Arévalo Martínez, Rafael (1885–1975)

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Arévalo Martínez, Rafael (1885–1975)

Rafael Arévalo Martínez (b. 25 d. 1975), one of Guatemala's foremost literary figures. Born in Guatemala City, Arévalo Martínez attended the Colegio de Infantes, a school where children of the rich and the poor studied side by side. Along with other fathers of Guatemalan literature, such as Miguel Ángel Asturias, Enrique Gómez Carrillo, and Máximo Soto-Hall, Arévalo Martínez is credited with introducing modernism to twentieth-century Guatemalan literature. Influenced by two of Latin America's foremost modernist poets, Rubén Darío and José Martí y Pérez, Arévalo Martínez exhibits the development of a distinct, yet confident, Latin American consciousness in his novels and poetry.

The ability of Arévalo Martínez to combine aesthetic concerns with a social commitment is undoubtedly his largest contribution to contemporary Latin American prose and poetry. Throughout his long literary career, his unique literary style balanced his personal search for identity with a need to discover his place in society. Among Arévalo Martínez's outstanding works are his 1915 masterpiece, El hombre que parecía un caballo (The Man Who Looked Like a Horse), which remains one of the finest pieces of literature in the first quarter of the twentieth century; the psycho-zoological utopian classics, El mundo de los maharachíasa (The World of the Maharachías [1939]) and Viaje a Ipanda (Journey to Ipanda [1939]); and his critical historical study of the Estrada Cabrera administration, ¡Ecce Pericles! La tiranía de Manuel Estrada Cabrera en Guatemala (3rd ed., 1983).

See alsoLiterature: Spanish America .


María A. Salgado, Rafael Arévalo Martínez (1979).

Additional Bibliography

Nájera, Francisco. El pacto autobiográfico en la obra de Rafael Arévalo Martínez. Guatemala: Editorial Cultural, 2003.

                                           Wade A. Kit