
One of the primary objectives of this work is to expose the poetic proposal of the literary grupo crack as it relates to previous movements, groups, and literary trends. Among the five writers of the group, Jorge Volpi has shown a significant growth in his literary corpus in a very short period of time. Aside from the great recognition he has received for his novel En busca de Klingsor (1999), (In search of Klingsor), Volpi has been a motive of study, mostly, for his narrative, leaving behind his essays. There are two collections of political-cultural essays that are well hidden in the early Jorge Volpi bibliography. The first one is titled La imaginación y el poder. Una historia intelectual de 1968 (1998), (Imagination and Power. An Intellectual history of 1968), and the second, La guerra y las palabras. Una historia intelectual de 1994 (2004), (War and Words. An intellectual history of 1994). Both works have been ignored in the bibliography of the grupo crack.
To analyze both works it was necessary to contextualize Mexican history of the years 1968 and 1994, respectively. The analysis shows the interaction and coexistence between the intellectual class and the Mexican political class in an authoritarian regime, same symbiosis that Vargas Llosa would once refer to as “the perfect dictatorship.”