Spanish-American literature

Spanish-American literature,

the writings of both the European explorers of Spanish America and its later inhabitants.

See also Spanish literatureSpanish literature,
the literature of Spain. Iberian Literature before Spanish

Literature flourished on the Iberian Peninsula long before the evolution of the modern Spanish language.
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; Portuguese literaturePortuguese literature,
writings in Portuguese. The literature of Brazil is considered separately (see Brazilian literature). Early Works

Literature in the Portuguese language first emerged in lyric poetry, the courtly love poems collected in cancioneiros
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; Brazilian literatureBrazilian literature,
the writings of both the European explorers of Brazil and its later inhabitants. The Colonial Period

Upon the discovery of Brazil, the Portuguese began to describe the wonders of the new land.
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The Colonial Era

The history of Spanish-American literature begins with the writings of the explorers, soldiers, and missionaries who participated in the conquest of the New World. Their writings, eyewitness accounts of the discovery, the conquest, the existing civilizations, and the natural wonders of the flora and fauna, form the literature of the early colonial period. These chronicles, letters, histories, religious pieces, and epic poems are the vibrant and fascinating expression of those who fought for church, crown, and gold.

The letters of Christopher ColumbusColumbus, Christopher,
Ital. Cristoforo Colombo , Span. Cristóbal Colón , 1451–1506, European explorer, b. Genoa, Italy. Early Years
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 to Ferdinand V and Isabella I and those of Hernán CortésCortés, Hernán,
or Hernando Cortez
, 1485–1547, Spanish conquistador, conqueror of Mexico. Expedition to Mexico

Cortés went (1504) first to Hispaniola and later (1511) accompanied Diego de Velázquez to Cuba.
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, the conqueror of Mexico, to Charles V are among the classics of this period. Bernal Díaz del CastilloDíaz del Castillo, Bernal
, c.1492–1581, Spanish conquistador and chronicler. He had served in the New World under various commanders—Pedro Arias de Ávila, Diego de Velázquez, Francisco Fernández de Córdoba, and
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, one of the soldiers of Cortés, wrote a remarkable history of the conquest of Mexico, and the history by the Dominican friar Bartolomé de Las CasasLas Casas, Bartolomé de
, 1474–1566, Spanish missionary and historian, called the apostle of the Indies. He went to Hispaniola with his father in 1502, and eight years later he was ordained a priest.
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 of the destruction of the Indies made him the "apostle of the Indians" and the author of the "black legend" of Spain.

Early poetry includes Chile's epic poem, La Araucana (1569–89; tr. 1945) by Alonso de Ercilla y ZúñigaErcilla y Zúñiga, Alonso de
, 1533–94, Spanish poet. In Chile (1556–63) he fought against the Araucanian, and while there he began the epic poem La Araucana, considered the finest Spanish historical poem.
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, a soldier who described the conflict between the Spaniards and the AraucaniansAraucanians
, South American people, occupying most of S central Chile at the time of the Spanish conquest (1540). The Araucanians were an agricultural people living in small settlements.
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 of Chile. The epic tradition was continued by Diego de Hajeda and Bernardo de Balbuena. Among the first of those born in the New World to write about it, the Inca Garcilaso de la VegaGarcilaso de la Vega
, 1539–1616, Peruvian historian; son of the Spanish conquistador Sebastián Garcilaso de la Vega and an Incan princess and therefore called the Inca. He grew up in Peru during the turbulent post-Conquest period.
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 described the history of the Incas and of Peru.

With the growth of Spanish colonial society in America came the concomitant growth of literary circles, especially in the viceregal capitals of Mexico City and Lima. The writings of the time were imitative of 17th-century Spanish literature. Several notable figures were Juan Ruiz de AlarcónAlarcón, Juan Ruiz de
, 1581?–1639, Spanish dramatic poet, one of the great literary figures of the Spanish Golden Age, b. Mexico. After practicing law in Spain (1600–1608) and Mexico, he returned (1613) to Spain, where he obtained a minor government post.
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, the Mexican-born playwright, generally considered one of the great Spanish dramatists; Juana Inés de la CruzJuana Inés de la Cruz
, 1651–95, Mexican poet. She is considered the greatest lyric poet of the colonial period. A beautiful and intellectually precocious girl, Juana was a favorite at the viceregal court before entering a Mexican convent at the age of 16.
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, Mexican nun, feminist, and intellectual, known for her lyric poetry, plays, and prose; and the Peruvian Juan del Valle y Caviedes, known for his satiric poetry and sharp wit.

The Nineteenth Century: Nationalism and Romanticism

The colonial period in Spanish-American history and letters came to an end with the wars for independence in the early 19th cent. Prose writers and poets, imbued with the ideals of revolution and the nationalism of independence, expressed their thoughts in fiery prose and heroic verse. Simón BolívarBolívar, Simón
, 1783–1830, South American revolutionary who led independence wars in the present nations of Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia.
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, the Liberator, is known for his analyses of the political scene as well as for his military exploits.

The Mexican José Joaquín Fernández de LizardiFernández de Lizardi, José Joaquín
, 1776–1827, Mexican journalist, novelist, and dramatist, known by his pseudonym El Pensador Mexicano. His early liberalism, revealed in satiric poetry, put him at odds with the censors.
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 became famous as an ardent propagandist and pamphleteer. Basically a journalist, he is remembered as the author of the first Spanish-American novel, The Itching Parrot (1816; tr. 1942), a work in the picaresque genre. José Joaquín OlmedoOlmedo, José Joaquin
, 1780–1847, Ecuadorian statesman and poet. An ambassador to Paris and London after Ecuador's independence, Olmedo gained renown for his ode La Victoria de Junín
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 celebrated the victories of Bolívar in a heroic poem in the classical style entitled La victoria de Junín: Canto a Bolívar (1825). Andrés BelloBello, Andrés
, 1781–1865, South American intellectual leader, b. Venezuela. In 1810 he was sent with Bolívar on a mission to London, where he remained for 19 years as a diplomat, teacher, and writer.
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, the Venezuelan humanist, educator, and poet, also sang of America in his serene A Georgic of the Tropics (1826; tr. 1954).

With political independence from Spain achieved, except in the island countries of the Caribbean, cultural independence swept the region, aided by the romantic tenets of freedom, emotional intensity, and individualism. For a while, classic forms coexisted with romanticismromanticism,
term loosely applied to literary and artistic movements of the late 18th and 19th cent. Characteristics of Romanticism

Resulting in part from the libertarian and egalitarian ideals of the French Revolution, the romantic movements had in common only a
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 as in the poetry of José María HerediaHeredia, José María
, 1803–39, Cuban journalist and poet. He is considered the most lyrical of the poets writing during the period of the wars of independence.
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 of Cuba. His En el teocalli de Cholula [in the temple-pyramid of Cholula] (1820) is the first Spanish-American romantic poem.

Among the early romanticists were the young intellectuals who fled from the tyranny of Juan Manuel de Rosas in Argentina. Esteban EcheverríaEcheverría, Esteban
, 1805–51, Argentine romantic poet, prose writer, and revolutionary propagandist. After five years in Europe he introduced romanticism in Argentina in his poem Elvira (1832).
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 expressed himself in the poetic narrative La cautiva [the captive] (1827). Domingo Faustino SarmientoSarmiento, Domingo Faustino
, 1811–88, Argentine statesman, educator, and author, president of the republic (1868–74). An opponent of Juan Manuel de Rosas, he spent years of exile in Chile, becoming known as a journalist and an educational reformer.
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, also of Argentina, was not only the leading exponent of romanticism but also a prolific writer and educator. His Life in the Argentine Republic in the Days of the Tyrants (1845; tr. 1960), a study of personalism in politics, is among the classics of Spanish-American letters.

The emphasis on the national scene, so characteristic of romanticism, gave rise to the gaucho literature of Argentina and Uruguay, an indigenous literary genre. The gauchogaucho
, cowboy of the Argentine and Uruguayan pampas (grasslands). The typical gaucho, a familiar figure in the 18th and 19th cent., was a daring, skillful horseman and plainsman.
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, long the hero of popular tales and ballads, became the subject of some of the most original verse of the century in the poetry of Rafael Obligado, Estanislao del Campo, and in the classic Martín Fierro (1872–79; tr. 1948) of José HernándezHernández, José
, 1834–86, Argentine poet, journalist, and soldier. Hernández lived in the pampas as a child. He was the author of the national classic of gaucho literature, Martín Fierro (1872), and its sequel,
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. The romanticist's interest in the search for his native roots can be seen in the epic poem Tabaré (1886; tr. 1956) of Juan Zorrilla de San Martín, and in the historical anecdotes and sketches, the Knights of the Cape and 37 Other Selections from Tradiciones peruanas (1872–1910; tr. 1945), of Ricardo PalmaPalma, Ricardo
, 1833–1919, Peruvian scholar and author. Palma abandoned an active early career as a naval officer, journalist, and politician to achieve note as a historian with a book on the Inquisition in Lima (1863).
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Several novels of the period reflect the various trends in letters. Amalia (1851–55; tr. 1919), by José MármolMármol, José
, 1817–71, Argentine writer of the romantic school. His invectives against Juan Manuel de Rosas earned him the nickname "the poetic hangman of Rosas.
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, deals with life in Argentina under Juan Manuel de Rosas; Martín Rivas (1862; tr. 1918), by Alberto Blest GanaBlest Gana, Alberto
, 1830–1920, Chilean novelist. He is considered the principal 19th-century Spanish-American realist. Although as a diplomat he spent much of his life abroad, his novels, both social and historical, depict Chilean scenes.
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 of Chile, depicts the life and customs of Chile; María (1867; tr. 1890) is the tragic idyll of Jorge IsaacsIsaacs, Jorge
, 1837–95, Colombian novelist. The son of a prosperous Englishman and a creole, Isaacs witnessed the ruin and premature death of his parents and the despoilment of his estate by civil war.
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 of Colombia; and Cumandá (1871), by Ecuador's Juan León Mera, is a romantic portrayal of native life.

This same period produced some of Spanish America's most notable essayists. Juan MontalvoMontalvo, Juan
, 1832–89, Ecuadorean essayist and political writer. A champion of liberalism and a master of political invective, he showered fiery anathemas on the tyrant Gabriel García Moreno and later on the dictator Ignacio Veintimilla.
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 of Ecuador wielded his pen against the tyranny of García Moreno; Eugenio María de HostosHostos, Eugenio María de
, 1839–1903, Latin American philosopher, sociologist, writer, and political and educational reformer, b. Puerto Rico, educated in Spain.
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 of Puerto Rico championed the cause of the independence and union of the islands of the Antilles; and Manuel González PradaGonzález Prada, Manuel
, 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.
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 of Peru attacked the entire social and economic system of his country and spoke out in defense of the indigenous peoples.


The writers of Spanish America in the last quarter of the 19th cent. broke with the nationalistic expression of the previous generation and immersed themselves in a world of artifice. These were the modernistas, who believed in "art for art's sake" and were influenced by the French Parnassian and symbolist schools. They wrote on rare and exotic themes and experimented with language and meter.

Those who initiated this literary movement, known as modernismomodernismo
, movement in Spanish literature that had its beginning in Latin America. It was paramount in the last decade of the 19th cent. and the first decade of the 20th cent.

Modernismo derived from French symbolism and the Parnassian school.
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, were the Mexican Manuel Gutiérrez NájeraGutiérrez Nájera, Manuel
, 1859–95, Mexican poet and journalist. One of the precursors of modernismo, he founded the literary periodical Revista Azul.
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, the Colombian José Asunción SilvaSilva, José Asunción
, 1865–96, Colombian poet, one of the precursors of modernismo. Silva's life was shadowed by the loss of a crucial manuscript, family debt, and the death of a beloved sister.
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, and the Cubans Julián del CasalCasal, Julián del
, 1863–93, Cuban poet, b. Havana. A friend of Rubén Darío, Casal became a leader in modernismo. He was greatly influenced by the French Parnassians.
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 and José MartíMartí, José
, 1853–95, Cuban essayist, poet, and patriot, leader of the Cuban struggle for independence. One of the greatest prose writers of Spanish America, he is noted for his fluent style and vivid imagery.
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, the latter known also for his struggle to gain Cuba's independence from Spain. The movement reached its peak with the publication of the Nicaraguan Rubén DaríoDarío, Rubén
, 1867–1916, Nicaraguan poet, originally named Félix Rubén García Sarmiento. A child prodigy, he gained a thorough knowledge of Spanish and French cultures through reading; it was then widened during many years abroad in both
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's Selected Poems (tr. 1965), which influenced writers throughout Spanish America and many in Spain. Among others there were Amado NervoNervo, Amado
, 1870–1919, Mexican poet. Known as the "monk of poetry," he studied for the priesthood but abandoned it for writing. An intimate friend of Rubén Darío, he was a leading figure of modernismo.
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 of Mexico, José Santos ChocanoChocano, José Santos
, 1875–1934, Peruvian poet and one of the leaders of modernismo. During a life of Latin-American wandering, Chocano was closely linked both to brutal dictatorships and idealist revolutionaries.
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 of Peru, Ricardo Jaimes Freyre of Bolivia, Guillermo ValenciaValencia, Guillermo
, 1873–1943, Colombian poet, one of the leaders of modernismo. He came from an aristocratic family, received solid classical training, and became active politically as an orator. Valencia was a disciple of José Asunción Silva.
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 of Colombia, Julio Herrera y ReissigHerrera y Reissig, Julio
, 1875–1910, Uruguayan poet. He belonged to a family prominent in public affairs but withdrew along with his bohemian followers to an attic known as the Tower of the Panoramas. He became the Uruguayan leader of modernismo.
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 and José Enrique RodóRodó, José Enrique
, 1872–1917, Uruguayan essayist, literary critic, and philosopher. Rodó spent most of his life in Montevideo, where he helped to found and edit La Revista Nacional de Literatura y Ciencias Sociales.
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 of Uruguay, and Leopoldo LugonesLugones, Leopoldo
, 1874–1938, Argentine poet and man of letters. First an anarchist, then a socialist, finally a fascist, Lugones was a friend of Rubén Darío and the outstanding modernista poet of Argentina.
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 of Argentina.

Early-Twentieth-Century Trends

With the passing of modernismo, poetry was influenced by many trends and movements. Three women poets, Alfonsina Storni, Juana de IbarbourouIbarbourou, Juana de
, 1895–1979, Uruguayan poet also called Juana de América. One of the most popular poets of Spanish America, she caused a sensation with the exuberant and lilting sensuality of her lyrics in Aguas de diamante (1919) and
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, and the Nobel Prize winner Gabriela MistralMistral, Gabriela
, 1889–1957, Chilean poet whose original name was Lucila Godoy Alcayaga. She was a teacher in and director of rural schools in Chile before she attained wider acclaim as an educator.
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, are known for their impassioned lyrics. Among the poets of the avant-garde movements in poetry were Vicente HuidobroHuidobro, Vicente
, 1893–1948, Chilean poet, founder of the aesthetic movement known as creacionismo, which emphasized the value of the poet as verbal magician, exploring the deepest sources of poetic creation.
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 of Chile, César VallejoVallejo, César
, 1895–1938, Peruvian poet. Vallejo was one of the most influential yet least imitated figures of modern Spanish-American letters. He identified himself with the sufferings of the underprivileged and dedicated himself to the cause of social progress.
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 of Peru, Jorge Luis BorgesBorges, Jorge Luis
, 1899–1986, Argentine poet, critic, and short-story writer, b. Buenos Aires. Borges has been widely hailed as the foremost contemporary Spanish-American writer.
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 of Argentina, and Chile's Pablo NerudaNeruda, Pablo
, 1904–73, Chilean poet, diplomat, and Communist leader. He changed his original name, Ricardo Eliecer Neftalí Reyes Basoalto, so that his railroad-worker father would not discover that he was a poet.
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, also a Nobel laureate.

The prose writers largely turned their attention to social themes. Following a tradition perfected by Martí, González Prada, and Rodó, the 20th-century essay reached new heights of intensity in the writings of José VasconcelosVasconcelos, José
, 1882–1959, Mexican educator and writer. He headed (1920–24) the National Univ. of Mexico and, as minister of education under Álvaro Obregón, worked vigorously and with considerable success to establish schools, to persuade the
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 of Mexico, known for his cultural theory as well as his participation in the Mexican Revolution of 1910 and in the educational reform of his country. The essay was cultivated in a more artistic and aesthetic form by the scholarly Alfonso ReyesReyes, Alfonso
, 1889–1959, Mexican writer, diplomat, and educator. Reyes is generally recognized as one of the greatest Spanish-American writers of his time. After spending several years in Europe, Argentina, and Brazil as a diplomat, he became president of the Colegio de
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 of Mexico and by Pedro Henríquez Ureña of the Dominican Republic. Later on Mariano Picón-Salas of Venezuela and Germán ArciniegasArciniegas, Germán
, 1900–1999, Colombian historian and diplomat. A leading Latin American intellectual, he gained prominence as a journalist and publisher.
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 of Colombia made the essay the vehicle of social, historical, and political ideas in Spanish America. Those who cultivated the novel and short story in the early 20th cent. also tended mainly toward social protest and probed the roots of injustice and oppression in humanity.

The Mexican Revolution of 1910 produced a subgenre—generally first-hand accounts of aspects of the revolution. The classic work of this genre is The Underdogs (1915; tr. 1963) by Mariano AzuelaAzuela, Mariano
, 1873–1952, Mexican novelist. Azuela began his medical practice in 1899, writing short stories and novels in his spare time. In 1915 he joined Francisco Villa's revolutionary forces as a surgeon.
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. Other works of this type include The Eagle and the Serpent (1928, tr. 1930) by Martín Luis GuzmánGuzmán, Martín Luis
, 1887–1977, Mexican novelist and journalist. Guzmán worked as a journalist during the Mexican revolution, in which he joined the forces of Pancho Villa.
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, and El indio [the indian] (1935; tr. 1937) by Gregorio López y Fuentes. The indigenous people, the poor, the underdog of any sort now entered literature as an urgent social problem and not as an element of local color. Representative of this indigenista literature are Raza de bronce [bronze race] (1919) by the Bolivian Alcides ArguedasArguedas, Alcides
, 1879–1946, Bolivian writer and diplomat. His essays and novels, which have social and moralizing tendencies, are a reaction against the romantic idealization of the Native American.
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, El mundo es ancho y ajeno [broad and alien is the world] (1941) by the Peruvian Ciro AlegríaAlegría, Ciro
, 1909–67, Peruvian novelist. Imprisoned several times for his political activities, Alegría was exiled to Chile in 1934. He gained fame with his novel La serpiente de oro (1935, tr. The Golden Serpent, 1943).
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, and Huasipungo (1934; tr. 1964) by the Ecuadorian Jorge IcazaIcaza, Jorge
, 1906–78, Ecuadorian novelist. Icaza wrote in harsh, realistic terms against the exploitation of the Native American. His novel En las calles [in the streets] won him acclaim in 1935.
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The struggle between humanity and the forces of nature, whether on the plains, in the tropics, or in the cities, was a challenging subject for novels and short stories. The life of the gaucho on the Argentine pampas is depicted in the novel El inglés de los güesos [the Englishman with the bones] (1924) by Benito Lynch, and in Don Segundo Sombra (1926; tr. 1935) by Ricardo GüiraldesGüiraldes, Ricardo
, 1886–1927, Argentine writer. He spent his boyhood on a ranch where he learned the ways of the gauchos, later traveling to Europe. In his novels and short stories he applied postmodernist techniques to Argentine regional themes.
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. Life on the Venezuelan plains is portrayed in Doña Bárbara (1929; tr. 1931) by Rómulo GallegosGallegos, Rómulo
, 1884–1969, Venezuelan novelist and statesman. Gallegos lived in Spain in voluntary exile from the Venezuelan dictatorship from 1931 until 1935. He returned to his country and was appointed minister of education, being elected president in 1948.
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The tropics, replete with struggles of man against man as well as man against nature, are dramatically described in the short stories of the Uruguayan Horacio QuirogaQuiroga, Horacio
, 1878–1937, Uruguayan short-story writer. Quiroga is considered a master of the short story. His work was deeply influenced by Kipling, Poe, Chekhov, and Maupassant as well as by the modernismo movement.
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 and in the novel The Vortex (1924; tr. 1935), by Colombia's José Eustasio RiveraRivera, José Eustasio
, 1889–1928, Colombian novelist. Rivera served on the commission to fix the Venezuelan boundary deep in the rain forest of the Amazon basin.
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. Urban society with its many social problems is the theme of the novels of Federico Gamboa of Mexico and Manuel Gálvez of Argentina and the short stories of Manuel Rojas of Chile.

With the passage of time the novel and short story became more removed from the geographical and social problems of Spanish America and became more immersed in the universal currents of literature. There were the psychological novels of Chile's Eduardo BarriosBarrios, Eduardo
, 1884–1963, Chilean novelist, short-story writer, and playwright. He was director of libraries and minister of education in Chile. As a writer he was interested in the inner workings of his characters, especially the unstable or abnormal, whom he analyzed
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 and Argentina's Ernesto SábatoSábato, Ernesto
, 1911–2011, Argentinean novelist and literary critic, b. Rojas. He received his doctorate in physics (1937) and taught until removed for anti-Peronist activities in 1945. His novels, which include El túnel (1948; tr.
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, the existential works of Argentina's Eduardo MalleaMallea, Eduardo
, 1903–82, Argentine novelist and essayist. Mallea is considered one of the outstanding Latin American literary figures. Existentialist thought, particularly the writings of Kierkegaard and Kafka, influenced his intense and sometimes anguished analysis of
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, and the poetic novels of Mexico's Agustín YáñezYáñez, Agustín
, 1904–80, Mexican novelist and critic. Yáñez's writings include works about Native American myths and the Spanish colonial era. His work includes the novels The Edge of the Storm (1947, tr.
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Late-Twentieth-Century Literature

The state of Spanish-American letters from the middle to the end of the 20th cent. was extremely rich, especially in the novel and poetry. Both genres received great critical acclaim outside the Spanish-speaking world and were widely translated into English and many other languages. Guatemala's Nobel Prize–winning Miguel Angel AsturiasAsturias, Miguel Ángel
, 1899–1974, Guatemalan novelist, poet, and diplomat. Living in Paris in the 1920s, Asturias was influenced by Romain Rolland, Valéry, and the surrealists.
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 combined mythological and social themes in works such as The President (1946; tr. 1963) and The Bejeweled Boy (1961; tr. 1972). Cuba's Alejo CarpentierCarpentier, Alejo
, 1904–80, Cuban novelist and musicologist. As a political exile in Paris between 1928 and 1939, Carpentier was strongly influenced by Antonin Artaud, Jacques Prévert, and the surrealists.
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 captured the world of magic and superstition in The Lost Steps (1953; tr. 1956) and The Harp and the Shadow (1979; tr. 1990), and gave the name of magic realismmagic realism,
primarily Latin American literary movement that arose in the 1960s. The term has been attributed to the Cuban writer Alejo Carpentier, who first applied it to Latin-American fiction in 1949.
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 to the rich and influential blend of the ordinary and fantastic that characterized many Spanish-American novels of the 1960s and later. Meanwhile, Mexico's Juan RulfoRulfo, Juan
, 1918–86, Mexican writer. In his fiction he recreates the desolation of his native southern Jalisco and brings to life its simple people in a harsh and tragic manner. He wrote one book of short stories, The Burning Plain and Other Stories (1955; tr.
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 recreated a poetic world of reality and fantasy in Pedro Páramo (1955; tr. 1959).

The Argentine Jorge Luis BorgesBorges, Jorge Luis
, 1899–1986, Argentine poet, critic, and short-story writer, b. Buenos Aires. Borges has been widely hailed as the foremost contemporary Spanish-American writer.
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' philosophical allegories (including Ficciones [1944; tr. 1962]) brilliantly combined the real with the fantastic, and his younger compatriot Julio CortázarCortázar, Julio
, 1914–84, Argentine novelist, poet, essayist, and short-story writer, b. Brussels. Moving permanently to France in 1951, Cortázar gradually gained recognition as one of the century's major experimental writers.
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 gained renown for Hopscotch (1963; tr. 1966), his masterpiece of experimental fiction. Carlos FuentesFuentes, Carlos
, 1928–2012, Mexican writer, editor, and diplomat. He was head of the department of cultural relations in Mexico's ministry of foreign affairs (1956–59) and Mexican ambassador to France (1975–77).
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 of Mexico is one of the most eminent modern novelists (The Death of Artemio Cruz [1962; tr. 1964, 1991]), along with Mario Vargas LlosaVargas Llosa, Mario
, 1936–, Peruvian novelist and politician, b. Arequipa. Although his works contain much external realism, emphasizing the ugly and grotesque, he also often explores the minds of his characters, overcoming barriers of time and space.
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 of Peru (The Green House [1966; tr. 1968]), and, most of all, the 1982 Nobel Prize–winner Gabriel García MárquezGarcía Márquez, Gabriel
, 1927–2014, Colombian novelist, short-story writer, and journalist, b. Aracataca. Widely considered one of the great Latin American masters of narrative and one of the finest literary stylists of the 20th cent.
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 of Colombia (A Hundred Years of Solitude [1967; tr. 1970]).


For anthologies in translation, see H. de Onís, ed., The Golden Land: An Anthology of Latin American Folklore in Literature (1961); W. K. Jones, ed., Spanish American Literature in Translation: A Selection of Poetry, Fiction and Drama Since 1888 (1963); A. Torres-Ríoseco, ed., Short Stories of Latin America (1963); A. Flores, ed., The Literature of Spanish America: A Critical Anthology (4 vol., 1966–69); H. Carpentier and J. Brof, ed., Doors and Mirrors: Fiction and Poetry from Spanish America, 1920–70 (1972); S. Castro-Klaren, S. Molloy, and B. Sarlo, ed., Women's Writing in Latin America: An Anthology (1991).

See also E. A. Imbert, Spanish-American Literature: A History (2 vol., 2d ed. 1963); K. Schwartz, A New History of Spanish American Fiction (1972); D. Gallagher, ed., Modern Latin American Literature (1973) M. Forster, ed., Tradition and Renewal: Essays on Twentieth-Century Latin American Literature and Culture (1975); L. Klein, ed., Latin American Literature in the 20th Century: A Guide (1986); D. W. Foster, ed., Handbook of Latin American Literature (1987); C. Sole, ed., Latin American Writers (1989).

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This collection of articles on the books of Laura Esquivel, and the film adaptation of her first book Like Water For Chocolate is intended for both students with little background in Spanish-American literature and for those with a deep knowledge of it.
Magnarelli's latest contribution to the critical dialogue on Spanish-American literature offers fresh, new readings of plays that have already attracted significant critical attention as well as insightful analyses of others that have seldom been studied.
He also commented on literature as a unifying force that could advance the coming together of peoples in the hemisphere, suggesting more translations would give English-speaking audiences, for example, better access to Spanish-American literature and French-American literature, and vice-versa.
Through these three writers and through the fantastic tales with which Borges changed the course of Spanish-American literature, Garc'a Marquez discovers two kinds of fantastic writing: The first is the supernatural, where events contrary to reality take place (the world of Kafka's Metamorphosis, of vampires, of the flying carpets in Thousand and One Nights), and the other is the folkloric fantastic he would assimilate from family members about clairvoyance and love charms--what is usually called "magic realism." These he would blend in One Hundred Years of Solitude, the novel that liberates Spanish-American literature from banal realism and pious preaching disguised as literature.
A Companion to Spanish-American Literature. By STEPHEN M.
TED PARKS is an associate professor at Pepperdine University where, in addition to teaching Spanish-American literature, he has organized student development projects in Central America.
After becoming professor of contemporary Spanish-American literature at the University of Chile, Skarmeta wrote his first screenplay for German director Peter Lilienthal.
It also highlights certain striking parallels between recent advances in scholarship on Afro-Hispanic literature and the progress of mainstream Spanish-American literature through the apogee and aftermath of its infamous "boom" in the 1960s.