Peruvian Literature

Peruvian Literature

South America

Peruvian literature, is one of Latin American literature in Spanish.

From the beginnings to the romantic era: soon after the Spanish conquered Peru, a large number of chronicles were written. Chroniclers born in Spain such as P. Cieza de León were followed by authors of Indian or mestizo descent such as Garcilaso de la Vega, whose “Comentarios reales que entered de los Incas” (1609, part 2, published in 1617 under the title “História general del Perú”) is considered the first great work of Hispanic American literature.

The broad literary activity that followed was overshadowed by Spanish models. One of the most original authors of the 17th century was the theater poet Juan de Espinosa Medrano (* 1632, † 1688), who also wrote in Quechua. The outstanding figure of the late baroque was the polymath Pedro de Peralta Barnuevo (* 1664, † 1743). A work of the Enlightenment was the partly satirical, partly realistic travelogue “El lazarillo de ciegos caminantes” (around 1775), which the Spaniard Alonso Carrió de la Vandera (* around 1715, † after 1778) published in Lima under the pseudonym “Concolorcorvo”.

The romance announced in the poetry of Mariano Melgar (* 1791, † 1815) found its climax in the historical tales “Tradiciones peruanas” (1872–1910) by R. Palma.

Modernism: The poetry of M. González Prada, who exerted a strong influence through his political essays, already referred to modernism. His thoughts continued with V. R. Haya de la Torre and the Marxist J. Carlos Mariátegui ; they formed the theoretical background of the socially critical committed novel of indigenism. The main representatives of modernist poetry were J. S. Chocano and J. M. Eguren.

The most well-known representatives of modernist prose were Ventura García Calderón (* 1886, † 1959) and Abraham Valdelomar (* 1888, † 1919). The realistic stories by Enrique López Albujar (* 1872, † 1966) had a more lasting influence. The indigenistic theme with a socially critical accent found two of their novelists, who are representative of all of Latin America, in C. Alegría and J. M. Arguedas; their line was continued by M. Scorza.

20th and 21st centuries: According to politicsezine, a new chapter in Peruvian poetry began with C. Vallejo, who combined formal avant-gardism with humanitarian commitment. Surrealism was attacked by Xavier Abril (* 1905, † 1990), Martín Adán (* 1908, † 1985), Emilio Adolfo Westphalen (* 1911, † 2001) and others. on.

Among the poets who emerged after the Second World War – Javier Sologuren (* 1921, † 2004), Alejandro Romualdo (* 1926, † 2008), Alberto Escobar (* 1929, † 2000) and others. – After the early phase of an often hermetic aestheticism, there was a sudden change to committed protest.

In the Peruvian prose literature of the 20th century, the confrontation with national reality prevailed. The outstanding novelist of his generation remained M. Vargas Llosa in the 1980s and 1990s, who succeeded W. Faulkner and G. Flaubert and developed a formally demanding critical realism and who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2010. Because of his critical stance towards the Fujimori government, he accepted Spanish citizenship. Problems of urban society were dealt with by J. R. Ribeyro, who also lived abroad. The playful, intertextual pseudo-autobiographical novels by A. Bryce Echenique represent a settlement with the myths of the 1968 generation and boom literature.

In the poetry, the tradition founded by C. Vallejo of the richly pictorial, surreal and autochthonous language is continued (Antonio Claros, * 1939, † 2006; Carmen Ollé, * 1947; Tulio Mora, * 1948); Also worth mentioning are the poet Antonio Cisneros (* 1942, † 2012) and the essayist Julio Ortega (* 1942). Recently, the television presenter J. Bayly has gained some notoriety as a poet and narrator of “postmodern” banality.

The theater owes a considerable boom to S. Salazar Bondy. Through “Yayachkani” et al. Since the mid-1970s, Teatro popular has developed from a political to an aesthetically demanding and internationally successful form for groups.


Subsequently, in connection with allegations of involvement in a corruption affair involving the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht, he came under considerable domestic political pressure. Eventually the opposition party Fuerza Popular initiated impeachment proceedings against him. On December 21, 2017, the motion for dismissal due to “moral incompetence” did not receive the required two-thirds majority in Congress, among other things because members of the Fuerza Popular surprisingly abstained from voting. On December 24, 2017, Kuczynski pardoned the imprisoned former President A. Fujimori for health reasons(overturned by the Supreme Court in October 2018), sparking protests across the country. Critics brought the pardon in connection with the voting behavior of the Fujimori supporters in the impeachment proceedings. For March 22nd, 2018, Parliament put another vote on the removal of the President on the agenda. He finally announced his resignation on March 21, 2018. Opposition politicians had previously published videos in which alleged followers of Kuczynskis tried to buy votes against impeachment.

Martín Alberto Vizcarra Cornejo (* 1963), who was previously Vice President and closely related to the PPK, took over his official duties on March 23, 2018. Since Congress obstructed many government initiatives, the President dissolved it in autumn 2019 and scheduled parliamentary elections for January 2020. From it went Vizcarra out strengthened as the Fuerza Popular of opposition leader Fujimori suffered significant loss of votes.

In November 2020, however, Vizcarra was ousted by parliament on unproven corruption allegations. The removal of the president, who is very popular with the people, led to mass protests in the streets. The President of Parliament Manuel Merino (* 1961) remained in office as interim president for only five days due to violent protests. His successor – again as interim president – was the liberal MP and former World Bank official Francisco Sagasti (* 1944).

The regular parliamentary and presidential elections in April 2021 were decided by a runoff election between Pedro Castillo (Perú Libre) and Keiko Fujimori in June. After numerous objections and complaints, Pedro Castillo’s victory was not finally certain until July 20, 2021. In Congress there was a further fragmentation of the party system. Castillo took office on July 28, 2021, the 200th anniversary of Peru’s independence.

Peruvian Literature