Alegría, Fernando (1918–2005)

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Alegría, Fernando (1918–2005)

Fernando Alegría (b. 26 September 1918; d. 29 October 2005), Chilean writer and scholar. Born and raised in Santiago, Chile, he moved to the United States in 1940. His creative works (fifteen novels and four volumes of short stories) have centered primarily on the historical reality of his native country, but have also focused on the relationships and divergences between the Latin American and North American cultures. He began his academic career as professor of Latin American literature at the University of California, Berkeley (1947–1967), and later taught at Stanford University, where in 1990 he was awarded an endowed chair in the humanities.

Three thematic concerns dominate Alegría's narrative work. The first is the literary representation of the founding fathers of Chile's social history, found in the biographical novels Recabarren (1938), Lautaro, joven libertador de Arauco (1943; Lautaro, a Young Liberator, 1944), and Allende(1989). The second distinctive theme is the reeval-uation of the historical and cultural experience of the Generation of 1938, developed in Mañana los guerreros (1964; Tomorrow the Warriors) and the autobiographical novel Una especie de memoria (1983; A Type of Memoir). Finally, he wrote a trilogy focusing on the picaresque misadventures of Chileans who come to work in the United States where they are later forced to confront their true identities vis-à-vis the contradictions of American society: Caballo de copas (1957; My Horse González, 1964), Amerika (1970; The Funhouse, 1986), and La rebelión de los placeres (1990; The Rebellion of the Placeres).

See alsoLiterature: Spanish America .


Juan Armando Epple, Para una fundación imaginaria de Chile. La literatura de Fernando Alegría (1987).

Nicolás Kanellos, ed., Biographical Dictionary of Hispanic Literature in the United States (1989), pp. 6-13.

Helmy Giacomán, ed., Homenaje a Fernando Alegría (1972).

Additional Bibliography

Epple, Juan Armando. Actas de Palo Alto: La obra literaria de Fernando Alegría. Santiago de Chile: Mosquito Editores, 2000.

Guerra-Cunningham, Lucía. "Historia y memoria en la narrativa Fernando Alegría." Revista Chilena de Literatura, 48 (Apr 1996): 23-38.

                                              J. A. Epple

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Alegría, Fernando (1918–2005)

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