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Ribeyro, Julio Ramón (1929–1994)

Ribeyro, Julio Ramón (1929–1994)

Julio Ramón Ribeyro (b. 31 August 1929; d. 4 December 1994), Peruvian fiction writer. Ribeyro is known for his short stories, more than one hundred in all, most of which have been published collectively in four volumes, La palabra del mudo (1972–1992). He also wrote successful novels, plays, and literary criticism. Ribeyro especially captured a unique perspective on contemporary life in Prosas apátridas (1975; 3d ed., 1986), a combination of pithy but ironic philosophical vignettes, intimate diary, and brief thought pieces. Ribeyro began writing in 1952; he moved to Europe, where he lived thereafter. His fiction reflects this separation from Peru, and writing from a marginalized position of self-imposed exile, Ribeyro's sharp observation and minute detail bring biting irony to his social commentary and give it life by enveloping his characters in fantastic elements—enigma, the double, the eccentric, and the bizarre. His characters suffer the anonymity of urban life in Lima or Paris, where their simple lives are played out in private and public places. Ribeyro probed his characters' psyches from a position of compassionate skepticism; hence, the stories have a tone of melancholic pessimism that captures in ironic fashion the banality, absurdity, and anguish of a fake bourgeoisie that lacks any history, future, or identity. The subtle combination of social commentary and fantasy in Ribeyro's narrative is what makes the stories distinct, readable, and contemporary. In 1994, the year that Ribeyro died, he was awarded the Premio Juan Rulfo de Literatura Latinoamericana y del Caribe.

See alsoLiterature: Spanish America .

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Dick Gerdes, "Julio Ramón Ribeyro: Un análisis de sus cuentos," Kentucky Romance Quarterly 26, no. 1 (1979): 51-110.

Julio Ortega, "Los cuentos de Ribeyro," Cuadernos Hispanoamericanos 417 (1985): 128-145.

José Miguel Oviedo, Introduction to his Julio Ramón Ribeyro: Silvio in the Rose Garden, translated by Maria Rosa Fort and Frank Graziano (1989).

James Higgins, Cambio social y constantes humanos: La narrativa corta de Ribeyro (1991).

Additional Bibliography

Elmore, Peter. El perfil de la palabra: La obra de Julio Ramón Ribeyro. Lima, Peru: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2002.

Navascués, Javier de. Los refugios de La memoria: Un studio espacial sobre Julio Ramón Ribeyro. Madrid: Verveurt, 2004.

Weiss, Jason. The Lights of Home: A Century of Latin American Writers in Paris. New York: Routledge, 2003.

                                             Dick Gerdes

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