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    Dominicana On Line - El Portal de la República Dominicana

    Fiction

    The first novel written by a Dominican is El Montero (1856) by Pedro Francisco Bonó, and was immediately followed by La fantasma de Higuey in 1857 by Francisco Angulo Guridi; the first published in Paris and the second in Havana. Still, some literary historians claim the first Dominican novel to be Los amores de los indios by Angulo Guridi, written in Havana in 1843. The Dominican novel has not had gained the vitality that other genres like poetry, the essay and the story have enjoyed, despite Enriquillo (1879), a novel by Manuel Jesús Galván, who was the great indigenous novelist of the New World.

    The novel as a genre arrived late to the Dominican Republic. It emerged under the influence of the French romanticism of Victor Hugo. As can be observed, the history of Dominican literature is the history of poetry, or rather, of poetic generations. Still, a great landmark in the Dominican novel was created by the novel Sólo cenizas hallarás (bolero) of Pedro Vergés, for which he won the Blasco Ibañez Prize and the Spanish Critics International Award in 1980.

    The Dominican novel has three important moments categorized by their typology and themes. The first is the "novela de la caña" (featuring themes of native peoples and the sugar industry), represented by Cañas y bueyes by Moscoso Puello, Over by Marrero Aristy and Jenjibre by Pérez Alfonseca. The next is the "novela bíblica" (the biblical novel) of Carlos Esteban Deive, Veloz Maggiolo and Ramón Emilio Reyes. The third is the "novela propagandistica" (the propaganda novel) such as Los enemigos de la tierra by Requena, Trementina, clerén y bongo and the "novela costumbrista" (folk novels) like La cacica by Rafael Damirón, Baní o Engracia y Antoñica by F. Gregorio Billini, La mañosa by Juan Bosch and the trilogy by García Godoy, composed of Rufinito, Guanuma and Alma dominicana.

    Among the most hallowed and internationally recognized current novelists is Marcio Veloz Maggiolo. Author of a dozen novels and a versatile writer, he has cultivated the short story, the historical-archaeological essay, the play and the novel. Together with Aída Cartagena Portalatín, he created the experimental novel, first with Los ángeles de hueso (1967) and then with Escalera para Electra (1970). Regardless of this reality, many literary critics still maintain that the great Dominican novel has not yet been written, despite the existence of novels such as La sangre by Tulio Manuela Cestero, Over by Ramón Marrero Aristy, La mañosa by Bosch, Biografía difusa de Sombra Castañeda by Veloz Maggiolo or La balada de Alfonsina Bairán by Andrés L. Mateo.

    Basilio Belliard











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