The Mangy Parrot


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El periquillo sarniento (The Mangy Parrot) is the first novel of entirely Latin American content. It was written in Mexico by José Joaquín Fernández de Lizardi in 1816. The book shows a marked neoclassical influence and moralizing pretensions. It tells the story of an old man who, in the face of impending death, writes a biographical text with tips for his children. Among other things, he recounts his experience with the Mexican church and that of a Franciscan monastery where he was held a few months.

José Joaquín Fernandez de Lizardi entered the College of San Ildefonso to study theology, but he interrupted his studies after the death of his father. He wrote for the newspaper Diario de México before founding the newspaper El Pensador Mexicano. Between 1815 and 1816, he published two new papers: Alacena de frioleras and El cajoncito de la alacena. Then Fernandez de Lizardi founded the newspaper El conductor eléctrico, which favored constitutional ideals; and a few years later, in 1823, published another newspaper, El hermano del Perico.