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(Caracas, 1874 - Buenos Aires, 1944) Writer and Venezuelan diplomat, one of the most outstanding figures of modernism in his country.
Formed in the United States, marked by the main currents of thought of his time (naturalism, realism, positivism), he drafted a work that alternates poems and prose, novels and essays that are characterized by a firm desire to transform his country and Latin America through the cultivation of intelligence and knowledge. His work blends in this aspect with the Argentine D. F. Sarmiento, Cuban J. Marti, the Ecuadorian J. Montalvo, the Peruvian M. González Prada and the Puerto Rican Eugenio María Hostos.
Member of a family of rancid lineage, among its ancestors be contraban heroes and Spanish conquerors of independence, jurists, diplomats and notable writers. Parents, Rufino white Bull and Isabel Fombona Palacio, transmitted the awareness of belonging to a class of Venezuelans that has an obligation to intervene politically and culturally in the country's life from his childhood.
After studying elementary and media in the schools of Santa Maria and San Agustín de Caracas, graduating from high school in 1889, and initiate studies of law and philosophy at the Central University of Venezuela, Blanco Fombona took the decision to enter the Military Academy. Only eighteen years old, he took part in the legalist revolution (1892) and began his career in the service of the State: that same year went to the United States to assume his first diplomatic post as consul in Philadelphia, and from Philadelphia sent the poem "Homeland" in a competition to celebrate the centenary of the birth of Antonio José de Sucre, obtaining the first prize. On his return to Caracas, in 1895, has joined the team of collaborators of the journal El Cojo illustrated.
In 1899 it was published in Caracas his first book of creation, troubadours and trovas, which collected poems and prose, and the following year his first narrative work, the book of short stories Tales of poet, which was followed in 1904, American stories. In that same year he published small lyric opera, which marked the beginning of his poetic maturity and which was greeted by Dario Rubén, who signed the foreword.
Extracted from these first two books of poetry and published in Paris, in a bilingual edition, a selection: Au-delà des horizons. Petits poèmes lyriques (1908), and simultaneously gave a first compilation of his articles published to date, letters and lawyers in Latin America. To write his first novel, the iron man (1907), had to live prison in Ciudad Bolivar, where led his reckless and determined action, as Governor of the Amazon region, against the monopoly of the rubber.
When Juan Vicente Gómez gave the coup that brought him to power, did not hesitate to seek help from the army of the United States, which sent warships to the main ports of the country. Blanco Fombona, who at the time was Secretary of the Chamber of Deputies, considered that this Act entailed an unacceptable violation of the sovereignty of the Venezuelan State, and thus argued it in a letter of protest. This earned him to be banished from the country, he could not return for twenty-six years.
Lived this long exile first in Paris (1910-1914), which maintained close ties throughout his life, and later in Madrid (1914-1936). How much is made by Blanco Fombona during this second stage, include not only books his fundamental, as libel antigomecista Capitoline Judas (1912); the collections of poems songs of prison and exile (1911) and the unhappy love Songbook (1918), written on the occasion of the tragic suicide of his young wife; books of stories minimum Dramas (1920) and grotesque tragedies (1928), and the novels the man of gold (1915), the MITRE in the hand (1927), beauty and the beast (1931) and the secret of happiness (1933), but also his activities as editor at the forefront of the American Publisher.
Also in these years cobra body one of its most expensive projects: claim the literary and political dimension of the work of Simón Bolívar, who edited the letters (1913, 1921, 1922) and the speeches and proclamations (1913), as well as a collection of essays on the Liberator that appeared together for the first time texts of Juan Montalvo, José Martí , José Enrique Rodó, among others (1914).
When he returned to Venezuela, despite the welcome he received in official circles, membership in the National Academy of history (1939) and a new diplomatic post in Uruguay, Blanco Fombona detained increasingly in their historical research; in his Journal, which published a third installment, and poetry: his singing of Swan, appeared months before a heart attack surprised him in the Argentine capital, is Gold cobs, compilation of old and new poems. His candidacy in 1925 to the prize Nobel of literature, proposed by notable writers of Spanish and Latin American, unfortunately did not prosper.
Rufino Blanco Fombona would surely be surprised if you could see about which part of his vast work sits today his literary reputation. For our contemporaries, the best of the author of the poems of small opera and novels iron man and the man of gold is not contained in the pages of these books, but in his diaries. Close to a thousand pages make up this unique work, which itself was responsible for go giving to print in three deliveries: Journal of my life. The novel of two years (1904-1905) (1929), road imperfection (1933) and two years and a half of concern (1942).
Blanco Fombona was a fully modernist, and as such believed that art was important in that I was able to give a reflection of the personality of its author in that original and unique you may have. Hence, he cultivated the journal and memories, hence also that trufara all his novels of untimely irruptions of the author in the form of allegations against this or that Vice in society or the time. But also, as a faithful follower of this conception of art and literature that Dario Rubén, had forged considered the originality and strength of a writer is maintained in the quality of his poetry. Today, except for scholars, few readers frequent that part of his writings, in which this shrewd diplomat and immense writer, which left about 35 books and who cultivated with talent and erudition, as well as the genera memoirists, novel, story, poetry, and literary and historical essay based their hopes to the posterity.
As a poet, he is one of the American champions of modernism. Highlights his first books of poetry, troubadours and trovas (1899) and small lyric opera (1904) with a foreword by R. Dario, and subsequently the imprisonment and exile songs (1911) and the unhappy love Songbook (1918) written on the occasion of the suicide of his wife. As a novelist, his literary personality is seriously affected by the political passion (iron man and the man of gold); other titles of his narrative prose, inseparable from his political thinking, are: Stories Americans (1904), Capitoline Judas (1912), minimum Dramas (1920) the MITRE in the hand (1931) and the secret of happiness (1935). In her stories and novels are cautioned the influence of Maupassant, Balzac mainly; in them we see exposed the creed naturalist and pessimistic that the triumph is the reward that harvest the most corrupt and vile society elements.
In their assessment of the history and fate of the Latin American Nations, he extolled in the ideology of Simón Bolívar, whose work was one of the first systematic editors. He opposed the "panhispanista project" "Pan-Americanism" of American roots, and also extolled the work of conquistadors Spanish, founders of a community from which emerged the new republics.
These ideas irrigate all his production, and stand out with particular force in which is his masterpiece: Journal of my life (1929, 1933, 1991), wrote over a hectic biography of exiles and political struggles that led him to reside, playing diplomatic posts, in Holland, United States, Dominican Republic, France, Spain, Uruguay and Argentina, as well as public in your country positions , in the brief time periods in which it was possible to play them safe from political persecution.