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(Metapa, 1867 - Leon, 1916) Pseudonym of the great Nicaraguan poet Félix Rubén García Sarmiento, initiator and head of Latin American modernism. His family was known by the surname of a grandfather, "the family of the Dario", and the young poet, in search of euphony, adopted the formula "Rubén Dario" as a literary battle name.
Rubén Darío in 1892
Portrait of Rubén Darío at age 28
Rubén Darío (image taken in Spain, 1908)
Rubén Darío dictating his autobiography
With a blissful ease to the rhythm and the rhyme grew Rubén Dario in the midst of a turbulent family disagreements, supervised by caring relatives and drawing with words in their selves domestic exotic dreams, memorable heroics and sublime storms. But already in his time all the paraphernalia of prestigious romantic topics began to wear out and offered to the imagination of poets as useless weapons that are stored in a panoply of ajado velvet.
Ruben Dario was called to revolutionize rhythmically Castilian verse, but also to populate the literary world of new fantasies of illusory swans, inevitable celajes, kangaroos and Bengal Tigers living in the same impossible landscape. It brought to a language that was in times of decadence the American fabric freshener influx and the Parnassian and Symbolist French models, by opening it to a lexicon rich and strange, new flexibility and musicality in verse and prose, and introduced themes and universal, exotic and indigenous, reasons that exciting the imagination and the Faculty of analogies.
In formal, stylistic and musical brilliance, there is little poet in Spanish language that even the Darius of the first stage, the fully modernist stage of Blue (1888) and Prose unholy (1896). When his aestheticism slows, and the ideal of art for the art leaves room for new concerns, comes his masterwork, songs of life and hope (1905), in which absolute mastery of the form no longer mere beauty as objective, but it serves to the expression of an anguished intimacy or concerns back, as the future of Hispanic America.
Poetic value intrinsic in this second stage, more enduring than the first, must be added the role of Rubén Dario as originating and unifying core of a whole movement, modernism, which marked a milestone in the history of literature: after dutifully follow the directions of European letters for three centuries, is born in America an own literary movement whose influence will go even to the metropolis. Achieved political independence in the early 19th, Latin America achieved, at the end of the same century, the literary independence.
Almost by chance was born Ruben in a small Nicaraguan town called Metapa, but a month of his birth passed to reside to León, where his father, Manuel García, and his mother, Rosa Sarmiento, had founded a couple theoretically of convenience but prosperous only in trouble.
To make easier the mutual incomprehension, the tireless Manuel gave inmoderadamente to the farras and drowned their sorrows in the brothels, while the poor rose from time to time fleeing spouse to take refuge in the House of one of his relatives. Would not take the mother giving birth to a second daughter (Candida Rosa, which was marred right away) or in fall for a such Benito Juan Soriano, which went to live by dragging her first-born son to "a House early, poor and without bricks, in the countryside," located in the Honduran town of San Marcos de Colón.
However, the small Rubén returned soon to Lion and went to reside with the uncles from his mother, Bernarda Sarmiento and her husband, Colonel Félix Ramírez, which had recently lost a child and embraced it as his true parents. Very late afternoon Ruben saw Rosa Sarmiento, who was unaware of, and little more or less with Manuel, who always felt detachment, to the point that the fledgling poet signed first assignments as Félix Rubén Ramírez.
The home of Colonel Félix Ramírez was Center of famous gatherings that congregated to the intelligentsia of the country; in this cult environment grew the small Dario. Early childhood versificador, the same Ruben did not remember when he began to compose poems, but it already knew how to read the three, and that the six began to devour the classics found in the House; at thirteen he was already known as a poet, and at fourteen concluded his first work. In their environment and in their time, Elegies them to the deceased, the epitalamios to the newly married or odes to victorious generals were part of the collective and customs, long-standing opportunity fulfilled a social function for which had never left there is demand. By then were recited verses as they erected monuments to illustrious playwright, it is provided to the health of the newborn or banquets offered to foreign diplomats.
Rubén Darío in 1892
During his early years he studied with the Jesuits, who dedicated a poem loaded with invective, alluding to their "decayed cassocks" and motejando them of "let"; but at this stage of youth not only cultivated irony: as early as influenced by Becquer and by Victor Hugo poetry was his vocation of everlasting love. According to own confession in the autobiography, a teacher of the first letters imposed a severe punishment when he surprised him "in the company of an early chicuela, starting foolish and impossible Daphnis and Chloe, and according to the verse of Góngora," the rascalities behind the door.
Before the age of fifteen, when the designs of his heart were irresistibly geared towards slender green-eyed girl called Rosario Emelina Murillo, in the catalogue of his passions had scored a "distant cousin, blonde, very beautiful," maybe Isabel Swan, and the trapeze artist Hortensia Buislay. None of them, however, seek as many headaches as Rosario; and as it appears immediately to the Muse of his mediocre sentimental novel Emelina desires immediate marriage, their friends and relatives conspired so abandon the city and were to grow without incurring unthinking precipitation.
In August 1882 he was in El Salvador, and there he was received by President Zaldívar, on which flattered writes in his autobiography: "the President was gentilisimo and I spoke of my verses and offered me his protection; but when he asked me what I wanted, I replied with these exact and unforgettable words they did smile at the man of power: "I want to have a good social position".
Portrait of Rubén Darío at age 28
In this eloquent episode, Ruben expresses openly bourgeois ambitions, which would painfully frustrated and for whose sake would suffer even more insidiously in its subsequent Chilean stage. In Chile he met also the suicidal President Balmaceda and befriended his son, Pedro Balmaceda Toro, as well as with the aristocratic circle of relatives; However, to be able to dress decently, fed in secret "herring and beer", and to their affluent fellow Members not hid them their wretched condition.
Chilean stage is Abrojos (1887), book of poems that account for their sad state of poor and misunderstood poet; not even a fleeting love lived with a such Domitila manages to wipe their pain. For a literary contest organized by the millionaire Federico Varela wrote autumnal, which obtained a modest eighth place among the forty-seven submitted original, and singing epic to the glories of Chile, which was awarded the first prize, shared with Pedro Nolasco Préndez and which earned him the modest sum of three hundred pesos.
But it was in 1888 when the true worth of Rubén Dario came to be known with the publication of the Bluebook commended from Spain by the then prestigious novelist Juan Valera, whose importance as a bridge between cultures Spanish and Hispano-American has been brilliantly studied by María Beneyto. Letters of Juan Valera served as a prologue to the new expanded reprint of 1890, but then because it had become obsessive willingness to escape those Straits poet environments intellectuals (where not was neither enough recognition as an artist and the long-awaited economic prosperity) to know at last his legendary Paris.
Rubén Darío (image taken in Spain, 1908)
On June 21, 1890 Ruben married a woman that shared literary interests, Rafaela Contreras, but just the following year, on 12 January, could complete the religious ceremony, interrupted by a military coup; a result of this union was his son Ruben, born in Puerto Rico on November 11, 1891. Later, on the occasion of the fourth centenary of the discovery of America, it saw fulfilled their desire to see the old world to be sent as Ambassador to Spain.
Poet landed in La Coruña on 1 August 1892, preceded by a celebrity that would allow immediate relationships with the leading Spanish figures in politics and literature, but, unfortunately, their happiness was overshadowed by the sudden death of his wife, which took place on January 23, 1893, what did but stoking their tendency and always somewhat stubborn, to decant formidable dose of alcohol.
In State of intoxication he was shortly after forced to marry that angelica girl who was the subject of his teenage adoration, Rosario Emelina Murillo, who made him victim of one of the most gruesome episodes of his life. Apparently, the brother of Rosario, a man without scruples, engineered the meaner plan, knowing that the girl was pregnant. In complicity with the young woman, surprised the lovers in honest loving trade, he wielded a gun, threatened to kill Ruben if not it immediately contracted marriage, saturated whisky to the wretched, called a priest and fiscalizó the religious ceremony the same day March 8, 1893.
Naturally, the embaucado had to resign themselves to the facts, but not agreed to live with deceit, and thereafter would be haunted by his perfidious and abandoned good wife part of his life. Ruben met in Madrid to a woman of low condition, Francisca Sanchez, the illiterate maid of the House of the poet Villaespesa, that found refuge and sweetness. With it he will travel to Paris at the beginning of the century, after having worked as a consul of Colombia in Buenos Aires and have resided there from 1893 to 1898, as well as after having adopted Madrid as his second home since he arrived, that last year, the Spanish capital sent by the newspaper La Nación.
Then for a stage begins of travel enthusiasts (Italy, England, Belgium, Barcelona...) and perhaps then is when he writes his most valuable books: songs of life and hope (1905), El canto errante (1907), the poem of autumn (1910), Mallorca gold (1913). He lived a season in Mallorca to restore impaired health, nor solicitous care from his good Francisca manage to get afloat. On the other hand, boy who wanted to achieve a "good status" was never more than enough money and respectability as to live with thrift and modesty, and this attests to an eloquent episode of 1908, the extravagant Spanish writer Alejandro Sawa, who many years earlier had served as a guide for Paris-related to the perpetually drunken Verlaine.
Sawa, a poor Bohemian, old, blind and sick, who had been consecrated by his proud life to literature, claimed Ruben the scarce amount of four hundred pesetas to see finally posted that today is considered to be his most valuable work, illuminations in the shade, but this, apparently, was not willing to provide this money and became the material lying around , so Sawa, in his correspondence, finished by passing of pleas to the righteous indignation, claiming you the payment of services. As he stated in his letters, Sawa had been the author or Black, in publishing jargon of some items sent in 1905 to The nation and signed by Dario Rubén. In any case, was finally the Nicaraguan poet who, at the request of the widow of Alejandro Sawa, prefaced softened the strange posthumous book of that "great Bohemian" which "talking book", and "gallantly Theatre", citing the words of Ruben.
Rubén Darío dictating his autobiography
And is that, at the end of his life, the author of Blue was not willing to help their friends more than with his pen, whose fruits in many cases not reached him or to pay their debts, but won, that Yes, the recognition of the majority of contemporary writers in Spanish language and forced gratitude of all many then, have attempted to write an alejandrino in this language. In 1916, shortly after returning to his native Nicaragua, Dario Rubén died, and the news was filled with sadness to the Spanish-speaking intellectual community.
The work of Rubén Dario
Rubén Dario, as beautiful as cultured, musical and sound poetry, influenced hundreds of writers from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. Dario was one of the great innovators of the poetic language in Hispanic letters. We can find the basic elements of his poetry in the prologues secular prose, songs of life and hope and the wandering song. The pursuit of beauty that Ruben is hidden in reality is fundamental among them. For Ruben, the poet's mission is made accessible to the rest of the men the ineffable side of reality. To discover this ineffable side, the poet has the metaphor and symbol as main tools. Directly related to this is the rejection of the realist aesthetic and its escapism to fantastic scenarios, remote spatially and temporally in their reality.
Entirely restless and dissatisfied, greedy pleasure and life, anguished pain and the idea of death, Dario happens frequently wasteful to the narrow, frenzied optimism to pessimism in desperation, drugs, women and alcohol, as if you seek in life the same sense of originality that in poetry or as if he were stunned in his glory to not examine his conscience admonitor Fund. This "Pagan by love of life" and Christian by fear of death is a great lyric naive that guess its significance and wants to break the traditional surrounding of Spain and America: and most importantly, he succeeds. It is necessary to break the monotonous literary solemnity of Spain with the echoes of the romantic impetus of Victor Hugo, with the Gala in the Parnassian, with the "esprit" de Verlaine; rare ones (1896), predominantly French topics articles, speak clearly of this path.
But also Hispanic America is locked in a traditional circle, with the American at the top and edges to Junín and the Agriculture of the torrid zone everywhere; and go beyond their secular prose, with some first words of program, which includes compositions so unique and bright as the funeral prayer to Verlaine, it was a soft air... and the Sonatina. Modernism has triumphed: had to react against the romantic bombast and realistic narrowness; the concerns of Casal, of James Freyre, Asuncion Silva, Martí, Mirón, Salvador Rueda Diaz, are collected and organized by the great lyric, that, influenced by French symbolism and the parnasianismo, check out the bases of the new school: modernism, starting point of all the Spanish and Latin American lyrical renewal.
But he rejects the rules of the school and a bad habit of imitation; It says that there are no schools, but poets, and advised it will not imitate anyone, nor himself... Plastic, rhythm, music and fantasy are essential elements of the new current, more superficial and showy than deep in the beginning, when the revolutionary ferment of the poet have not had settled. But soon becomes the settlement. The lyric "Spanish of America and American of Spain", which had opened to European matters and the universal closed preserves the motherland and Latin American, looked into his soul and his work, and found the lack of Hispanic solera: "I always was, by soul and head / Spanish of conscience, work and desire"; and in primitive poetry and Spanish classical poetry found Hispanic sill needed to write the verses of the most accomplished and transcendent of his works: songs of life and hope (1905), in which corrects explicitly superficiality earlier ("I am he who yesterday said no more..."), and which contains compositions such as the fatal The marcha triunfal, greeting of the optimist, A Roosevelt and litany of our Lord don Quixote.
The great lyrical Nicaraguan opens literary of Spain and Latin America towards the exterior, as the Spanish writers of the generation of 98 will do so immediately, in more ideological level. La Fayette had symbolized the presence of France in the American struggle for independence; the ideas of the encyclopaedists and the French Revolution had been present in the epic of Latin American independence: what is so surprising that Rubén Dario sought the elements he needed for his revolution in France? He wanted to modernize, renovate, flexible Hispanic greatness with the "esprit", with French grace, against the materialist sense and Dominator of the Anglo-Saxon world and, especially, American.
Other major compositions listed in his other books: El canto errante (1907), poem of autumn and other poems (1910), which contains Margaret, linda is the sea... and the motives of the Wolf, and the book containing his most extensive composition, singing to the Argentina, which, with other poems, was published in 1914. His prose, apart from in Blue and rare ones, can be found in pilgrimage (1901), the caravan passes (1902) and solar lands (1904), among other works of interest concerning travel, political, autobiographical, impressions, etc.
Ruben Dario is a Hispanic-American lyric genius of universal resonance, which handles language with elegance and care, renews it with shiny words in a set of bold and beautiful metric trials, and dares to perform with the phonetic combinations worthy of fray Luis de León, like that of the verse: "under a slight range aleve wing"; but alliteration is just one aspect part of the musicality of the poet, master modern and universal rhythm, the image and the harmony.