Tamayo, Franz (1879–1956)

views updated

Tamayo, Franz (1879–1956)

Franz Tamayo, a poet, writer, and politician, is considered the dominant Bolivian intellectual of the first half of the twentieth century. Named Francisco at birth, on February 29, 1879, he later changed his name to Franz. His father was a well-known politician from the Bolivian upper classes, whereas his mother Felicidad Solares was of indigenous descent. Being of mestizo heritage—a difficult condition in the face of Bolivian racism—was the determining factor in his thinking on Bolivia's social and political future. His ideas on education, which he summarized in his Creación de la pedagogía nacional (1910; Creation of the National Pedagogy), stressed the importance of Indians for the cultural and social development of the country.

Tamayo's poetry, part of the Bolivian canon, is the last major example of the modernismo movement in Bolivian literature. However, his musical verses, infused with German philosophy and, particularly, classical erudition, convey a strong metaphysical scope that goes beyond the definition of Latin American modernismo. As evidenced by the titles of some of his books, such as La Prometheida, o, las Oceánides (The Prometheia, or The Oceanids) and Epigramas griegos (Greek Epigrams), Greco-Roman culture was of great significance for him.

For most of his life, Tamayo actively participated in Bolivian politics. He was a member of the congress (several mandates between 1920 and 1934), the founder of his own political party (Radical Party), a candidate for president of Bolivia (1919 and 1934), and through his newspaper articles, a persistent critic of the governments he opposed, as well as of Bolivian society. Tamayo died on July 29, 1956.

See alsoBolivia, Political Parties: Overview; Literature: Spanish America; Mestizo.


Works by Tamayo

Creación de la pedagogía nacional [1944], 3rd edition. La Paz: Biblioteca del Sesquicentenario de la República, 1975.

Epigramas griegos. [1945.] La Paz: Editorial Juventud, 1986.

La Prometheida, o, Las Oceánides: Tragedia Lirica. [1948.] La Paz: Editoria.

Juventud, 1986.

Scopas. [1939.] La Paz: Editorial Juventud, 1987.

Secondary Sources

Albarracín Millán, Juan. El pensamiento filosófico de Tamayo y el irracionalismo alemán. La Paz: Akapana, 1981.

Baptista Gumucio, Mariano. Yo fui el orgullo: Vida y pensamiento de Franz Tamayo. La Paz: Editorial Los Amigos del Libro, 1978.

Condarco Morales, Ramiro. Franz Tamayo: El pensador. La Paz: Edit. e Imp. "San José," 1989.

Díez de Medina, Fernando. Franz Tamayo: Hechicero del ande—Retrato al modo fantástico. La Paz: Editorial Puerta del Sol, 1944.

Mitre, Eduardo. "La voz titánica." In De cuatro constelaciones: Ensayo y antología, pp. 45-119. La Paz, Bolivia: Fundación BHN, 1994.

Sanjinés C., Javier. "Tamayo, observador: Negociando lo 'letrado' con lo visual." In Convergencia de tiempos: Estudios subalternos/contextos latinoamericanos estado, cultura, subalternidad, ed. Ileana Rodríguez, pp. 405-424. Amsterdam and Atlanta, GA: Rodopi, 2001.

                                  Leonardo GarcÍa-PabÓn