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Literature of Colombia

Colombian literature, as an expression of the Culture of Colombia, is heterogeneous, tropical and diverse due to the struggle between the Spanish, African and Native American heritages.

Colonial literature

Under the Spanish Empire, the main topic of the local literature was religious. Some of the main authors of this period are:

Hernando Dominguez Camargo , Jesuit priest and writer. His work was influenced by the Spanish poet Luis de Gongora, in a cultural trend known as the Indias Baroque. His most recognized works are Epic Poem to St Ignacio of Loyola and Bouquet of poetic flowers.

Francisco Alvarez de Velasco y Zorrilla . His main work was Rhytmica Sacra, Moral y Laudatiria. His writings show admiration for the work of Francisco de Quevedo and Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz.

Francisca Josefa del Castillo. Tunjan nun, recognized as one of the most important female authors of mysticism.

Juan de Castellanos. Wrote the longest poem ever in the Spanish language, Elegias de Varones Ilustres de Indias.

Juan Rodriguez Freyle. Spanish priest, wrote the extensive chronicle of colonial life El Carnero (The Billygoat).

Post-independence literature

During the process of independence, Colombian literature was strongly influenced by the political motivations of the moment. The main literary movements were close to Romanticism.

During the nineteenth century, political writing was led by Simon Bolivar. Local journalism was initiated by Antonio Narino. The Colombian government established the first Academy of Spanish language in the American continent, in 1871.

Other relevant authors were:

Camilo Torres

Francisco Antonio Zea.

Jose Fernandez Madrid .


In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the main topic in Colombian literature was the colourful depiction of peasant life, tied to strong criticism of society and government. This type of literature was called costumbrista literature. Some of the authors of this period are:

Tomas Carrasquilla

Adolfo Leon Gomez

Jose Maria Cordovez Moure

Jorge Isaacs

Julio Arboleda

Gregorio Gutierrez Gonzalez

Rafael Pombo

Soledad Acosta

Josefa Acevedo de Gomez

Candelario Obeso

Manuel Ancizar

Modern literature

Modernismo and modernism are reactions against the previous literature of Romanticism. Modernism's main topics are ugliness and mystery. The main modern writers are:

Jose Eustasio Rivera

Rafael Maya

Leon de Greiff

Luis Vidales

Luis Carlos Lopez

German Arciniegas

Porfirio Barba-Jacob

Jose Maria Vargas Vila

Stone and Sky (Piedra y Cielo)

The industrialization process in Latin America during the twentieth century generated new literary movements such as the poetic movement named Piedra y cielo (1939). Its main authors are:

Eduardo Carranza

Jorge Gaitan Duran

Jorge Rojas

Arturo Camacho Ramirez

Nothing-ism (Nadaismo)

The violent events in Colombia during the 1940s and 1950s, such as La Violencia and the military government of Gustavo Rojas Pinilla, resulted in the Nothing-ist movement, which is the local interpretation of existentialism and nihilism in literature. Authors of this movement are:

Gonzalo Arango

Jotamario Arbelaez

Eduardo Escobar

Fanny Buitrago

Amilcar Osorio

Humberto Navarro

Taylor Hamilton

Kaleigh Mendonca

Nikki Kammerer

The Boom

The Latin American Boom was a prolific period for Colombian literature.

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Eduardo Caballero Calderon

Manuel Mejia Vallejo

Alvaro Mutis

Manuel Zapata Olivella

Andres Caicedo

Alfredo Iriarte

German Arciniegas

Alvaro Cepeda Samudio

Nicole Kammerer

Contemporary authors

German Castro Caycedo

Daniel Samper Pizano

Fernando Vallejo

Laura Restrepo

Juan B Gutierrez

Jose Manuel Arango

Giovanni Quessep

Harold Alvarado Tenorio

Antonio Iriarte Cadena

Yezid Morales R

David Alberto Campos Vargas

Juan Gustavo Cobo Borda

Maria Mercedes Carranza

Raul Gomez Jattin

Elkin Restrepo

German Espinosa

David Sanchez Juliao

Rafael Humberto Moreno Duran

Juan Gustavo Cobo Borda

Jorge Franco

Estela Duran

Ricardo Silva Romero

Hector Abad Faciolince

Rafael Chaparro Madiedo

New Literature

Juan Gabriel Vasquez

Antonio Ungar

German Bula

Ricardo Abdahllah

Mario Medoza

Mauricio Becerra

Margarita Posada

Jorge Aristizabal

Juan Carlos Garay

Carolina Sanin

Eduardo Bechara

Efraim Medina Reyes


Jose Asuncion Silva

Porfirio Barba-Jacob

Piedad Bonnet

Jose Fernandez Madrid

Jorge Isaacs

Rafael Pombo

Zacarias Reyan

Sergio Velez

Children's literature

Some of the characters most recognized in Colombian children's literature and the popular imaginary are the stock characters created by Rafael Pombo, which are often found in nursery rhymes, familiar folk tales and in the textbooks for elementary school.

Other important children literature authors are:

Jairo Anibal Nino: with his works "La alegria de querer" (The joy of love), "Razzgo, Indo y Zas", "Catalino Bocachica" among others

Euclides Jaramillo: with the "Tales of Uncle rabbit".

See also

List of Colombian writers

References and external links



[Forthcoming book on violence in contemporary Colombian fiction and cinema: http://www.boydell.co.uk/55661780.HTM]

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Literature of Colombia

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