Almafuerte (1854–1917)

views updated

Almafuerte (1854–1917)

Almafuerte (b. 13 May 1854; d. 28 February 1917), pseudonym of Pedro Bonifacio Palacios, Argentine poet and journalist. Born in San Justo in Buenos Aires province, Almafuerte was self-taught. Raised by an aunt in Buenos Aires, he remained in the capital, living in poverty and solitude.

Almafuerte cultivated an extravagant persona that bespoke his commitment to exemplifying attributes and values of a mystical, unsettled, and contradictory self-identity that transcended established middle-class conventions. To be sure, during this period Buenos Aires remained relatively sedate alongside its European models. Yet, Almafuerte was able to project a complex, idiosyncratic persona that gave him a unique status among the writers of the period as something of a prophet concerning the impact on the solitary individual of the multiple tensions of a society undergoing vertiginous modernization. In this sense, Almafuerte may be read as an antiphony to the vast sociopolitical undertaking of the Generation of 1880, who sought to impose a liberal hegemony on Argentine society.

In the worldly and often aggressively profane (or, at least, decidedly materialistic) context of the Generation of 1880, Almafuerte aligned himself with a traditional, humanitarian Christian sentiment that is reflected in titles like Evangélicas (1915), Cristianas y Jesús, El drama del Calvario, Cantar de cantares, Lamentaciones (1906), and El misionero (1905) and in the didactic, sermonizing tone of many of his compositions. Yet, despite this sort of catechistic focus, the structure of his poetry frequently reflects the innovative exercises of the more urbane and sensual modernists.

See alsoJournalism .


Romualdo Brughetti, Viva de Almafuerte, el combatiente perpetuo (1954).

Enrique Lavié, Almafuerte (1962).

Marta Morello-Frosch, "Almafuerte: Ética y estética a contrapelo de la historia," in Cuadernos hispanoamericanos 296 (1975): 420-427.

Damián Ferrer, Perfil de Almafuerte (1980).

Additional Bibliography

Molina, Gerardo. Almafuerte y otros estudios literarios. Canelones, Uruguay: Biblioteca Nacional y Americana, 2005.

Saxe, Facundo. "Vinculaciones entre el 'cierre' del '80, el ciclo de La bolsa y La sombra de la patria de Almafuerte," and Dellarciprete, Rubén. "La locura en el contexto social y lterario de fin del siglo XIX: El loco, un relato de Almafuerte." In María Minellono, editor, Las tensiones de los opuestos: libros y autores de la literatura argentina del '80. Buenos Aires: Nuevohacer, Grupo Editor Latinoamericano, 2004.

                                   David William Foster