Viriato Díaz Pérez
|Viriato Díaz Pérez|
|Born||Viriato Díaz Pérez
|Died||August 25th, 1958
|Known for||Literature, teaching|
Viriato Díaz Pérez was of the most important teachers that Paraguay had in almost half a century.
Childhood and Youth
Viriato was born in Madrid in 1875. He came from a lineage of intellectual people. He was son of Nicolás Díaz Pérez, renowned writer and author of the Diccionario Biográfico y Bibliográfico de Extremeños Ilustres (Biographic and Bibliographic Dictionary of Illustrious People of Extremadura); Emilia Martín de la Herrería, also a writer.
He got his academic degree of Doctor in Philosophy and Letters in the Central University of Madrid in 1900. He was student of many important teachers, such as Menéndez y Pelayo, Giner de los Ríos, Moraita y Cordera.
Career in Madrid
He left in his homeland a great amount of scientific and literary accomplishments. He published since 1895, until he came to Paraguay, many articles and essays of extreme profundity, dedicated to subjects of his specialty, among them are:
- La India
- Some data about the Ancient Hinda Literature *Nature and Function of the rhythmical language, thesis presented in the Philosophy and Letters Faculty of the University of Madrid.
- About Muslim mysticism
- Supernaturismo – Karma
- The root “an” and its meanings, thesis presented to the Congress of Orientalistas, in Amsterdam.
In 1904, published in Madrid, in the Latin-American Union his work “Movimiento Intelectual en el Paraguay” (Intellectual Movement in Paraguay), in which he makes mention of the most important personalities of the country.
Since young age he was a collaborator in Hispanic magazines, along with other writers of the generation of 98.
In 1906, encouraged by the Paraguayan politician and writer Hérib Campos Cervera, who visited him in Spain, he decides to travel to Paraguay.
He liked the country and stayed and in a land that he would get to love as his own. He married Leticia Godoi Rivarola, daughter of the renowned politician and benefactor Juan Silvano Godoi, and had two sons with her, Fernán and Rodrigo. Rodrigo became a poet.
The museum and library that carries the name of Juan Silvano Godoi became the favorite refuge of Viriato, always devoted to his studies.
He dedicated his life to teaching and the intellectual life, and was teacher of hundreds of Paraguayans that received his influence.
He was appointed Chief of the National Archive, General Director of the Library and Museum of Fine Arts, Member of the Limits Commission with Bolivia. Since 1902 he was Consul of Paraguay in Spain.
Career in Paraguay
Participation in culture
In 1907, he organized the literary circle “La Colmena” that gathered together an entire group of first class intellectuals, such as: Rafael Barret, Juan E. O'Leary, Manuel Domínguez, Arsenio López Decoud, Modesto Guggiari, Juan Silvano Godoy, Carlos R. Centurión, Fulgencio R. Moreno, Ricardo Brugada (son), Juan Casabianca, Ignacio A. Pane, Ramón V. Caballero and others.
In 1908, he was a conspicuous collaborator in conferences and almost every literary publishing from the time. Since he arrived to Paraguay, the name Viriato was never estranged from the cultural activity in Asunción.
Since that year to the second decade of the century, his prodigious literary publications were amazing. He was renowned as an important part of the Paraguayan intellectuality. He was known even in foreign circles and gained fame as a wise man.
As the Paraguayan delegate to the Congreso de Bibliografía e Hisoria (Congress of Bibliography and History) in 1916 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, he presented his work “Polibiblión Paraguayo”, a guide of bibliographic indications about Paraguay.
He was editor in chief of the important Magazine of the Paraguayan Institute.
In 1913, he created the Revista Paraguaya (Paraguayan Magazine)
In 1924, he wrote the official inform about “La cultura y escultura en el Paraguay” (The culture and sculpture in Paraguay), presented to the League of Nations.
In 1925, he collaborated with the Revista del Paraguay (Magazine of Paraguay), directed by the investigator and poet Enrique Parodi.
He organized the Segundo Congreso Internacional de Historia y Geografía de América (2nd International Congress of History and Geography of America), in Asunción on October 12, 1926.
In 1930, he published in “La Asunción” a magnificent study called “Las comunidades peninsulares en su relación con los levantamientos comuneros americanos y en especial con la Revolución Comunera del Paraguay” (The peninsular communities in their relation with the raising of the American Comuneros and especially with the Revolución in Paraguay).
In 1948, he collaborated with his monograph “La literature en el Paraguay” (The literature in Paraguay) to integrate the great Universal History of Literature, of Prapoline, encyclopedia of XIII volumes. Díaz Pérez was one of the most important figures in the complex time of 1900 in Paraguay.
He offered more than three hundred conferences.
He gave the classes for more than forty years in the most known educational institutions. His humanist culture, his profound knowledge and inexhaustible intellectual activity made him deserving of the respect of students and pairs.
He died in Asunción, on August 25, 1958.
- Cien vidas paraguayas. Carlos Zubizarreta
- Historia de las letras paraguayas. Carlos R. Centurión