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Artistic and Literatury Culture in Spanish


Dra. Patricia Nigro

Latin America Literature

– The New World possessed their own forms of artistic

verbal expression: from prayers, hymns, and myths to
theatre. But even the most advanced pre-Columbian
civilizations lacked alphabetic writing, so their “literature”
was exclusively oral.

– A substantial number of these oral narratives were

preserved, thanks to the efforts of friars, priests, and
chroniclers as well as native historians who learned to
read and write, and the narratives’ themes, characters,
topics, and even metaphors have been periodically
adopted by Latin American literature.
Latin America Literature

– Popol Vuh (The book of the people)Written en quiché

(Guatemala y Honduras).

– Miguel Ángel Asturias (1899-1974) : Hombres de maíz

(1949) (Men made from corn). Nobel Prize 1967.
Latin America Literature

– Carta de Colón.

– Crónicas de Hernán Cortés.

– Fray Bartolomé de las

Casas (1542).

– Garcilaso de la Vega, el

– Comentarios reales (1609).

Latin America Literature

– A distinctive kind of Baroque art

developed in colonial Latin
America, a style that has come
to be known as the Barroco de
Indias, or “Baroque of the
Indies,” arguably the first
authentic artistic style to
emerge in the region.

– Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz

Latin America Literature
– Romanticism in Latin America was
coeval with the movements that
brought about independence from
Spain to all Latin American
– Esteban Echeverría (1805-
1851): “El matadero” (1840) (The
– Domingo Faustino Sarmiento
(1811-1888): Facundo o
civilización y barbarie (1845)
– Jorge Isaacs (1837-1895):
María (1867)
Latin America Literature
– Modernismo: the first since the Barroco de Indias to have a
distinctly New World inflection. Its leader was the
Nicaraguan Rubén Darío(1867-1916), the first great poet in
the Spanish language since Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz.

– Darío, who had been reading French Symbolist poetry,

took seriously Rimbaud’s injunction that “one must be
absolutely modern.” In that spirit Darío chose “Modernism”
as the name for his movement. This meant writing poetry of
uncompromising aesthetic beauty.

– Profane Hymns (1888) and Songs of life and hope (1905)

Latin America Literature
Latin America Literature

– The next important artistic movement in Latin America was

the avant-garde, or the vanguardia, as it is known in
Spanish. This movement reflected several European
movements, especially Surrealism. It can be safely said that
the repercussions of Surrealism in Latin America lasted
throughout the 20th century.

– Borges and his colleagues poets (1920-1930).

Latin America Literature
– In prose fiction the vanguardia did not
arrive as quickly. The first step was a
renovation of the novel but within
accepted 19th-century Realist forms.
The first novels to be considered
modern—that is, contemporary—in
Latin American fiction were those
written during and about the Mexican
Revolution (1910–20).

– Mariano Azuela (1873-1952): Los de

abajo (1915) (The underdogs)
Latin America Literature
– In the rest of Latin America there appeared a host of
novels that came to be grouped under the rubric novelas
de la tierra, or novela criollista. These novels were widely
read and attained international recognition. The most
notable were three by authors who acquired prominent
places in Latin American literary history:

– Ricardo Güiraldes: Don Segundo Sombra (1926)

– Rómulo Gallegos: Doña Bárbara (1929)

– José Eustasio Rivera: La vorágine (1924) (The Vortex)

Latin America Literature
– Boom novels:
– Cien años de soledad (1967; One Hundred Years of
Solitude), by Gabriel García Márquez, a world-class
masterpiece that has entered the canon of Western
– Rayuela (1963; Hopscotch), by Julio Cortázar.
– La muerte de Artemio Cruz (1962) by Carlos Fuentes.
– La ciudad y los perros (1963; The city and the dogs),
by Mario Vargas Llosa.
– El astillero (1961; The shipyard), by Juan Carlos
– Coronación (1962; Coronation) by José Donoso.
Latin America Literature
– Magic realism, chiefly Latin-American narrative strategy that is
characterized by the matter-of-fact inclusion of fantastic or mythical
elements into seemingly realistic fiction.

– The term magic realism is a relatively recent designation, first applied

in the 1940s by Cuban novelist Alejo Carpentier (1904-1980), who
recognized this characteristic in much Latin-American literature.

– El reino de este mundo (1950; The Kingdom of This World); Los pasos
perdidos (1953; The Lost Steps), his best-known work .
Latin America Literature
– Some scholars have posited that magic realism is a
natural outcome of postcolonial writing, which must make
sense of at least two separate realities—the reality of the
conquerors as well as that of the conquered.

– Prominent among the Latin-American magic realists are

the Colombian Gabriel García Márquez, the Brazilian
Jorge Amado, the Argentines Jorge Luis Borges and
Julio Cortázar, and the Chilean Isabel Allende.