Rojas, Manuel (1896–1973)

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Rojas, Manuel (1896–1973)

Manuel Rojas (b. 8 January 1896; d. 11 March 1973), Chilean novelist. The most important storyteller and novelist of his generation, Rojas received the National Award of Literature in 1957. His early work pays tribute to Latin American regionalism, but from the beginning his narratives reveal an anarchist view of the world and demonstrate an awareness of the literary avant garde. The values and experience of laborers and outcasts are represented in Rojas's fiction in terms of pristine anarchism and emotive humanism that are difficult to find in the works of any of his contemporaries. Lanchas en la bahía (1932) is the story of a young man's initiation into adult life. Rojas's most important novel is Hijo de ladrón (1951), a masterwork of Latin American narrative. It is part of a tetralogy formed by Mejor que el vino (1958), Sombras contra el muro (1964), and La oscura vida radiante (1971), which traces four steps in the life of one man, exploring both personal and social struggles. Rojas also wrote La ciudad de los Césares (1936), based on a legend of a Spanish utopia in southern Chile, and Punta de rieles (1960), a counterpoint of two defeated men told in thoughts and speech. Among his short stories, closer to Horacio Quiroga's than to Jorge Luis Borges's, are the collections Hombres del sur (1926), El delincuente (1929), and Travesía (1934). Rojas also wrote poetry and numerous essays.

See alsoLiterature: Spanish America .


Myron I. Lichtblau, "Ironic Devices in Manuel Rojas' Hijo de ladrón," in Symposium 19, no. 3 (1965): 214-225. Cedomil Goic, "Manuel Rojas," in Latin American Writers, edited by Carlos A. Solé and María Isabel Abreu, vol. 2 (1989), pp. 815-820.

Additional Bibliography

Nómez, Naín, and Emmanuel Tornés Reyes, eds. Manuel Rojas: Estudios críticos. Santiago de Chile: Editorial Universidad de Santiago, 2005.

Pérez, Floridor. Manuel Rojas: La novelesca vida de un novelista. Santiago: Zig-Zag, 1994.

                                           Cedomil Goic

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Rojas, Manuel (1896–1973)

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