Literature makes all languages spread throughout the world, and in the case of Spanish, it was not only spread but also enriched by the great contributions of a selected group of writers that left an inspiring legacy for universal narrative and poetry.
In the coming posts, I will introduce to the most influential authors of the Spanish-speaking world.
Gabriel García Márquez
Born in Colombia and author of bestsellers such as Cien años de soledad (One hundred years of solitude), Crónica de una muerte anunciada (Chronicle of a Death Foretold) and El amor en tiempos de cólera (Love in the Time of Cholera), Gabriel García Márquez, affectionally nicknamed “Gabo”, is one of the most important writers in Spanish America and one of the main representatives of el realismo mágico (magic realism), a type of narrative in which elements of everyday life are represented with a twist of magical events. Gabo was awarded a Nobel Prize in Literature in 1982, becoming the first Colombian and the fourth South American writer to win this prize. After his death in April 2014, then President of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos called him “the greatest Colombian who ever lived.”
Jorge Luis Borges
Borges is one the most renowned Spanish-speaking writers in universal literature, often regarded as the most important writer of the 20th century. A native of Argentina, Borges is the author of brilliant works such as Ficciones (Fictions), El Aleph (The Aleph), Historia universal de la infamia (A Universal History of Infamy), and the short story collection El libro de arena (The Book of Sand). Borges also left behind a remarkable number of translations and prose poems, though he will be forever known as a true master of the short story genre, focusing on his favorite subjects of dreams, labyrinths, libraries, mirrors, and a curious mythology. After his reputation was consolidated in the 1960s, he became a member of the Latin American Boom of the 1960s.
Getting recognition as a poet at the age of 13, Pablo Neruda is considered the national poet of Chile. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1971 and earned worldwide recognition for his poetry collections, specially his odes and love poems. Neruda was regarded as “the greatest poet of the 20th century in any language” by Gabriel García Márquez. Among his works the most beloved are: Veinte poemas de amor y una canción desesperada (Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair), Los versos del Capitán (The Captain’s Verses), and Odas elementales (Odes to common things). Most of his works have been translated into English.
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