Literature of the Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic can hardly be said to have had a literature of its own before the liberation from Spain in 1844. The lyricist Manuel María Valencia (1810-70) introduced the romance, followed by Félix María del Monte (1819-99), who also wrote plays. The novelist José Joaquín Pérez (1845–1900) is known among others. for the poetry he wrote while banished. One of the country’s great educators and female lyricists was Salomé Ureña de Henríquez (1850–97). Manuel de Jesús Galván created one of the literary main works of the novel Enriquillo (1878–82), about the events on the island of Hispaniola in the years 1502–33. In the novel Baní, o Engracia y Antoñita (1892) gave one of the Republic’s former presidents, Francisco Gregorio Billini, a vivid portrayal of the political and social conditions on the island. Around the turn of the century, Gastón Fernando Deligne made his mark on his psychological, philosophical and political poems. The “Modernista” movement did not take root in the Republic. The main representative was Osvaldo Bazil (1884-1946). Fabio Fiallo (1866-1942), who was a personal friend of Rubén Darío, was in fact a late romantic. One of the country’s foremost literary critics, Max Henríquez Ureña (1884-1946), wrote the history of the “modernist” movement, which he himself contributed to. One of its prose artists, Tulio Manuel Cestero, portrayed the dictator Ulises Heureux’s rule in 1882–89 in his novel La sangre(1914). Federico García Godoy is also known for his historical novels. Rufinito (1908).

Franklin Domínguez

European avant-garde literature from the post-World War I era gained early entry into the country, including through the “postumismo” direction, led by the poet Domingo Moreno Jiménez. Other significant interwar poets are Manuel del Cabral and Héctor Incháustegui Cabral. The lyricist Pedro Mir made his debut only after World War II. The novel Over (1939) by Ramón Marrero Aristy describes the conditions of the sugar cane plantations. Juan Bosch, a politician and author (former president), is considered one of the best short story writers in the country. He has also written a partially autobiographical novel, La mañosa (1936). Marcio Veloz Maggiolo, poet, playwright and short story writer, is also known for the novel De abril en adelante (1975). Also mentioned is Julia Álvarez (b. 1950) with short stories, poems and novels.

In 1943, a new group of poets emerged. by the Spanish lyricists V. Aleixandre and R. Alberti, who gathered around the journal La poesía sorprendida and had Franklin Mieses Burgos as the lead. This group later joined Aída Cartagena Portalín and Freddy Gatón Arce. Lyricist and short story writer René del Risco Bermúdez participated in the fight against dictator Trujillo. Of playwrights should be mentioned Manuel Rueda (b. 1921) and Franklin Domínguez (b. 1931). Pedro Henríquez Ureña (1884-1946), humanist and educator, is one of the foremost Spanish American essayists.

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