Rodríguez Juliá, Edgardo (1946–)

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Rodríguez Juliá, Edgardo (1946–)

Among the most gifted and versatile voices of his historically revisionist generation in Puerto Rico is the novelist and essayist Edgardo Rodríguez Juliá. His early novels—La renuncia del héroe Baltasar (1974; The Renunciation, 1997) and La noche oscura del Niño Avilés (1984)—skillfully blend, with considerable narrative verve and formal ingenuity, elements of fact and fiction, realism and myth, revelation and coverup, past and present. Each evokes the baroque ambiance of colonial Puerto Rico as it reveals the political, social, and cultural drama of the era and, offering a revised view of island history, proposes that dilemmas of race, caste, and class inherited from that formative period are still powerful, if calculatedly elided, features of Puerto Rico's contemporary reality. El camino de Yyaloide (1993) extends his chronicle of the fictive Nueva Venecia begun with La noche oscura del Niño Avilés, and so completes its author's eighteenth-century trilogy of novels.

The short stories of Cortejos fúnebres (1997) and novels Sol de medianoche (1995), Cartagena (1997), and Mujer con sombrero Panamá (2004) all have a more contemporary locale and focus, but are as adventurous creatively as the earlier work, and equally devoted to Rodríguez Juliá's continuing critical assessment of his society's most pressing, if often concealed or evaded, realities. Equally prolific as the island's most accomplished and popular practitioner of the essay-cum-cultural chronicle, Rodríguez Juliá has produced meditations on the contradictory distinctiveness and vivacity of Puerto Rican art, history, politics, literature, photography, popular culture, thought, and feeling in Las tribulaciones de Jonás (1981), El entierro de Cortijo (1983; Cortijo's Wake, 2004), Campeche o los dia-blejos de la melancolía (1986), Una noche con Iris Chacón (1986), El cruce de la bahía de Guánica (1989), Puertorriqueños: Album de la sagrada familia puertorriqueña a partir de 1898 (1989), Cámara secreta (1994), Peloteros (1997), Mapa de una pasión literaria (2003), Musarañas de domingo (2004), and San Juan, ciudad soñada (2005; San Juan; Memoir of a City (2007).

See alsoLiterature: Spanish America; Puerto Rico.


Duchesne Winter, Juan, ed. Las tribulaciones de Juliá. San Juan: Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña, 1992.

González, Rubén. La historia puertorriqueña de Rodríguez Juliá. Río Piedras: Editorial de la Universidad de Puerto Rico, 1997.

                                        Roberto MÁrquez

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Rodríguez Juliá, Edgardo (1946–)

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Rodríguez Juliá, Edgardo (1946–)