He was a member of the Guayaquil Group of the s, who used social realism in their writings. He used magical realism in his masterpiece Siete lunas y siete serpientes , which was translated into English as Seven Serpents and Seven Moons by Gregory Rabassa in Aguilera Malta was born on May 24, in Guayaquil, Ecuador. His father was a businessman who owned factories and farms. Aguilera Malta spent much of his childhood on his family's farm on an island in the Gulf of Guayaquil.
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Born: Guayaquil, Ecuador, 24 May, Family: Married 1 a Panamanian in divorced , two daughters; 2 Mexican writer and diplomat Velia Marquez Inclan in , three children.
Career: Writer, playwright, journalist, director of the Museo Nacional and Assistant Secretary of Education; professor of literature at the Rocafuerte Institute; printer; manufacturer of candy; worked at the Pan American Union in Washington, D. Died: Mexico City, 29 December, ; suffered from diabetes and blindness, fell in his home sustaining a head injury and did not recover consciousness.
Espana leal: Tragedia en un prologo y tres actos, el ultimo dividido en tres cuadros. Sangre azul three-act. Dientes blancos. Don Goyo. La caballeresa del sol: El gran amor de Bolivar. Cary Davis, Hechos y leyendas de nuestra America : Relatos hispanoamericanos short story.
Siete lunas y siete serpientes. El secuestro del general. Earle, illustrated by George Bartko, Demetrio Aguilera Malta championed the Ecuadorian working poor, illustrating the injustices they endured in his social realist novels with his passionate writing.
One of the earliest writers to use elements of magic realism, he intersected quotidian activities with supernatural elements. Aguilera Malta was an adventurer and lived a nomadic existence, which is reflected directly in his short stories, novels, and plays. Much of his writing is culturally specific to Ecuador and to the region of Guayaquil. Yet, he is able to transcend national boundaries and utilize his literary works to exemplify social injustice.
His first work published in conjunction with two other young Ecuadorian coastal writers, Enrique Gil Gilbert and Joaquin Gallegos Lara is a collection of twenty-four short stories entitled Los que se van [Those Who Got Away]. This work initiated a new trend and era in Ecuadorian and Spanish American literature, combining social realism with psychoanalysis. The language is crude and violent, and makes use of local slang, portraying the hardships and physical violence the cholos mixed blooded or mestizos endured.
Don Goyo and La isla virgen [The Virgin Island] are two early works dealing with life of the coastal Ecuadorian cholos, living at the mouth of the Guayas River, the area where the author grew up and which heavily influenced his formation and writing. Don Goyo depicts the cholo in his native or natural environment but at the same time imbues it with magical qualities.
He included such techniques as talking trees and axes that think, listen and converse as examples of his early usage as an initiator of magic realism. In La isla virgen, Don Nestor is juxtaposed with Don Goyo from the preceding novel, by the fact that he exploits nature. In response to the occupation of the Canal Zone by the U.
Canal Zone tackles the topic of racial discrimination by the United States against the black workers building the canal. After publication of this work, Aguilera Malta was unable to enter the United States for several years. One of his best known novels, La isla virgen, dramatized the life of the cholos, highlighting their customs, folklore, and the influence nature had on their culture through the use of techniques gleaned from his work in theatre and movies.
After moving to Mexico in , he returned to the novel and began a series of historical biographical novels under the rubric of Historias americanos. These works present no new narrative techniques and treat the topics in a traditional manner. Siete lunas y siete serpientes marks a return to the region of the Guayas River; with its cholos and island milieu, he included elements of magic realism.
Regionalism becomes allegory here in the form of good versus evil. The depiction of evil is seen in the characters represented by traditional Latin American figures of power such as the military, politicians, the oligarchy, the institution of the church. The first play staged by Aguilera Malta was a propaganda piece titled Espana leal,produced shortly after his return from the Spanish Civil War.
Lazaro is a tragedy about a schoolteacher who was forced to abandon the classroom because of lack of funding and how he wastes his time trying to survive economically. Dientes blancos White Teeth denounces the racial discrimination he witnessed as a reporter in Panama and the Canal Zone. The same theme appears in Infierno Negro [Black Hell].
Perhaps his best-known play, as it is his most anthologized, is El tigre. The play is based on an incident in his novel La isla virgen. It fuses an explicit use of symbols while at the same time rejecting any attempt to reconstruct external reality. It deals with the primitive life of a group of cane cutters on the Guayas River, particularly one unfortunate worker, Aguayo, fixated on being eaten by a jaguar. However, one of his later novels, Siete lunas y siete serpientes, is particularly important as it recuperates his earlier techniques and completes the circle returning to his own literary roots.
Demetrio Aguilera Malta
Born: Guayaquil, Ecuador, 24 May, Family: Married 1 a Panamanian in divorced , two daughters; 2 Mexican writer and diplomat Velia Marquez Inclan in , three children. Career: Writer, playwright, journalist, director of the Museo Nacional and Assistant Secretary of Education; professor of literature at the Rocafuerte Institute; printer; manufacturer of candy; worked at the Pan American Union in Washington, D. Died: Mexico City, 29 December, ; suffered from diabetes and blindness, fell in his home sustaining a head injury and did not recover consciousness. Espana leal: Tragedia en un prologo y tres actos, el ultimo dividido en tres cuadros. Sangre azul three-act. Dientes blancos.
AGUILERA MALTA, Demetrio (LITERATURE)