Hernández, Felisberto (1902–1964)

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Hernández, Felisberto (1902–1964)

Felisberto Hernández (b. 20 October 1902; d. 1964), Uruguayan writer. During his adolescence he studied music and performed as a concert pianist. Along with the Argentine Jorge Luis Borges, he is considered one of the foremost writers of fantasy literature in the Río de la Plata countries. Hernández's lifelong commitment to music can be seen in his work. In the short story "El balcón" ("The Balcony," 1947), the narrator is a concert pianist. The narrative exemplifies the author's deceptively simple but ingenuous prose style, which he uses to analyze sensations, turning them into metaphors.

Early works such as Libro sin tapas (1929), La car a de Ana (1930), and La envenenada (1931) are characterized by humor, the writer's power of observation, and an exuberance in the construction of fantasies. His most acclaimed works begin with Por los tiempos de Clemente Colling (1942) and Nadie encendía las lámparas (1947), novels of "evocation" in which the anecdotal takes second place to poetic reconstruction of reality and real people, on the basis of memory. Las hortensias (1949), La casa inundada (1960), and El cocodrilo (1962) mark the culmination of his fictional narrative, in which memory and fantasy constitute the dual pillars of narrative discourse.

Additional works by Hernández include El caballo perdido (1943); Tierras de memoria (1965); and Obras completas, 3 vols. (1983).

See alsoBorges, Jorge Luis; Rió de la Plata.


Rosario Ferré, El acomodador (1986).

Norah Giraldi De Dei Cas, Felisberto Hernández: Del creator al hombre (1975).

Ricardo Pallares and Reina Reyes, ¿Otro Felisberto? (1983).

Walter Rela, Felisberto Hernández: Bibliografía anotada (1979).

Roberto Echavarren Welker, El espacio de la verdad: Práctica del texto en Felisberto Hernández (1981).

Additional Bibliography

Graziano, Frank. The Lust of Seeing: Themes of the Gaze and Sexual Rituals in the Fiction of Felisberto Hernández. Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell University Press, 1997.

Rocca, Pablo. Felisberto Hernández 1902–2002. Florianópolis: Editora DA UFSC, 2002.

Rosario-Andújar, Julio A. Felisberto Hernández y el pensamiento filosófico. New York: Peter Lang, 1999.

                                       William H. Katra

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