Felisberto Hernández

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Felisberto Hernandez (October 20, 1902 – January 13, 1964) was an Uruguayan writer.


Hernández was born in Montevideo, Uruguay. His father was from Tenerife (Canary Island). He was a talented self-taught pianist who earned a living playing in the silent-screen theaters and cafés of Uruguay.

Short stories[edit]

What is interesting in Hernández’s fiction is the magic by-product of his anonymous first-person tales whose obsessive and deranged narrators have knocked down the wall between their minds and the empirical world and injected their obsessions into everyday life. He often used the events surrounding him as fodder for his fiction.

He is considered to be the forefather of fabulism, predating writers such as Gabriel García Márquez, Italo Calvino and Julio Cortázar, who all note Hernández as a major influence.[citation needed]

His fiction often attempts to exploit the secret vitality contained in inanimate objects.

Some of his most famous stories are: "The Balcony," "My First Concert," and "Daisy Dolls."

Selected works translated into English[edit]

  • Piano Stories, translated by Luis Harss, Marsilio Publishers, 1993
  • Lands of Memory, translated by Esther Allen, New Directions Press, 2002


Hernández' life and work was the subject of the short film Unmistaken Hands: Ex Voto F.H by the animation filmmakers the Quay Brothers. The short was inspired in particular by the Hernández short stories "The Balcony" and "The Flooded House" and is available to view as part of the British Film Institute's Blu-ray collection of the Quays films.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]