González Prada, Manuel

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González Prada, Manuel

(mänwĕl` gōnsä`lĕs prä`thä), 1848–1918, Peruvian writer and political reformer, b. Lima. One of the most brilliant figures in Spanish American letters, he was a master of satire and invective. With apostolic zeal he took up the defense of the exploited indigenous people, and in his eloquent essays, speeches, and polemical writings he hurled demolishing broadsides at the landowning oligarchy that had ruled Peru since colonial days. He advocated radical social reform along nationalistic lines and became the mentor of a generation of young radicals. González Prada was also an innovator in poetry, introducing new devices and revitalizing Spanish verse by cultivating unusual forms, such as the triolet, the rondel, and the Malayan pantun. More than nine books of poetry and many editions of his essays were published, a number of them posthumously. Some of his prose collections are Páginas libres (1894), Nuestros Indios (1904), and Horas de lucha (1908).

González Prada, Manuel

 

Born Jan. 6, 1848. in Lima; died there July 22, 1918. Peruvian poet, publicist, and political figure.

In 1891, González Prada founded a revolutionary-democratic party called the National Union. After the party’s turn to liberalism in 1902, he began to develop in the direction of anarchism. Although on a philosophical level he had a positivist world outlook, he sought to draw revolutionary conclusions from it. In his poetic works he began by imitating the romantics but soon emerged as a reformer of Peruvian poetry. In the poetic cycles Peruvian Ballads (1871–79) and Free Verses (1904–09), as well as the poetry collection Presbyterians (1909), he introduced social themes into poetry and made use of new verse forms. In his literary and sociological essays, collected in the books Free Pages (1894) and Hours of Struggle (1908), González leveled criticism at the reactionary regime in Peru, championed the oppressed Indian population, and advanced a program for the country’s democratic and cultural regeneration. Many of González’ works are marked by anticlericalism and antimilitarism.

WORKS

Exóticas. Lima, 1911.
Minúsculas, 3rd ed. Lima, 1928.
Trozos de vida. Paris. 1933.
Baladas. Paris, 1939.
Antología poética. Mexico City. 1941.
In Russian translation:
In Progressivnye mysliteli Latinskoi Ameriki (XlX-nachalo XX v.). Moscow, 1965. Pages 261–97.

REFERENCES

Ospovat, L. S. “O formirovanii natsional’nykh osobennostei peruanskoi poesii.” In the collection Natsii Latinskoi Ameriki. Moscow, 1964.
Samarkina, I. K. “Gonsales Prada—revoliutsionnyi demokrat.” In the collection Problemy ideologii i natsional’noi kul’tury stran Latinskoi Ameriki. Moscow, 1967.

V. N. KUTEISHCHIKOVA and S. I. SEMENOV