Rufino Blanco Fombona

Rufino Blanco Fombona

[blahng-kaw-fawm-baw-nah]
Blanco Fombona, Rufino, 1874-1944, Venezuelan poet, essayist, and novelist, one of the leaders of modernismo. Active in Venezuelan political affairs, he was several times imprisoned. He lived in exile in France and Spain for a quarter of a century and contributed much toward spreading the knowledge of Spanish American literature abroad. A prolific writer, Blanco Fombona satirized politicians, the clergy, and Yankee imperialism. His poems, such as the collection Cantos de la prisión y del destierro [songs of prison and exile] (1911), are superior to his novels. The novels include El hombre de hierro [the man of iron] (1905) and El hombre de oro (1916, tr., Man of Gold, 1920). Blanco Fombona was most distinguished in the field of the essay. Well known are "La evolución política y social de Hispanomérica" (1911) and "El modernismo y los poetas modernistas" (1929).
Eduardo Blanco (c1840-1903), Venezuelan writer and politician, was aide-de-camp to independence General José Antonio Páez. His main work is Venezuela heroica (1881) a classic romantic view of history as an epic. Venezuela heroica is structured in five vignettes that depict the main battles for independence and its heroes. It was from General Páez himself that Blanco heard the stories of the Battle at Carabobo during an encounter with Marshal Juan Crisóstomo Falcón to end the Federal War (1859-1863) neaby the site of the battle. Páez was so moved from his memories of youth, the anecdote goes, that he could not stop telling his aide the details of the battle. It was Falcón who then told Blanco "you are listening the Iliad from the very lips of Achilles". Blanco is also the author of Zárate (1882), a historical novel that attempts to make sense of national reality; Zárate marks the beginning of the "criollista" movement in Venezuelan literature. Eduado Blanco was minister of foreign affairs for the government of Cipriano Castro (1899-1908)). He is an uncle of Rufino Blanco-Fombona and great-great-grandfather of María Corina Machado, founder of Súmate, a human rights movement.

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