Márquez, Neruda, Llosa: A Look at Three of Latin America’s Most Famous Writers

Pablo Neruda

“Attempting an all-encompassing definition of Latin American literature is as reductive as trying to do so for African, Asianor European literature, and will necessarily lead to as vigorous a debate. Nonetheless the mythology of the ‘Latin American Boom’ and its concomitant genre ‘magical realism’ still dominate discussions of literary publishing throughout the South American content. This is largely down to three writers who, by the sheer profundity and renown of their work, defined literary production on the continent in the latter half of the 20th century. These were Colombia’s Gabriel García Márquez, Peru’s Mario Vargas Llosa and Chile’s Pablo Neruda, all of whom have won the Nobel Prize for Literature, and who both collectively and individually are South America’s greatest literary exports. For better or worse their exploits have largely defined Latin American literature, and novelists and poets from throughout South America must now write in their lingering shadows. The profound influence of Gabriel García Márquez‘s career on contemporary literature is reflected in the extent to which he is personally credited for the ‘magical realism’ genre, which has dominated literature across the South American continent for decades, and continues to do so. … Hailed by Gabriel Garcia Márquez as ‘the greatest poet of the 20th century in any language’, Pablo Neruda is a defining influence on Latin American literature, and is a symbol of its engagement in the complex political and nationalist scene in much of the South American continent. Despite becoming an icon of left wing politics who was hailed as a Communist leader in the midst of the upheavals of the mid-20th century, Neruda is most remembered now for his sensual, passionate poetry, which reverberates with a personal and national loss of innocence. … A towering presence in both Latin American literature, and in Peruvian political and social circles, Mario Vargas Llosa has been the most prominent of this triumvirate of Latin American icons in recent decades, but has also been the most difficult to pin down. His career was founded on confessional interrogations of his own, with his occasionally lurid personal and sexual life which also implicitly attacked the machismo cultural of the leading echelons of Peruvian society. …”
culture trip
11 questions you’re too embarrassed to ask about magical realism
W – The Boom

Mario Vargas Llosa

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