Félix Rubén Garc Sarmiento Additional Biography


(Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

Félix Rubén García Sarmiento, the patriarch of Spanish-American modernistic poetry, was born in a Nicaraguan village and started to write poetry when he was a boy. He published his first verses at the age of fourteen, using the euphonic pseudonym of Rubén Darío (dah-REE-oh), by which he came to be known.{$S[A]Sarmiento, Félix Rubén García;Darío, Rubén}

Darío’s parents were not much concerned with their son; an uncle reared the boy and gave him the opportunity for the limited formal education he received at the Institute of León, Nicaragua. In 1881 Darío traveled to El Salvador, and in 1886 he traveled to Chile. There he discovered the French Parnassian movement, which sought to express formal and descriptive splendor in the poem; his books of this period, Abrojos and Rimas, were, however, still influenced by the neoclassicism and the Romanticism that, unlike in Europe, where one supplanted the other, coexisted in Spanish America.

The influence of the Parnassians and the Symbolists, both of which movements looked for secret “correspondences” in the world, led Darío to change his style. This was first evident in 1888 in the collection of poetry titled Azul, a book notable more for its prose than for its poetry. This small work established Darío’s position in the Spanish-speaking world because of the eulogistic pages written about it by the Spanish critic Juan Valera in his Cartas...

(The entire section is 572 words.)