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Luisi, Luisa (1888–1940)

Luisi, Luisa (1888–1940)

Luisa Luisi (b. 1888; d. 1940), Uruguayan poet, critic, and educator; her work is grouped with the generation of Uruguayan "realist poets" between 1885 and 1935. Luisi's books of poetry include Sentir (1916), Inquietud (1921), Poemas de la inmovilidad y canciones al sol (1926), and Polvo de dias (1935). Her early poetry was conceptual and based on philosophical ideas, but an illness that left her without the use of her legs brought forth in her later poetry an anguish over her immobile state. Her tone became melancholic and reflected a spiritual restlessness and dismay that she was unable to realize her full potential. Luisi's critical prose include A través de libros y autores (1925).

Luisi was educated in Montevideo in both private schools and at the Normal Institute for Girls, qualifying to teach in the first, second, and third grades. She later became a school principal, taught reading and declamation in the Normal Institute for Girls, and remained active in Uruguayan education her entire life, despite retiring from teaching in 1929. Luisi, along with her two remarkable sisters, Clotilde and Paulina, broke down many barriers in Uruguayan society for female intellectual activity and for the advancement of women in other areas. Clotilde Luisi distinguished herself as the first woman lawyer in Uruguay and as professor of moral philosophy and religion at the Normal Institute for Girls. Paulina Luisi, one of the few and among the earliest Uruguayan women to become a doctor, held teaching posts and headed the gynecological clinic at the Faculty of Medicine.

See alsoLiterature: Spanish America; Uruguay: The Twentieth Century.


William Belmont Parker, Uruguayans of Today (1921), pp. 307-308.

Sarah Bollo, Literatura uruguaya, 1807–1975 (1976).

Mercedes Pinto, "Las poéticas," in Carlos Reyles, ed., Historia sintética de la literatura uruguaya, vol. 2 (1931).

Additional Bibliography

Cabrera de Betarte, Silvia.

Larre Borges, Ana Inés and Cielo Pereira. Mujeres uruguayas: El lado femenino de nuestra historia. Montevideo: Fundación Banco de Boston, Extra Alfaguara, 1997–2001.

Paulina Luisi: Una socialista para conocer, querer y emular. Montevideo: Partido Socialista, 2001.

                                        J. David Dressing

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