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Blanco, Tomás 1897-1975

BLANCO, Tomás 1897-1975
(Tomás Blanco Geigel)

PERSONAL:

Born December 9, 1897, in San Juan, Puerto Rico; died April 12, 1975, in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Education: Attended Georgetown University.

CAREER:

Writer and historian. Appeared in several films, including Apartado de corres 1001, 1950, and Bienvenido Padre Murray, released by Laguna Films (Madera, CA), 2000.

WRITINGS:

Prontuario histórico de Puerto Rico, Impr. de J. Pueyo (Madrid, Spain), 1935, 7th edition, Ediciones Huracán (Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico), 1981.

El prejuicio racial en Puerto Rico (title means "Racial Prejudice in Puerto Rico"), Editorial Biblioteca de Autores Puertorriqueos (San Juan, Puerto Rico), 1942, 3rd edition, Ediciones Huracán (Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico), 1985.

Los vates: embeleco fantastico para ninños mayors de edad (fiction), Asomante (San Juan, Puerto Rico), 1949, reprinted, Ediciones Huracán (Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico), 1981.

Sobres Palés Matos, Biblioteca de Autores Puertorriqueños (San Juan, Puerto Rico), 1950.

(With Florentino M. Torner) Antologiá de ensayos, Editorial Orión (Mexico City, Mexico), 1953, reprinted, 1974.

Los cinco sentidos; cuaderno suelto de un inventario de cosas nuestras, Pan American Book (San Juan, Puerto Rico), 1953, revised edition, Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña (San Juan, Puerto Rico), 2001.

Los aguinaldos del Infante; glosa de Epifania (juvenile), illustrated by Irene Delano, musical ornaments by Jack Delano, Pan American Book (San Juan, Puerto Rico), 1954, published as Los aguinaldos del Infante; glosa de Epifania/The Child's Gifts: A Twelfth Night Tale, Ediciones Santillana (San Juan, Puerto Rico), 1994.

La dragontea; cuento de semana santa, Editorial del Departamento de Instrucción Publica, Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico (San Juan, Puerto Rico), 1956.

Letras para musica, Imprenta Venezuela (San Juan, Puerto Rico), 1964.

Cuentos sin ton ni son (fiction), Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña (San Juan, Puerto Rico), 1970.

Contributor to Sobre "insulas extrañas": el clásico de Pedreira, Editorial de la Universidad de Puerto Rico (San Juan, Puerto Rico), 2000; author of lyrics and numerous short radio broadcast stories for children; author of introductions to books; contributor to sound recordings, including A través del desierto, Columbia (New York, NY), c. 1900s, and Los aguinaldos del Infante cuento puertorriqueño, Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña (San Juan, Puerto Rico), c. 1960-69.

SIDELIGHTS:

Tomás Blanco originally studied medicine in the United States but, after traveling to Europe, he became enamored with literature. He returned home to Puerto Rico and pursued a career as an historian and writer. His published works ranged over a wide variety of topics and genres, including Puerto Rican history, criticism of literature and music, novels, and stories, including stories for children. One of his most popular children's works is Los aguinaldos del Infante; glosa de Epifania, also published in bilingual text as Los aguinaldos del Infante; glosa de Epifania/The Child's Gifts: A Twelfth Night Tale. Originally written for a Puerto Rican radio program with music, the story revolves around the three kings—Balthasar, Gaspar, and Melchior—who followed the guiding Christmas star to bring gifts to the newborn Christ child. The story describes the kings' journey and the gifts they give to Jesus, as well as how they obtained the presents. In Blanco's version, the gifts magically reappear as the kings travel home to their native lands, giving them the opportunity to spread the joy they personally experienced among their own people. A Publishers Weekly contributor noted that Blanco "holds the readers spellbound." Isabel Schon, writing in the School Library Journal, commented that the author tells the story "in a most sentimental manner and with florid descriptions."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, December, 1976, review of Los aguinaldos del Infante; glosa de Epifania, p. 53.

Hispamerica, April, 1988, Oscar Montero, "El prejuicio racial en Puerto Rico y las maniobras del critico," pp. 111-115.

Horn Book, April, 1977, Yolanda Rivas, review of Los aguinaldos del Infante, p. 190.

La Torre, July-September, 1989, Oscar Montero, "Alternando el canon: El prejuicio racial en Puerto Rico, pp. 505-511.

Publishers Weekly, October 4, 1976, review of Los aguinaldos del Infante, p. 74.

Revista de Estudios Hispanicos, Volume 1-4, 1972, Maria Antonia Frau, "Los Vates de Tomas Blanco," pp. 223-242.

School Library Journal, October, 1976, review of Los aguinaldos del Infante, p. 87; March, 1983, Isabel Schon, review of Los aguinaldos del Infante, p. 91.*

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