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Casal, Julián del (1863–1893)

Casal, Julián del (1863–1893)

Julián del Casal (b. 7 November 1863; d. 21 October 1893), Cuban poet who used the pseudonyms the Count of Camors, Hernani, and Alceste at times during his literary career. Casal was born in Havana and showed a great talent for poetry from an early age. His first poems were published in El Estudio, an underground publication that he founded with a group of friends. He began studies for a career in law in 1881 at the University of Havana but never finished them. Instead, he became finance minister while writing articles and working in diverse capacities for newspapers and literary publications, among them La Discusión, El Fígaro, and La Habana Literaria. Casal published a series of articles on Cuban society in the magazine La Habana Elegante. The first, a derogatory piece about the Spanish captain-general Sabas Marín, cost him his government post. In his short life Casal earned a place as one of the great poets in Cuban history. Along with three other poets, fellow Cuban José Martí, Colombian José Asunción Silva, and Mexican Manuel Gutiérrez Nájera, he was an initiator of modernism, the first literary movement to originate in Spanish-speaking America.

See alsoJournalism .


Some of the most notable of Casal's contemporaries, including Martí, José Lezama Lima, Ramón Mesa, Enrique Varona, and Cintio Vitier, have written about Casal and his poetry. See Emilio De Armas, Casal (1981). An excellent study in English is Robert J. Glickman, The Poetry of Julián del Casal, 3 vols. (1976–1978).

Additional Bibliography

Figueroa, Esperanza. Poesías completas y pequeños poemas en prosa (en orden cronológico). Miami: Ediciones Universal, 1993.

                                     Roberto Valero

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