Mariátegui, José Carlos

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Mariátegui, José Carlos

(hōsā` kär`lōs märēä`tāgē), 1895–1930, Peruvian writer and political leader. Of a poor family, he was a tubercular from childhood but rose to prominence as a self-taught journalist. He studied in Europe and became a confirmed Marxist. Returning to Peru he joined other radicals, such as Víctor Raúl Haya de la TorreHaya de la Torre, Víctor Raúl
, 1895–1979, Peruvian political leader, founder of the APRA party. Although he never held power and spent much of his political life in exile or in prison, he had great influence on contemporary hemispheric politics.
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, in political agitation during the 1920s, and when Haya de la Torre founded the APRA party (see APRAAPRA
or the Alianza Popular Revolucionaria Americana, reformist political party in Peru, also called the Partido Aprista. Founded (1924) by Victor Raúl Haya de la Torre while in exile, the party's activities in Perú were led by José Carlos
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) in exile, Mariátegui became its leading spokesman in Peru. He broke with the Apristas, as the members of the APRA party were known, in 1928. His Seven Interpretive Essays on Peruvian Reality (1928, tr. 1988), is a masterpiece of social analysis.

Bibliography

See J. M. Baines, Revolution in Peru (1972).

Mariátegui, José Carlos

 

Born June 14, 1895, in Lima, Peru; died there Apr. 16, 1930. Peruvian political figure, sociologist, and literary critic.

Mariátegui was the son of a poor clerk. At the age of 14 he worked in a printing plant; he later became a journalist. In 1918 he joined the labor movement and began to propagate socialist ideas. In 1919 he was exiled from Peru. In Europe, Mariategui met M. Gorky, G. V. Chicherin, H. Barbusse, and A. Gramsci. He attended the Constituent Congress of the Italian Communist Party and the Genoa Conference of 1922.

Upon his return to Peru in 1923, Mariategui took part in the work of the trade unions and the people’s universities. He was an ardent propagandist of the ideas of Marxism-Leninism and of the achievements of the October 1917 Revolution in Russia. He waged an ideological and political struggle against revisionism and bourgeois nationalism. A talented publicist, Mariategui advocated the independent development of national culture. He devoted special attention to the analysis of two traditions of Peruvian literature—the Spanish and the Indian.

Mariátegui was one of the first to give a Marxist analysis of Latin American history and culture. He also did a great deal to popularize Soviet literature in Latin America. From 1926 to 1930 he published the sociopolitical and literary journal A mauta, around which the continent’s progressive cultural leaders rallied, and, beginning in 1928, the labor newspaper Labor. In 1928, Mariategui was one of the organizers of the General Confederation of Peruvian Workers. In that same year he founded the Peruvian Communist Party (prior to 1930 it was called Socialist), becoming its first general secretary. The theoretical ground-work for the Communist Party’s program was provided by Mariátegui in his work Seven Essays on the State of Affairs in Peru (1928; Russian translation, 1963), which marked a stage in the development of modern Latin American sociology and aesthetics. While already seriously ill, Mariátegui was subjected to arrests and imprisonment.

WORKS

Ediciones populares de las obras completas, vols. 1-20. Lima, 1959-71.

REFERENCES

Kh. K. Mariategi. Moscow, 1966.
Lenin y Mariategui Lima, 1970.
Vigencia de J. C. Mariategui. Lima, 1972.

S. I. SEMENOV