Today in the Americas, Enrique Amorim

enrique amorim

Enrique Amorim, author of rural Uruguay, was born today in 1900 (109 years ago) in Salto, Uruguay.

He is the author of numerous works of fiction, most of them composed on the rural Uruguayan pampas. He was twenty when he published his first work – 20 anos, a collection of poetry. He is best known for his three novels: La carreta (The Cart), El paisano Aguilar (The Compatriot, Aguilar), and El caballo y su sombra (The Horse and His Shadow). He also wrote short stories that dealt with what he knew best: immigration to Latin America. He was the son of a Portuguese man and Basque woman. The Oxford Book of Latin American Stories praises that he

was no crude practitioner of local color or of the regionalist variety of Spanish American fiction…[his stories] show that he was a subtle, sensitive writer, with the ability to temper and elevate a potentially melodramatic situation.

Jean Franco writes,

…he is the kind of novelist whose works need to be judged as a whole. When judged singly, the novels have good moments but appear defective in structure. Taken as a whole, they give an epic picture of the Uruguayan countryside, transformed by the immigrant industrialisation, torn by political strife, the home of both millionaires and poor labourers as well as of men descended from old pioneer stock and newcomers who scarcely speak Spanish. But through social change is an important subject, nature is still strong enough to influence men and their history.

Indeed, besides his works of fiction and poetry, Amorim is remembered for his joining the Communist Party of Uruguay in 1947. He was also instrumental in erecting a monument to Federico GarcĂ­a Lorca, the poet killed by Francisco Franco during the Spanish Civil War.

Amorim died in July of 1960.

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~ by Daniel on July 25, 2009.

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