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Chilean literature

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Chilean literature

Chilean literature refers to all written or Gonzalo Rojas (2003) and Nicanor Parra (2011).[1]


  • Chilean literature during conquest and colonial times 1
  • Independence 2
    • Romanticism 2.1
    • Realism 2.2
  • 20th century 3
    • Criollismo 3.1
    • Chilean poetry 1900 – 1925 3.2
    • Imaginismo 3.3
    • La Mandrágora 3.4
    • Neocriollismo 3.5
    • Children's literature 3.6
  • History 4
    • After World War II 4.1
    • After the 1973 coup 4.2
  • The four greats of Chilean poetry 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8

Chilean literature during conquest and colonial times

As the native cultures of the territories known today as Chile had no written tradition, (please see Mapudungun alphabet), Chilean literature was born during the Spanish conquest of the 1500s. The conquistador Pedro de Valdivia wrote letters to the king, Charles V (Carlos Primero de España), and in one of these letters, of 1554, he admiringly describes the natural beauty and landscape of the country. Along with the conquerors came missionaries to teach and convert the native peoples to Christianity, spreading not only their religion but also their language, writing and other arts and artisan skills.[2] Chilean literature in the time of the Spanish conquest consisted mainly of chronicles of the war of Arauco. Most soldiers with the ability to write had to use the sword more often than the pen, so during the conquest and colonisation, the main role of literature was to keep historical records of the campaign. One exception to this, however, was the poem La Araucana, published in Spain in 1569, 1578, and 1589 and also known as "The Araucaniad". La Araucana, written by Alonso de Ercilla, is the most significant epic poem in the modern Spanish language and is one of the most important works of the Spanish Golden Age (Siglo de Oro), describing the conquest of Chile in hendecasyllable verse. Later, Pedro de Oña, the first poet born in Chile, published an imitation of Ercilla, "El Arauco domado" or The Tamed Arauco in 1596.

In the 17th and 18th centuries, historical work prevailed, including "Historia del Reino de Chile" (History of the Realm of Chile) by Alonso de Góngora Marmolejo, "Histórica relación del Reino de Chile" (Historical Account of the Realm of Chile) by Alonso de Ovalle; and "Cautiverio feliz" (Happy Captivity) by Francisco Núñez de Pineda y Bascuñán. This period also saw scientific writers like Juan Ignacio Molina, who wrote the "Ensayo sobre la Historia Natural de Chile" (An Essay on the Natural History of Chile), and the epic historical poem "El Purén indómito" (The Indomitable Purén), written by Fernando Álvarez de Toledo.

During the colonial period until the 19th century, literary works written by Chilean nuns spotlighted: there were spiritual letters, diaries, autobiographies and epistolaries; several writers stood out, including Tadea de San Joaquín, Úrsula Suárez and Josefa de los Dolores, whose works became the best known of its kind in the South American region.[3]


The excitement of the independence movement inspired Camilo Henríquez to launch "La Aurora de Chile" (The Dawn of Chile), Chile's first newspaper or printing operation of any kind, mostly covering politics and political philosophy. It was in print from February 13, 1812 to April 1, 1813, at which point it became El Monitor Araucano. The paper had four printed pages with two columns each, and was published weekly, every Thursday. Other journalists of the period included Manuel de Salas,[4] José Miguel Infante, Juan Egaña Risco[5] and Antonio José de Irisarri. In the following years, Mercedes Marín del Solar[6] wrote the poem "Canto fúnebre a la muerte de don Diego Portales" (Dirge for the death of Don Diego Portales), and glimpses of drama appeared with Manuel Magallanes[7] and his "La Hija del Sur" (The Daughter of the South). Critics have seen the period as one of very active and enthusiastic writers, but with limited artistic technique.[8]


Romanticism in Chile can be classified in three literary generations, according to the critic Cedomil Goic: the 1837 generation, the 1842 generation and the 1867 generation, the latter of which had many parallels with realism and is considered by some critics to actually be part of the realist movement.[9]

The generation of 1837

Made up of writers born between 1800 and 1814 and also known as the "Generación Costumbrista", the 1837 generation developed a literary interpretation of local everyday life and manners.

Its main feature was a special emphasis on observing the picturesque and local, approaching it from a satirical and critical point of view. The group included Mercedes Marin del Solar,[6] Vicente Pérez Rosales and José Joaquín Vallejo.[10]

The 1842 generation

Made up of writers born between 1815 and 1829, this group was also known as the "Romantic-social" generation. Like their predecessors, they portrayed everyday life but added an extra layer of social critique to their work. The group were influenced by foreign intellectuals in Chile such as José Joaquín de Mora, Andrés Bello, Domingo Faustino Sarmiento and Vicente Fidel López and made the first attempts to found a characteristically Chilean national literature movement. The poetry of this generation resembled European Romanticism in style and included Salvador Sanfuentes' "Inami", Guillermo Matta Goyenechea's[11] "Poesías líricas" (Lyrical poems), Guillermo Blest Gana's[12] "Armonías" (Harmonies) and José Antonio Soffia's[13] "Hojas de otoño". Narrative literature had a more original style and included works such as José Victorino Lastarria's[14] "Peregrinación de una vinchuca"; Alberto Blest Gana's "Durante la reconquista" (During the reconquest) and "El loco Estero" (Estero the Mad, 1909); José Joaquín Vallejo's[15] "Artículos de costumbres" (Essays on customs); Vicente Pérez Rosales' "Recuerdos del pasado" (Memories of the past); and Daniel Riquelme's "Bajo la tienda" (Under canvas). Dramatic works of the period included Daniel Caldera's[16] "El tribunal del honor" (The court of honor).

From 1850, great historical works emerged such as Diego Barros Arana's "Historia general de Chile" (General history of Chile), Miguel Luis Amunátegui's "Descubrimiento y conquista de Chile" (Discovery and conquest of Chile), Benjamín Vicuña Mackenna's "El ostracism de O'Higgins" (The ostracism of O'Higgins) and Ramón Sotomayor Valdés'[17] "Historia de Chile durante 40 años" (40 years of Chilean history).

In 1886, the Nicaraguan poet Rubén Darío moved to Valparaíso, Chile, where he stayed with fellow poets Poirier and Eduardo de la Barra. Together they co-authored a sentimental novel titled "Emelina". Although the novel was not an immediate success, Rubén Darío is credited with the re-emergence of Chilean lyric poetry with "Azul" (Blue) in 1888. This was followed by Carlos Pezoa Véliz' "Entierro de campo" (Country funeral) and "Tarde en el hospital" (Afternoon in the hospital), and Manuel Magallanes Moure's[7] "La casa junto al mar" (Seaside house) and others. Carlos Pezoa Véliz only became famous after his early death at the age of 28.


The generation of 1867

Realist writers depicted everyday and banal activities and experiences instead of the more traditional romanticized or stylized representations, distinguishing them from their predecessors.[18] This movement was made up of writers born between 1830 and 1844. Alberto Blest Gana is considered a pioneer of realist style in Chile, starting with "Martín Rivas" in 1862, a portrait of the Chilean society of the time. Blest Gana describes what he saw as positive changes in Chilean society, which, at the time, was moving towards capitalism. He believed it was inevitable that local traditions would disappear and be replaced with European customs, and felt that opposition to these changes was old-fashioned and futile. In contrast, fellow writer Luis Orrego Luco observed the transformations with sadness and denounced the moral consequences of this process of change. The opposing views of Blest Gana and Orrego Luco are the most important representation of the realism movement in Chile. Other important writers of the generation were Daniel Barros Grez,[19] Eduardo de la Barra,[20] Zorobabel Rodríguez, José Antonio Soffia, Moisés Vargas and Liborio Brieba. During this period, narrative literature advanced more than poetry or drama, although the construction of new theatres encouraged some development in the latter. Important theatres include the Victoria in Valparaíso, inaugurated in 1844, the República in Santiago, inaugurated in 1848, and Teatro Municipal de Santiago, inaugurated in 1857.[21]

20th century


Also known as Costumbrismo, Criollismo was a literary movement that was active from the end of the 19th century to the first half of the twentieth century. An extension of Realism, it portrayed the scenes, customs and manners of the writer's country, with some hints of patriotism. The first centenary of Chilean independence in 1910 fed the patriotic spirit of the nation and its writers, and saw a renewed emphasis of rural life in contrast to the traditional focus on urban life as the only source and background of stories. In prose literature, Baldomero Lillo's "Sub Terra" and "Sub Sole" were among the most important, as well as Mariano Latorre's "Zurzulita" and "Cuna de condors" (Cradle of condors) and Federico Gana's "Días de campo" (Country days). Key drama works included Antonio Acevedo Hernández' "Árbol Viejo" (Old Tree), and "Chañarcillo".[22]

Chilean poetry 1900 – 1925

During the first quarter of twentieth century, a new Chilean literary scene emerged: an Avant-garde movement. The first manifestation of this movement was "Flores de cardo" (Thistle flowers) by Pedro Prado in 1908, a work that broke with metric restraints and the rules of poetry. Prado also published "El llamado del mundo" (The call of the world) and "Los pájaros errantes" (The wandering birds) in 1913 and 1915, and founded artistic group "Los Diez with architect Julio Bertrand.[23] in 1916.[24]

On December 22, 1914, Gabriela Mistral - who would later win the Nobel Prize in Literature - won the "Juegos Florales de Santiago" poetry contest, her first recognition as a great talent. In 1919, Gabriela Mistral published "Desolación", the work that won her the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1945. "Desolación", "Tala", "Lagar" were some of her most important poetic works. In 1914, Vicente Huidobro published "Arte del sugerimiento" (The art of suggestion) and "Non serviam", two works that initiated the Creacionismo movement which saw a poem as a truly new thing, created by the author for the sake of itself. Huidrobro published the "manifesto" of the movement in his book "El espejo de agua" (The water mirror) in 1916. Ángel Cruchaga,[25] another poet of this generation, took "love" as his main topic and was known for the sadness of his poems. In 1915, he published "Las manos juntas" (Holding hands), his most characteristic work. Pablo de Rokha[26] used poetry to portray his anarchic, combative and controversial view of the world. Key works include "El folletín del Diablo" and "Los gemidos",[27] published in 1920 and 1922 respectively. In 1938, Pablo de Rokha founded and managed the publishing house "Multitud", which distributed books in the United States, Russia and Latin America. Also in this period, between 1914 and 1925, Juan Guzmán Cruchaga published "Junto al brasero" (Beside the brazier), "La mirada inmóvil" (The motionless gaze), "Lejana" (Far), "La fiesta del corazón" (Party of the heart), and the anthology "Agua de cielo" (Water of heaven).[28]

During the 20th century, neo-modernist and avant-garde Chilean poets found fame beyond Chilean borders. Gabriela Mistral won the first Latin American Nobel Prize of Literature, followed by fellow Chilean Pablo Neruda. The father of the Creacionismo movement, Vicente Huidobro, also contributed to the internationalization of Chilean literature.

One of the Chilean Nobel Price Pablo Neruda

Pablo Neruda published the works "Crepusculario" and "Veinte poemas de amor y una canción desesperada" in 1923 and 1924, as a prelude to the great success he would have in the next quarter century.


Chilean Imagism was a literary trend that started in 1925 in opposition to Criollismo, which it accused of being nationalist, narrow and lacking imagination. Imaginist writers moved away from the elements used as inspiration by previous generations (everyday life, rural life and the fight against nature). The Imaginist group, made up of writers Ángel Cruchaga Santa María,[25] Salvador Reyes, Hernán del Solar, Luis Enrique Délano[29] and Manuel Eduardo Hübner,[30] broke with the most prominent literary critics of the time. Luis Enrique Délano said in an article about the origin of the Imagism: "We had not decided to innovate at all, but we had a common sense that Chilean literature was full of "Criollismo", cloying and heavy.[31]

One achievement of the Imaginist group, along with some of the most prominent criollista writers, was the creation the magazine "Letras".[32] Although the editorial line of the magazine was imaginist, important criollista writers collaborated and it aimed to create an international dialogue about art and literature. Contributors included Augusto d'Halmar, Mariano Latorre, Marta Brunet, Luis Durand,[33] Rosamel del Valle,[34] Juan Marín[35] and Jacobo Danke[36] among others.

Comparison chart between Criollismo and Imaginismo
Criteria Criollismo Imaginismo
Origin Reality: Observation and documentation. Imagination: Observation, fantasy and sensitivity.
Nature Descriptive, heterotelic (with a purpose) and rooted in the national. Narrative, autotelic (containing its own meaning or purpose), universal topics
Function Cognitive and educational: engaging the reader. Hedonist and recreational: free the reader.

La Mandrágora

La Mandrágora (Spanish for The

  • (in Spanish) Catalogue

External links

  • Medina, José Toribio. Historia de la literatura colonial de Chile, vol. I. Imprenta El Mercurio (1878).
  • Emerson Tropa. 1999. "La nueva narrativa chilena: otro intento de aproximación". Documentos Lingüísticos y Literarios 22: 61-65.
  • Donoso, Pilar. " Correr el tupido velo ", Alfaguara, 2010. Premio Altazor 2011
  1. ^ Chile's Nicanor Parra wins prestigious Cervantes Prize for literature Thursday, December 01, 2011 retrieved September 17, 2013
  2. ^ Crónicas patrias - La Literatura Chilena, bosquejo histórico, desde la colonia hasta nuestros días escrito para "La América Literaria" - Pedro Pablo Figueroa page 12 to 15, retrieved September 01, 2013 (Spanish)
  3. ^ Castro Buarque, Virginia A. (2007). «Mujeres consagradas y sus prácticas de escritura en Brasil». In Alves Pereira, Ronan. Ciencias Sociales y Religión en América Latina: Perspectivas en Debate (Spanish). Editorial Biblos. pp. 223. ISBN 978-95-0786-614-2.
  4. ^ "Manuel de Salas Corbalán (1754-1841)".  
  5. ^ "Juan Egaña Risco (1768-1836)".  
  6. ^ a b "Mercedes Marín del Solar (1804-1866)".  
  7. ^ a b "Manuel Magallanes Moure (1878-1924)".  
  8. ^ La literatura en la Colonia (I) Retrieved September 11, 2013
  9. ^ "Romanticismo" [Romantisicm].  
  10. ^ "Romanticismo: 1837" [Romantisicm: 1837].  
  11. ^ Guillermo Matta Goyenechea retrieved September 11, 2013
  12. ^ "Guillermo Blest Gana (1829-1905)".  
  13. ^ José Antonio Soffia © retrieved September 11, 2013
  14. ^ "Lastarria y la Literatura Chilena" [Lastarria and Chilean Literature].  
  15. ^ "José Joaquín Vallejo (1811-1858)".  
  16. ^ Caldera, Daniel (1852-1896) by Andrea VieraRené Salinas Meza retrieved September 12, 2013
  17. ^ "La Historiografía Chilena en el Siglo XIX: Ramón Sotomayor Valdés" [Chilean Historiography in the Nineteenth Century: Ramón Sotomayor Valdés].  
  18. ^ "Realismo" [Realism].  
  19. ^ "Daniel Barros Grez (1834-1904)".  
  20. ^ Eduardo De la Barra Lastarria
  21. ^ "Romanticismo: 1867" [Romantisicm: 1867].  
  22. ^ "El Criollismo" [Criollismo].  
  23. ^ "Los Diez (1916-1917)".  
  24. ^ "Pedro Prado (1886-1952)".  
  25. ^ a b "Ángel Cruchaga Santa María (1893-1964)".  
  26. ^ "Pablo de Rokha (1894-1968)".  
  27. ^ "Pablo de Rokha: Los Gemidos".  
  28. ^ "Juan Guzmán Cruchaga (1895-1979)".  
  29. ^ "Luis Enrique Délano (1907-1985)".  
  30. ^ "Manuel Eduardo Hübner Richardson (1905-1988)".  
  31. ^ "Imaginismo".  
  32. ^ "Letras (1928-1930)".  
  33. ^ "Luis Durand (1895-1954)".  
  34. ^ "Rosamel del Valle (1901-1965)".  
  35. ^ "Juan Marín (1900-1963)".  
  36. ^ Jacobo Danke © 2011-2012 [SIC] POESÍA CHILENA DEL SIGLO XX retrieved September 12, 2013
  37. ^ a b La Mandrágora article (Spanish)
  38. ^ Interview of Braulio Arenas by Ștefan Baciu (Entrevista a Braulio Arenas: "La Mandrágora opera con la virtud de una leyenda", por Stefan Baciu) (Spanish)
  39. ^ "Vanguardias Chilenas: Mandrágora".  
  40. ^ "Generación Literaria de 1938".  
  41. ^ "Nicomedes Guzmán (1914-1964)".  
  42. ^ "Gonzalo Drago (1906-1994)".  
  43. ^ "Nicasio Tangol (1906-1981)".  
  44. ^ "Francisco Coloane (1910-2002)".  
  45. ^ "Literatura infantil chilena (1821-2002): Maité Allamand".  
  46. ^ "El Peneca (1908-1960)".  
  47. ^ "Literatura infantil chilena (1821-2002): Blanca Santa Cruz Ossa" [Chilean Children's Literature (1821-2002): Blanca Santa Cruz Ossa].  
  48. ^ Elena Poirier (1921-1998) Sitio Artistas Plásticos Chilenos, Biblioteca Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Santiago de Chile.© Derechos Reservados, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, retrieved September 13, 2013
  49. ^ "María Silva Ossa (1918-2009)".  
  50. ^ "Literatura infantil chilena (1821-2002): Alicia Morel" [Chilean Children's Literature (1821-2002): Alicia Morel].  
  51. ^ "Literatura infantil chilena (1821-2002): Lucía Gevert" [Chilean Children's Literature (1821-2002): Lucía Gevert].  
  52. ^ "Literatura infantil chilena (1821-2002): Felipe Alliende" [Chilean Children's Literature (1821-2002): Felipe Alliende].  
  53. ^ "Literatura infantil chilena (1821-2002): Saúl Schkolnik" [Chilean Children's Literature (1821-2002): Saúl Schkolnik].  
  54. ^ "Literatura infantil chilena (1821-2002): Manuel Peña Muñoz" [Chilean Children's Literature (1821-2002): Manuel Peña Muñoz].  
  55. ^ "Literatura infantil chilena (1821-2002): Manuel Gallegos" [Chilean Children's Literature (1821-2002): Manuel Gallegos].  
  56. ^ "Literatura infantil chilena (1821-2002): Jacqueline Balcells" [Chilean Children's Literature (1821-2002): Jacqueline Balcells].  
  57. ^ "Literatura infantil chilena (1821-2002): Ana María Güiraldes" [Chilean Children's Literature (1821-2002): Ana María Güiraldes].  
  58. ^ "La historiografía chilena en el siglo XX" [Chilean Historiography in the Twentieth Century].  
  59. ^ "Jaime Eyzaguirre (1908-1968)".  
  60. ^ "Precursores de la historia social obrera: Julio César Jobet".  
  61. ^ "Precursores de la Historia Social Obrera: Hernán Ramírez Necochea".  
  62. ^ "Rolando Mellafe Rojas (1929-1995)".  
  63. ^ "Luis Alberto Heiremans (1928-1964)".  
  64. ^ Jorge Díaz Gutiérrez retrieved September 16, 2013
  65. ^ Arte en Chile después del golpe de Estado Sonny Pimentel September 11, 2013
  66. ^ "Literatura chilena en el exilio (1973-1985)" [Chilean Literature in Exile (1973-1985)].  
  67. ^ Literatura chilena del exilio. Rastros de una obra dispersa, published originally in the newspaper El Mercurio, Revista de Libros August 8, 2003. by María Teresa Cárdenas retrieved September 30, 2013
  68. ^ 30 años de literatura chilena (una mirada parcial desde el norte) Jorge Etcheverry September 16, 2013
  69. ^ Antonio Arévalo retrieved September 16, 2013
  70. ^ Bruno Montané Krebs (Chile, 1957) retrieved September 17, 2013
  71. ^ "Grandes Poetas chilenos del siglo veinte" José Martínez Fernández November 18, 2008, retrieved October 07,2013
  72. ^ The Nobel Prize in Literature 1971 April 4, 2011 retrieved October 8, 2013
  73. ^ The Nobel Prize in Literature 1945 April 4, 2011 retrieved October 8, 2013
  74. ^ La amiga de Darío y Sandino December 3, 2012 retrieved October 02, 2013
  76. ^ El Neruda de Huidobro René De Costa Universidad de Chile retrieved October 15, 2013


See also

Neruda could put an end to the conflict once de Rokha and Huidobro were dead, instead in his speech at the Nobel Prize ceremony he says referring to Huidobro: "El poeta no es un pequeño Dios" (The poet, is not a little god).

Neruda reacted his peers' criticism by writing a text called "Aquí estoy" (Here I am), published in Paris in 1938, where he denounced their animosity and vilification. Despite this criticism, Neruda is recognized as one of the twenty six authors that make up the Western canon of literature, along with Shakespeare, Dante, Chaucer, Cervantes, Michel de Montaigne, Molière, Milton, Samuel Johnson, Goethe, Wordsworth, Jane Austen, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, Tolstoy, Ibsen, Freud, Proust, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, Franz Kafka, Borges, Neruda, Fernando Pessoa, Samuel Beckett.

Huidobro joined the communist party earlier than Neruda, and was extremely politically active for much of his life. Towards the end of his life, however, he left the political sphere and retired to his house in Cartagena on the coast of Chile. Huidobro also accused Neruda of plagiarising Rabindranath Tagore and in November 1934, the second edition of "PRO" magazine published without comment two poems discovered by Huidobro's friend Volodia Teitelboim: Tagore's "Poem 30" from "The Gardener" and Neruda's very similar "Poem 16" from "20 Poems of Love".[76] Huidobro is also known to have referred to Neruda as a "Romantic Poet" who wrote poems for 15 year old girls.

The other three poets' links with the Communist party was a reflection of the political climate at the time and their desire to fight for the social change in Chile. However, personal disputes played a more important role than politics in their relationship. Pablo de Rokha became one of Neruda's bitterest enemies, considering him bourgeois and a hypocritical opportunist in political and social life. De Rokha wrote several essays and pamphlets in which he railed against Neruda, for example the poem "Tercetos Dantescos":

Mistral expressed no political affiliation in Chile, although according to the Chilean writer Jaime Quezada,[74] an expert on the work of Mistral, she expressed her Pan-Americanist will in her work "Tala", and expressed solidarity with the Nicaraguan revolutionary Augusto Sandino in two texts published in 1928.

In contrast to this tenuous link, the relationship between Huidobro, De Rokha and Neruda was one of the most persistent rivalries in Chilean cultural history. They were peers, part of the same generation, and were all at some point in their lives members of the Chilean Communist Party. De Rokha would later be expelled from the party for some disagreement with the leaders, as they claim today.

These four poets were linked to each other or met each other at some point in their lives. For example, while Gabriela Mistral was head teacher at the Girls' High School in Temuco, Chile, and already recognized as an outstanding poet, a teenage boy came to her with his own poems, asking for her opinion. This teenager was Neftalí Reyes, who would later take the pseudonym of Pablo Neruda and become another great Chilean poet. He would also follow in Mistral's footsteps when he won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1971,[72] 26 years after Mistral herself had won the highest honor in literature in 1945.[73]

The four greats of Chilean poetry[71] was the group of most important poets of Chilean literature: Gabriela Mistral, Vicente Huidobro, Pablo de Rokha and Pablo Neruda.

The four greats of Chilean poetry

Possibly due to the diaspora of exile, Chilean literature during and after the dictatorship was not uniform in style. Young writers found themselves transplanted in a foreign culture, and it would take time for writers returning from exile to get used to the Chilean intellectual environment and form new groups.[68] In poetry, there was the so-called "Nueva poesia chilena" (New Chilean poetry). This "Nueva poesia chilena" included a great number of poets coming back from exile in Europe, with Raul Zurita, Rodrigo Lira, Antonio Arévalo[69] and Bruno Montané[70] among the most famous.

Following the coup d'état of September 11, 1973, culture diminished in Chile. The coup forced many writers to emigrate, and after a while Chilean writers began to create publishing houses and magazines in their new homes in exile. Journals published by Chileans in exile included "Araucaria" in Spain, "Literatura chilena en el exilio" (Chilean literature in exile) in California and "América Joven" (Young America) in the Netherlands. The editorials "Ediciones Cordillera" in Canada, "LAR" and "Ediciones Michay" in Spain.[65] Chilean literature underwent a process of internationalization at this time, despite the fact that Chileans still living in Chile had lost their writers, along with most other forms of art. The mix of Magic realism and "family saga", for example, brought international fame to Antonio Skarmeta, Fernando Alegría, Gonzalo Rojas, Humberto Díaz Casanueva, Ariel Dorfman and Isabel Allende, Hernán Neira. In times of dictatorship and repression, Chilean literature contributed to raising international awareness about the situation in Chile. Virtually every major city in the western world was home to Chilean writers, many of whom denounced the regime of Augusto Pinochet,.[66][67]

After the 1973 coup

"El cepillo de dientes" (Toothbrush) and "La cantante calva" (The bald singer). [64] As a consequence of the vast changes during

After World War II

The second trend brought real innovation to the study of history, introducing new techniques and research methodologies borrowed from the new European historiography, particularly the French Annales School. Historians of this school included Mario Góngora, Álvaro Jara, Rolando Mellafe,[62] and Sergio Villalobos among others. They focused on topics that had been neglected before like economics and demographics. The vast majority of these new researchers studied at the Pedagogical Institute of the University of Chile. This new historiography movement put emphasis on the study of the long-running processes that had shaped the institutions, society and economy of Chile since colonial times. By the late 1960s, historians of this school had created links with the Marxist movement. The 1973 Chilean coup d'état put an abrupt end to this process and repressed the new social historiography, forcing these historians and researchers to flee the country. Many of them went to European universities to undertake postgraduate studies, which in the long term helped perfect their professional skills.

By the mid-20th century, two new historical trends has emerged that competed with the conservative school. The first, Marxist trend focused its efforts on the reconstruction and recovery of the history of Chilean working class, with writers including Julio César Jobet[60] and Hernán Ramírez Necochea.[61] These authors were criticized for the political-ideological character of their work, though their legacy lived on through the later generation of the 1980s, who developed a new way of describing history focused on Chilean popular movements.

One of the main trends was the influential conservative school that monopolised historic debate until the 1960s. Leading writers in the school included Catholic faith.

During the 20th century, the study of history and historical literature in Chile saw profound changes, moving away from the tradition of the great 19th century liberal historians. This was due to a combination of factors, including the ideological struggles of the time and the gradual professionalization of historical studies through the creation of institutes and specialized departments in different universities of Chile.[58]


In 1964, a subsidiary of IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People) was set up in Chile, bringing together a group of writers to promote literature for children and young people. Among the writers taking part were Alicia Morel,[50] Lucía Gevert,[51] Cecilia Beuchat, María Eugenia Coeymans, Felipe Alliende,[52] Víctor Carvajal, Saúl Schkolnik,[53] Manuel Peña Muñoz,[54] Héctor Hidalgo, Manuel Gallegos[55] María Luisa Silva, Jacqueline Balcells[56] and Ana María Güiraldes.[57]

Maité Allamand, Carmen de Alonso and Marta Brunet also wrote children's literature inspired by Chilean folklore. Allamand produced works like "Alamito el largo" (The little long poplar, 1950) while Brunet wrote "Cuentos para Marisol" (Tales for Marisol, 1938) and "Por qué el petirrojo tiene el pecho rojo" (Why robins have a red chest, 1938). Around this time, Gabriela Mistral composed poetry dedicated to children, primarily in her works "Tala" and "Ternura".

Gabriela Mistral, 1945

Another precursor of children's literature in Chile was Blanca Santa Cruz Ossa[47] who compiled stories and myths frrom Chile and from other countries, including "Cuentos rumanos" (Romanian tales, 1929), "Cuentos maravillosos del Japón" (Marvellous tales from Japan, 1935), "Cuentos de España" (Tales from Spain, 1936), "Cuentos Ingleses" (English Tales,1936), "Las hadas en Francia" (Fairies in France, 1936), "Leyendas de la selva" (Legends of the Jungle, 1936), "Leyendas moriscas" (Moorish Legends, 1936), "Cuentos mitológicos griegos" (Greek myths and tales, 1937), "Cuentos italianos" (Italian stories, 1938), "Cuentos servios" (Serbian stories, 1939), "Cuentos chinos" (Chinese stories, 1940), "Orejones y viracochas: Diego de Almagro" (Big ears and Viracochas, 1943), "Sangre y ceniza: narración novelesca de la conquista de Chile" (Blood and ashes: fictional narrative of the conquest of Chile, illustrated by Coré, 1946), "Cuentos chilenos", (Chilean stories, with illustrations by Elena Poirier, 1956)[48] "Cuentos bretones" (Breton tales, 1973), "El duende del pantano y otros cuentos de Bretaña" (The Swamp Troll and other tales of Britain).

The first children's literature published in Chile date back to the period when the printing press was introduced in Chile around 1812. These texts were mainly educational and religious books, written mostly by Spanish priests in order to educate children. It was in the early 20th century when several magazines for children were founded, including "Revista de los Niños" (The Kids' Magazine) in 1905, "Chicos y Grandes" (Kids and Grownups) in 1908, and "El Penaca" - the only one that lasted into the next decades.[46] Around the same time, two children's books by Agustín Edwards Mac-Clure were published: "Aventuras de Juan Esparraguito" (The Adventures of Juan Little Asparagus ) and "El niño casi legumbre" (The Almost Bean Boy).

Children's literature

Gonzalo Drago,[42] with works like "Cobre" (Copper), a book of stories about the struggles and hard life of the miners, published in 1941; "Surcos" (Grooves), a collection of stories about peasants published in 1948; and "El Purgatorio" (Purgatory), a novel that describes the author's experiences as a conscript during military service, published in 1951. Andrés Sabella and Volodia Teitelboim, with their works "Norte Grande" (Big North) and "Hijo del salitre" (Son of saltpeter), both describing the lives of saltpeter miners in the north of Chile. Francisco Coloane and Nicasio Tangol,[43] who wrote about life in the extreme south of Chile. Nicasio Tangol revealed the traditions and myths of the southern island of Chiloe, Chilean Patagonia and the native peoples of that extreme region. Francisco Coloane described man's struggles in the southern seas in his works "Cabo de Hornos" and "El último grumete de La Baquedano" (Cape Hornos and The last boy of the Baquedano), both published in 1941.[44] Maité Allamand[45] and Marta Brunet who wrote work inspired by rural life. Brunet's play "Montaña adentro" (Into the mountain) is notable for its use of rural language and peasant slang to portray life in the country, while Allamand put special emphasis on children's literature and was one of the pioneers of this genre.

The first half of the 1940s saw the emergence of the "Generación neocriollista de 1940" (Neo Criollista Generation of 1940).[40] The neocriollistas — a name that can be translated as "neo traditionalist" - put a great emphasis on local customs and wanted to portray the life of the common people in a social and human way. A key factor that influenced their ideology was the turbulent political times that they lived in, with group members committed to Marxism and left-wing political activism. One of the most important writers of this generation was Nicomedes Guzmán,[41] who was known for including social topic in his works, such as social and economic inequality, exploitation, misery in the suburban life, moral degradation in poverty, and corruption in power. Among his most important works were "Los hombres oscuros" (The dark men), "La sangre y la esperanza" (Blood and hope), "La luz viene del mar" (Light comes from the sea), and "Una moneda al río y otros cuentos" (A coin to the river and other tales), published in 1939, 1943, 1951 and 1954. Other key writers of the generation were:


They were known for their critique of modern Chilean poetry and Chilean writers like

Vicente huidobro

, linking "La Mandrágora" with the French surrealists. Aimé Césaire and Benjamin Péret, André Breton also published the magazine "Leit-motiv" from 1942 to 1943, with contributions from Braulio Arenas (national library of Chile) in 1941, and an international surrealist exposition in Galleria Dédalo in Santiago in 1948. Biblioteca Nacional de Chile in 1939, a surrealist exhibition held in the University of Chile movement in Chile; a conference held at the surrealist. Among the main achievements of this group was the publication of "La Mandrágora", which promoted the Popular Front, (The AGC of the Mandrake) which included works by all founders except Teófilo Cid. Politically, the group supported the El AGC de la Mandrágora), as well as anthology of poetry, [37] By 1935, these ideas had become more developed, and in 1938, they held a kind of initiation ceremoney reading surrealist poems and texts at the University of Chile. They went on to publish a magazine called, like the group, "La Mandrágora" (seven issues were produced on a small scale, from December 1938 to October 1943[38] and by 1932, Braulio Arenas was exchanging ideas with Teófilo Cid and Enrique Gómez.Talca The group met in [37]

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