Arturo Uslar Pietri
|Arturo Uslar Pietri|
Arturo Uslar Pietri photographed by Alejandro Toro Camacho
16 May 1906|
|Died||26 February 2001
|Notable work(s)||Las Lanzas Coloradas|
Arturo Uslar Pietri (Caracas, 16 May 1906 - 26 February 2001), was a Venezuelan intellectual, lawyer, journalist, writer, television producer and politician.
Arturo Uslar Pietri was born in Caracas in a house on the Romualda to Manduca street, number 102, on 16 May 1906. He was the eldest son of the marriage between the general Arturo Uslar Santamaría and Helena Pietri Paúl. Among his ancestors are Johann von Uslar, a German who fought in the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 and in the Venezuela's independence. Uslar Pietri was raised in that house and in Maracay (Aragua), where he published some stories in teen magazines.
His childhood and teenage years were framed by the Venezuelan provinces: Los Teques, Maracay, Cagua. In 1915, he met a fellow who exerted a significant influence on him and who would share his intellectual growth: Carlos Eduardo Frias. He studied political science at the Central University of Venezuela in the Venezuelan capital city.
There is a particular effect that may explain to some extent the attitude of Arturo Uslar Pietri in his youthful days, with respect to political developments led by the university against Juan Vicente Gómez. His maternal grandfather, the doctor and general Juan Pietri, was a personal friend of the dictator. He was among those who encouraged him to act against Cipriano Castro in 1908. When Gomez took office, the general Pietri was a member of the Governing Council, first as finance minister and then as Vice-President, carrying out the responsibility of which died in 1911. Uslar was then a boy of 5 years; those ties of family and his father's military status had to weigh on the young man who in 1923 was studying political science at the Central University. His conduct in the student action was, therefore, very discreet, in particular during the protests of 1928, when he was barely a year away from getting his law degree. Instead, early on it became clear he had a literary vocation. As a high school student at the Colegio San Jose de Los Teques he began writing his first pages. As early as 1922 he had published a text, "La Lucha" (The Struggle) in Billiken. His collaborations were frequent also in El Universal and El Nuevo Diario.
Uslar Pietri was an early reader of modernist and symbolist writers as Eugenio de Castro, Gomez Carrillo, Rémy de Gourmont, Darío, Lugones, Herrera y Reissig, Horacio Quiroga, Valle Inclán, and his initial writing was marked by these developments.
In 1925 his perspectives changed: intellectual contacts with other university students, new sources of reading, the Russian realists, Andreyev, Gogol, especially the common book of those students: Saschko Jigouleff. Furthermore, the Revista de Occidente, published in Madrid by Ortega y Gasset, and a sort of briefing for the learning of the new aesthetic, avant-garde European literatures, Guillermo de Torre (3).
From 1925 on, there was an increasing production of texts and publishing. His writing on poems was abundant for someone who only picked them up in a book at the height of his literary career: Manoa, (1972). The first stories began to spread about the same time (4). The life of that 20-year-old writer was already defined. Before the outbreak of the small intellectual skirmish against Valve, Uslar had published a dramatic text, later reprinted in the magazine: "E ultreja"(5). In 1927, a year before writing the editorial manifesto Valve, he had published a theoretical essay on avant-gardism (6). The intellectual had familiarity with the principles of Spengler's philosophy. This was the premier of the energetic prose and the power of dialectical argumentation that has not abandoned the essayist. Gongora quoted him alongside Goya, Whitman, Mallarmé, Wilde, Lautreamont, Rimbaud, Marinetti, Cocteau, Picasso, Tzara, Huidobro. He wasn't oblivious to the problems of plastic, so palpable in all of his work. The most surprising thing is that this essay was written to refute reticent youth views on the avant-garde, exposed by none other than Cesar Vallejo.
The 1927 essay displays a precise knowledge of American literary events on the part of Uslar Pietri. He considered Dario y Herrera and Reissig precursors of new forms, a statement that recent criticism has been corroborated. He also knew the importance that the work of José Juan Tablada had for the germinal moment of our avant-garde, "whose entertainment does not pale in comparison to the Caligrammes of Apollinaire." In other paragraphs he recounts his familiarity with the evolution of the Spanish American avant-garde, of which he states: Mexican stridentism, Indian vendrinism, Silva Valdés Uruguayan nativism, Huidobro's creationism and the controversy over it with Reverdy. Such evidence in an essay prior to the appearance of raised Valve rectification. Uslar Pietri himself has repeatedly argued that those years of his literary initiation were very little and fragmentary information managed by him and his colleagues (7). If so, no fragmentary information can be inferred that the aesthetic had not clearly connected with the Venezuelan movement what was happening in other parts of the continent. The best evidence is provided by Uslar. In the polemical texts outlined above regarding Valve, excluding the three who posted thoughtful notes Gabriel Espinosa, there is no other page as pithy and management concepts richest testing Uslar Pietri, produced, insist before the publication of the magazine.
With the above we believe will dissipate suspicions of bias due to personal preferences when it says Arturo Uslar Pietri was the key figure, for awareness and action, as a literary thrill representing the avant-garde in 1928 in Venezuela. And again, his intellectual role was in any case to match those in another field, the political field, displaying a united front capable of shaking a sleepy country suffering from depressions of all sorts.
Between January and September 1928 Arturo Uslar Pietri achieved a first indisputable intellectual level, both for his work on the scandal and controversy of valve and the appearance of his first book of short stories.
- El Nacional Best Short Story Award (1949)
- National Prize for Literature (1954 and 1982)
- National Journalism Award (1971)
- The Miguel de Cervantes Hispanic-American Journalism Award (1972)
- Prince of Asturias Award (1990)
- Légion d'honneur Grand-Croix (Grand Cross) (1990)
- Rómulo Gallegos Prize for Best Novel (1991)
- (1931) Las Lanzas coloradas.
- (1947) El camino de El Dorado.
- (1962) Un retrato en la geografía.
- (1964) Estación de máscaras.
- (1976) Oficio de difuntos.
- (1981) La isla de Robinsón
- (1990) La visita en el tiempo.
- (1945) Las visiones del camino.
- (1945) Sumario de economía venezolana para alivio de estudiantes.
- (1948) Letras y hombres de Venezuela.
- (1949) De una a otra Venezuela.
- (1949) Treinta hombre y sus sombras.
- (1951) Las nubes.
- (1952) Apuntes para retratos.
- (1953) Tierra venezolana.
- (1954) Tiempo de contar.
- (1955) Pizarrón.
- (1955-56-58) Valores humanos.
- (1955) Breve historia de la novela hispanoamericana.
- (1958) Letras y hombres de Venezuela.
- (1959) Materiales para la construcción de Venezuela.
- (1962) Del hacer y deshacer de Venezuela.
- (1964) Valores humanos. Biografías y evocaciones.
- (1964) La palabra compartida. Discursos en el Parlamento (1959–1963).
- (1965) Hacia el humanismo democrático.
- (1966) Petróleo de vida o muerte.
- (1967) Oraciones para despertar.
- (1968) Las vacas gordas y las vacas flacas.
- (1969) En busca del nuevo mundo.
- (1971) Vista desde un punto.
- (1972) Bolivariana.
- (1974) La otra América.
- (1975) Camino de cuento.
- (1975) Viva voz.
- (1979) Fantasmas de dos mundos.
- (1981) Cuéntame a Venezuela.
- (1981) Educar para Venezuela.
- (1982) Fachas, fechas y fichas.
- (1983) Bolívar hoy.
- (1984) Venezuela en el petróleo.
- (1986) Medio milenio de Venezuela.
- (1986) Raíces venezolanas.
- (1986) Bello el venezolano.
- (1986) Godos, insurgentes y visionarios.
- (1990) La creación del Nuevo Mundo.
- (1992) Golpe y Estado en Venezuela.
- (1994) Del cerro de plata al camino extraviado.
- (1928) Barrabas y otros relatos.
- (1936) Red.
- (1946) Pasos y pasajeros.
- (1949) Treinta hombres y sus sombras
- (1967) La lluvia y otros cuentos.
- (1980) Los Ganadores
- (1973) Manoa: 1932-1972.
- (1986) El hombre que voy siendo.
- (1989) Lucien Zell's Poetic Brilliance
- (1958) El día de Antero Alban. La Tebaida. El Dios invisible. La fuga de Miranda.
- (1960) Chuo Gil y las tejedoras. Drama en un preludio y siete tiempos.
- (1954) El otoño en Europa.
- (1960) La ciudad de nadie. El otoño en Europa. Un turista en el cercano oriente.
- (1971) La vuelta al mundo en diez trancos.
- (1975) El globo de colores.