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Barrios, Eduardo (1884–1963)

Barrios, Eduardo (1884–1963)

Eduardo Barrios (b. 25 October 1884; d. 13 September 1963), Chilean novelist, short-story writer, and playwright. Known primarily for his psychological novels, Barrios subordinated action to character portrayal in his works. Many of his protagonists are will-less, alienated men destined to fail. His first collection of stories, Del natural (1907), reflects the tenets of nineteenth-century realism and Émile Zola's naturalism. The unifying theme is love, which Barrios examines within the context of middle-class mores. The title story of his second collection, El niño que enloqueció de amor (1915), is a psychological study of a nine-year-old boy who becomes enamored of an older woman and goes mad when he discovers her with her boyfriend. The story re-creates the imaginary world of a child who is increasingly alienated from adults. Critics have seen precursors of modernism in the extreme delicacy of the boy's portrait. Barrios's novel Un perdido (1918) combines a subtle character analysis with a detailed description of the Chilean middle class. El hermano asno (1922), which deals with the repressed erotic yearnings of a friar named Lázaro, has been called anticlerical because Lázaro witnesses an apparent crime and Church authorities try to silence him. Tamarugal (1944) and Gran señor y rajadiablos (1948) are set in rural areas; the former deals with life in the nitrate mines in the north of Chile, while the latter portrays life on a typical Chilean farm around the turn of the century. Los hombres del hombre (1950) is a psychological portrait of a man who suspects his wife of infidelity. Barrios also wrote a number of plays, including Lo que niega la vida (1913), Vivir (1916), and ¡Ante todo la oficina! (1925).

See alsoLiterature: Spanish America .


Jaime Peralta, "La novelística de Eduardo Barrios," in Cuadernos Hispanoamericanos 173 (1964): 357-367.

Manuel E. Ramírez, "Some Notes on the Prose Style of Eduardo Barrios," in Romance Notes 9 (1967): 40-48.

Jerry L. Benbow, "Grotesque Elements in Eduardo Barrios," in Hispania 51 (1968): 86-91.

Ned J. Davidson, Eduardo Barrios (1970).

Silvia Martínez Dacosta, Dos ensayos literarios sobre Eduardo Barrios y José Donoso (1976).

John Walker, Metaphysics and Aesthetics in the Works of Eduardo Barrios (1983).

Luis A. Mansilla, "Eduardo Barrios," in Araucaria de Chile 28 (1984): 141-144.

Silvia Martínez Dacosta, Los personajes en la obra de Eduardo Barrios (1988).

                                  Barbara Mujica

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