Arturo Uslar Pietri

Arturo Uslar Pietri ( born May 16, 1906 in Caracas, † February 26, 2001 ) was a Venezuelan writer, diplomat and politician. Uslar Pietri is considered an important representative of contemporary Latin American literature. He is a descendent of the German Johann von Uslar, who fought in the wars of independence, Simón Bolívar on the page.

Life and work

Arturo Uslar Pietri, who came from a traditional military family, grew up during the dictatorship of Juan Vicente Gómez in Venezuela. In his youth he came up with European and Russian literature in touch. From his pen the editorial of the magazine válvula ( January 1928 ), which appeared shortly before degenerating into massive political protest Semana de Estudiante comes. The text contains a literary program for the renewal of the deadlocked in the opinion of the author Creole literature. The end of 1928 published Uslar Pietri his first collection of short stories: Barrabas and other stories in which he implemented the propagated changes.

His most famous work is Las lanzas coloradas ( The red lances ) that both the motives of struggling under the leadership of Simón Bolívar's political freedom Creole upper class and the order of individual freedom under the direction Boves ' fighting slaves in the wars of independence in the early 18th century developed. This novel he wrote in Paris, published it in 1931 in Madrid. In 1932, a German and a French translation, a development that paved the way for an international recognition. 1934 returned Uslar Pietri, who was a diplomat in Paris since 1929, to his home. When the dictator died in December 1935, committed Uslar Pietri in journalism, received important posts in the government and in 1939 was the youngest minister of education in Venezuelan history. As Secretary to the President and Secretary of the Interior, he was targeted by the Acción Democrática party, the Isaías Medina Angarita the incumbent president crashed in 1945.

From 1945 to 1950 Uslar Pietri lived in exile in New York. As a guest professor of literature, he published the famous essay El criollo en la literatura, where the term " realismo mágico " falls the first time. During this time, his novel El Camino de El Dorado (1947 ), published in German in 1966 under the title of smoke over El Dorado, which dealt with the search for the imaginary kingdom of El Dorado and the biography of Lope de Aguirre was born. In 1949 he published after a long hiatus (the last short stories were titled Red (power ) appeared in 1936 ), the collection Treinta hombres y sus sombras, which, as the title suggests, the dark side of human illuminates. In this category the analysis of magic, strangeness and unconscious includes the plays listed 1957-1960 El Día de Antero Albán, La Tebaida, El Dios Invisible, La fuga de Miranda and Chuo Gil y las Tejedoras.

In the unfinished trilogy El laberinto de fortuna he addressed the political development of the country. The title Un retrato en la geografía (1962) and La estonia máscaras (1964 ) can already guess what the topic is the core of two novels: The question of the Venezuelan identity, which, from the geography, history and the social roles the masks must be crystallized. His presidential candidacy in 1963 was not a success, which might be a reason that the trilogy was never completed.

As a senator, he designed with the political landscape of his homeland in the 1960s. At the same time he used television as an educational medium: In the broadcast Valores Humanos, he presented the most prominent figures from science and history that had shaped the development of his country's crucial. Was published in 1976 the novel with the ambiguous title in Spanish Oficio de difuntos ( requiem or craft of the Dead), a reacted in fiction biography of the dictator Juan Vicente Gómez, whom he had known personally. The resonance in Venezuela on this work was rather subdued. In 1980 he published La Isla de Robinson, a novel about Bolívar 's tutor, followed in 1990 La Visita en el Tiempo, which deals with the life of the Lepantosiegers Don Juan de Austria. It was not until the late 1970s were given Uslar Pietri official literary honors, the coronation was the Prince of Asturias Award (1990) and in 1991 awarded in Venezuela Rómulo Gallegos - Prize.

Politically, considered the author who has published still about 70 short stories and essays in addition to his novels, 4000, as a persona non grata. Even in 1999, Uslar Pietri said engaged in the campaign, but in vain, from the presidential candidates Salas Römer and against Hugo Chávez. On 26 February 2001 Arturo Uslar Pietri died a reputation to have been the " conscience of the nation ".


  • Barrabás y otros Relatos, 1928
  • Las lanzas coloradas, 1931 ( German GH New Dorff: The red lances, 1932)
  • Red, 1936
  • Oficio de difuntos, 1976
  • La Isla de Robinson
  • La visita en el tiempo, 1990
  • El Camino de El Dorado 1947 ( German Maria Bamberg: Smoke over El Dorado, 1966)
  • Un retrato en la geografía, 1962
  • La estonia máscaras, 1964
  • Pasos y pasajeros, 1966
  • Los ganadores, 1980
  • The wolf boy. in 26 stories from Venezuela. Hg Carlos Rincón. Explorations ( book series ). Verlag Volk und Welt, Berlin 1981, 1983