Jorge Ricardo Isaacs Criticism - Essay

Donald McGrady (essay date 1972)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "Isaacs' Poetry," in Jorge Isaacs, Twayne Publishers, Inc., 1972, pp. 33-58.

[In the following excerpt, McGrady offers a survey of Isaacs's poetry.]

I Introduction

Jorge Isaacs' poetry is much inferior to the high quality of his novel María, but is of sufficient merit to place him among Colombia's secondary poets. His poetry is, above all, a faithful reflection of his life. Precisely herein resides its chief importance: it throws additional light on the inward thoughts of the man who wrote Maria. For example, Isaacs' lyrical verses disclose his deep-rooted sensuality—a quality shared by the male...

(The entire section is 10277 words.)

Carol Beane (essay date 1984)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "Black Character: Toward a Dialectical Presentation in Three South American Novels," in Voices from Under: Black Narrative in Latin America and the Caribbean, edited by William Luis, Greenwood Press, 1984, pp. 181-200.

[In the following excerpt, Beane discusses the African characters in Isaacs's Maria.]

Fiction in which Blacks and Mulattoes are main characters "deals not with eternal essences or ideal forms of life, but with life lived in particular conditions."1 Black characters and black character—a way of being—in Hispanic-American fiction reflect traits drawn from a social reality. Any discussion of black characters in literature must bear in...

(The entire section is 3570 words.)

Sharon Magnarelli (essay date 1985)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "The Love Story: Reading the Writing in Jorge Isaacs's María," in The Lost Rib: Female Characters in the Spanish-American Novel, Bucknell University Press, 1985, pp. 19-37.

[In the following excerpt, Magnarelli offers a feminist reading of Isaacs's María and analyzes the representation of the novel's title character.] Published in 1867 by Jorge Isaacs (Colombia, 1837-95), Mara is one of the earliest Spanish-American novels still widely read today. Generally relished by adolescents, María has been successively highly esteemed and discredited because of its maudlin romanticism. Numerous critics have demonstrated its close affiliation...

(The entire section is 10970 words.)

Raymond L. Williams (essay date 1986)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "The Problem of Unity in Fiction: Narrator and Self in María," in MLN, Vol. 101, No. 2, March, 1986, pp. 342-53.

[In the following essay, Williams surveys earlier criticism of Isaacs's María and discusses narrative unity and fragmentation in the novel.]

The assumptions underlying critical thought on Jorge Isaacs' classic novel María (1867) have been quite traditional. During much of the twentieth century studies were limited to the sources of the book, comparisons or influences of European models or thematic and biographical investigations.1 A moribund line of thought maintained that its numerous deviations from the...

(The entire section is 5110 words.)

Sylvia Molloy (essay date 1991)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "Childhood and Exile: The Cuban Paradise of the Countess of Merlin," in At Face Value: Autobiographical Writing in Spanish America, Cambridge University Press, 1991, pp. 79-96.

[In the following excerpt, Molloy shows how Isaacs romanticizes the family in María.]

Successive generations of readers have hailed Jorge Isaacs' novel as one of the highlights—perhaps the most brilliant—of nineteenth-century Spanish American fiction. Critics unanimously agree: María, they believe, arrived in a most timely way to legitimate a specific literary discourse, that of Romanticism. Most of those critics, however, have stopped short at this conclusion,...

(The entire section is 1214 words.)

John Rosenberg (essay date 1994)

(Nineteenth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: "From Sentimentalism to Romanticism: Rereading María" in The Latin American Literary Review, Vol. XXII, No. 43, January-June, 1994, pp. 5-18.

[In the following essay, Rosenberg discusses the narrative structure of Isaacs's María.]

Jorge Isaacs's María is frequently found in the same category as Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac: it is a novel to be read by the young and naive not yet disillusioned by the skepticism of experience. The fainting spells and tears in the tale of tragic and innocent love move the young reader after the model of Paolo and Francesca, all the while irritating cynics by evoking a past that in their maturity they...

(The entire section is 7058 words.)