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Born Sept. 8, 1791, in Arequipa; died Mar. 12, 1815, in Humachiri. Peruvian poet.
Melgar graduated from a theological seminary. In 1814 he joined the national liberation movement; he was taken prisoner and later shot by the Spanish.
Melgar began his literary career by imitating the neoclassical poets. He also translated classical authors. Melgar later turned to local folklore; he was the first to render into Spanish the original poetic genres of the Quechua Indians: fables andyaravíes (short, lyrical love poems). The social criticism in his fables, the freshness and democratic character of his language, and his efforts to synthesize literary and folk traditions gave Melgar his reputation as one of the founders of Peruvian national poetry.
WORKSPoesías. Lima, 1878.
In Russian translation:
“laravi, Kamenotes i mul.”In Soldaty svobody. Moscow, 1963.
REFERENCESMariátegui, J. C. Sem ’ ocherkov istolkovaniia peruanskoi deistvitel’nosti. Moscow, 1963. (Translated from Spanish.)
Ospovat, L. S. “O formirovanii natsional’nykh osobennostei peruanskoi poezii.”In Natsii Latinskoi Ameriki. Moscow, 1964.
Wiesse, M. La romántica vida de M. Melgar. Lima, 1939.