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Gaitán Durán, Jorge (1924–1962)

Gaitán Durán, Jorge (1924–1962)

Jorge Gaitán Durán (b. 12 February 1924; d. 22 June 1962), Colombian poet and essayist. Despite his death at a young age, Gaitán Durán exerted a lasting influence on Colombian letters. A native of Pamplona Kúcuta, he is remembered primarily as a talented poet who published several books of profound metaphysical poetry. They include Insistencia en la tristeza (1946), Presencia del hombre (1947), and Si mañana despierto (1961). Much of this poetry deals with love and death in an existential void. Love emerges in many of the poems as an attempt to forget the flow of time. Poets and critics in Colombia considered him extraordinarily talented, and a mature writer for his age. His most accomplished book was Si mañana despierto.

Gaitán Durán is also remembered as the founding director of the prestigious journal Mito, which was published from 1955 until his death in an auto accident at Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe, in 1962. Mito was a cosmopolitan periodical that published the best of European, Latin American, and Colombian writing, thus serving as the voice of a generation of intellectuals in Colombia. Latin American writers who later became internationally recognized, such as Octavio Paz, Julio Cortázar, and Carlos Fuentes, all appeared in Mito, as did the Colombian Nobel laureate Gabriel García Márquez. Mito's most important impact was its modernization of a provincial literary scene in Colombia.

See alsoColombia: Since Independence; Literature: Spanish America.


Giuseppe Bellini, Historia de la literatura hispanoamericana (1985).

George R. Mc Murray, Spanish American Writing Since 1941 (1987).

Raymond Leslie Williams, The Colombian Novel, 1844–1987 (1991).

Additional Bibliography

Galeano, Juan Carlos. "Jorge Gaitán Durán: Política y ser." Revista de Estudios Colombianos 17 (1997): 32-37.

Pulido, Flor Delia. La palabra como expresión de la corporeidad en Jorge Gaitán Durán. Pamplona, Colombia: Universidad de Pamplona, 1999.

                              Raymond Leslie Williams

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