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Blanco Fombona, Rufino (1874–1944)

Blanco Fombona, Rufino (1874–1944)

Rufino Blanco Fombona (b. 17 June 1874; d. 17 October 1944), Venezuelan writer. One of the most widely read Latin American authors of his generation, Blanco Fombona began his career as a politician at the age of eighteen when he participated in a movement against President Raimundo Andueza Palacio. At twenty, he went to Philadelphia as Venezuelan consul. Two years later he moved to The Hague in the same capacity. Between 1900 and 1905 he served the government of Cipriano Castro as secretary general of the state of Zulia (1900), consul to the Netherlands (1901–1904), and governor of the Amazon Territory (1905). His political career ended in 1910, when Juan Vicente Gómez forced him into exile in France and Spain until 1936. In exile, Blanco Fombona carried on an ardent campaign against Gómez, and fought despotism in his writings and through participation in a number of abortive anti-Gómez revolts.

Both before and during his exile, Blanco Fombona wrote a number of important essays and novels. His works reflected his life, often in an autobiographical manner, and his commitment to expressions of Spanish Americanism. Like Leopoldo Lugones in Argentina and José Vasconcelos in Mexico, he relied on creole themes that dealt with political corruption, anti-imperialism, and celebration of the best aspects of Spanish-American society. Several times nominated for the Nobel Prize in literature, he produced works that included a wide range of subjects and genres, from poetry to history, from literary criticism to political commentary.

See alsoLiterature: Spanish America .


Angel Rama, Rufino Blanco Fombona y el egotismo latin-oamericano (1975).

Guillermo Servando Pérez, "Rufino Blanco Fombona," in Latin American Writers, edited by Carlos A. Solé, vol. 2 (1989), pp. 503-511. Works by Rufino Blanco Fombona: Poetry—Trovadores y trovas (1899); Pequeña ópera lírica (1904); Cantos de la prisión y del destierro (1911). Novels—El hombre de hierro (1907); El hombre de oro (1916); La mitra en la mano (1927); La Bella y la Fiera (1931); El secreto de la felicidad (1933). Literary criticismGrandes escritores de América (1917); El modernismo y los poetas modernistas (1929). History—La evolución política y social de Hispanoamérica (1911); El conquistador español del siglo XVI (1921); Bolívar y la guerra a muerte: Época de Boves, 1813–1814 (1942); Mocedades de Bolívar: El héroe antes del heroismo (1942); El espíritu de Bolívar (1943).

Additional Bibliography

Blanco Fombona, Rufino. La obra poética de Rufino Blanco Fombona. Caracas: L. Carrera, 2002.

                                Winthrop R. Wright

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