Juan León Mera

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Juan León Mera Martínez
BirthplaceAmbato, Ecuador
Essayist, Novelist, Politician, Painter

Mera, Juan León


Born June 28, 1832, in Ambato; died there Dec. 13, 1894. Ecuadorian writer and literary critic.

Mera was one of the ideological leaders of Ecuadorian conservatism; he was chairman of the Senate and minister during the years of Garcia Moreno’s clerical and reactionary dictatorship (1869-75). Mera wrote the lyrics of the Ecuadorian national anthem. In the poem The Sun Maiden (1861) and the poetry collections Native Melodies (1858) and Mazorra (1875), Mera used motifs from Indian folklore. The novel Cumandd (1879), written in the style of European romanticism, is an idyllic tale from the Indian past. Mera’s A Historical and Critical Survey of Ecuadorian Poetry (1868) calls for the creation of an original national literature. Mera was the author of novellas and essays on mores.


Obras. Barcelona, 1887.
Novelas cortas. Ambato, 1952.


Mamontov, S. P. “Literatura Ekvadora.”In Ekvador. Moscow, 1963.
Guevara, Dario C. Juan Leon Mera o el hombre de cimas. Quito, 1944.
Arias, A. Panorama de la literatura ecuatoriana. Quito, 1961.