Zum Felde, Alberto (1889–1976)

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Zum Felde, Alberto (1889–1976)

Alberto Zum Felde (b. 1889; d. 1976), Uruguayan poet, literary critic, and essayist. Alberto Zum Felde was born in Bahía Blanca, Argentina, but his parents moved to Uruguay when he was a young child. He joined the intellectual circle headed by Roberto de las Carreras. His poetry was first published under a pseudonym in La Razón and El Siglo. In 1908 Zum Felde selected the name Aurelio del Hebrón as his pseudonym and his first book, Domus aurea (1908), a collection of sonnets and plays, was published under that name. These modernist sonnets and plays reflect both his talent and the influence that Nietzsche and Ibsen had on his writings.

With the publication of El huanakauri (1917), Zum Felde began to distance himself from modernist influences. The book, a didactic poem, argues for the autonomous cultural development of the Americas based upon tradition and historical reality. From 1919 until 1929, he worked as a literary critic for the afternoon edition of the newspaper El Día (later called El Ideal). He served as secretary, assistant director, and director (1940–1944) of the National Library. During the 1920s he also directed the literary magazine La Pluma. One of his notable books, Proceso histórico del Uruguay (1919) analyzes the sociopolitical evolution of the country. Crítica de la literatura uruguaya (1921) is a collection of weekly articles that were published in 1919–1920 in El Día. One of his most important books, Proceso intelectual del Uruguay y crítica de su literatura (1930), evaluates intellectual and literary production in the country beginning with the colonial period.

Zum Felde has been credited with the pro-fessionalization of literary studies in Uruguay. After his conversion to Catholicism, he published Cristo y nosotros (1959) and Diálogo Cristo-Marx (1971). Zum Felde was one of nine writers who founded the National Academy of Letters in 1943. In 1957 he won the National Literature Prize, and in 1968 he was awarded Uruguay's Grand Prize for Literature.

See alsoCatholic Church: The Modern Period; Literature: Spanish America.


Francisco Aguilera and Georgette M. Dorn, The Archive of Hispanic Literature on Tape (1974), pp. 511-512.

Uruguay Cortazzo, La hermeneutica de Alberto Zum Felde (1983).

Additional Bibliography

Michelena, Alejandro Daniel. "Zum Felde, iniciador múltiple." Hoy Es Historia 10, no. 55 (January-February 1993): 14-20.

                                  Danusia L. Meson