José Enrique Rodó

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Rodó, José Enrique

 

Born July 15, 1871, in Montevideo; died May 1, 1917, in Palermo. Uruguayan literary scholar and philosopher.

Rodó taught Spanish-American literature at the University of Montevideo from 1898 to 1901. He was a member of the Chamber of Deputies from 1902 to 1908. In the last years of his life he served as European correspondent for the Argentine magazine Caras y caretas.

A romantic humanist, Rodó argued against positivism and pragmatism in his works. He focused his attention on problems related to the individual’s fate and spiritual freedom in society. He believed that the life of the individual and that of society as a whole was a struggle between two opposing forces: spirituality versus base instincts and crude utilitarianism. In his philosophical and sociological essay Ariel (1900; partial Russian translation, 1965), Rodó opposed the spiritual values and nationally distinctive culture of the peoples of Latin America to the “industrial giantism” and overemphasized the practicality of North American culture and the North American way of life. Ariel was one of the first anti-imperialist statements to come from Latin America. Rodó was also the author of collections of articles, essays, and speeches, including The Motives of Proteus (1908) and The Gallery of Prospero (1913).

WORKS

Obras completas [2nd ed.]. Buenos Aires [1956].
Obras completas. Madrid, 1957.

REFERENCES

Istoriia filosofii, vol. 5. Moscow, 1961. Pages 774–75.
Mamontov, S. P. “Khose Enrike Rodo i formirovanie natsional’nogo samosoznaniia latino-amerikanskikh narodov na rubezhe XIX i XX vv.” In the collection Problemy ideologii i natsional’noi kul’tury stran Latinskoi Ameriki. Moscow, 1967.
Scarone, A. Bibliografía de Rodó: El escritor, las obras, la crítica, vols. 1–2. Montevideo, 1930.
Benedetti, M. Genio i figura de J. E. Rodó. Buenos Aires [1966]. (References on pp. 178–89.)