Cerruto, Óscar (1912–1981)

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Cerruto, Óscar (1912–1981)

Óscar Cerruto (b. 13 June 1912; d. 10 April 1981), Bolivian poet, novelist, and storyteller. One of the most important figures of contemporary Bolivian literature, Cerruto wrote his first group of poems, Cifra de las rosas (1957), within the aesthetics of modernism. This poetical composition is followed by Patria de sal cautiva (1958), Estrella segregada (1973), and Reverso de la transparencia (1975), wherein Cerruto explores the possibilities of avantgardism. His imagery is harsh and in harmony with the high plateau landscapes of Andean Bolivia. Of great intensity and linguistic precision, Cerruto's works denounce the excesses of power and examine the topics of hate, solitude, fear, and death. His poetry, embedded in the Judeo-Christian notion of guilt, dissociates itself from his early revolutionary ideals of social transformation, admirably set forth in his novel Aluvión de fuego (1935). The absence of social redemption can be perceived in his later narrative, particularly in Cerco de penumbras (1958), a volume of short stories.

See alsoLiterature: Spanish America .


A brief but excellent study of Cerruto's poetry may be found in Eduardo Mitre, El árbol y la piedra: Poetas contemporáneos de Bolivia (1988). Two major contributions on Cerruto are Luis H. Antezana, "Sobre 'Estrella segregada' de Óscar Cerruto," in his Ensayos y lecturas (1986); and Óscar Rivera-Rodas, "La poesía de Óscar Cerruto," in Cuadernos Hispanoamericanos 417 (1985): 146-154.

Additional Bibliography

Arduz Ruiz, Heberto. "La soledad en la obra poética de Oscar Cerruto." Signo 50 (January-December 1997): 41-44.

Bourne, Luis. "Un Boliviano declara su amargura: La soledad plural de Oscar Cerruto." Signo 57 (January-April 2001): 191-198.

                                     Javier SanjinÉs C.