Ondertexts
Edgardo Rivera Martínez
Search

Edgardo Rivera Martínez

Edgardo Rivera Martínez Edgardo Rivera Martínez[1†]

Edgardo Rivera Martínez (1933-2018) was a celebrated Peruvian writer known for "Ángel de Ocongate" (1986) and "País de Jauja" (1993), hailed as a masterpiece. His childhood in Jauja inspired his works. He studied literature at Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos and abroad on scholarship. A revered professor, he taught at Universidad Nacional del Centro and San Marcos, translated works, and was a member of the Peruvian Academy of Language. "País de Jauja" was acclaimed, selling out its first edition, earning him the National Culture Prize in 2013[1†][2†].

Early Years and Education

Edgardo Rivera Martínez was born in 1933 in Jauja, a city in central Peru[2†]. He was born into a provincial, middle-class family, which provided him with a stimulating family library[2†]. His mother also cultivated in him a love for classical music[2†].

As a child, Rivera Martínez was well-acquainted with the local culture of Andean campesinos, especially in terms of the myths, music, and dances from his area of the Peruvian Central Andes[2†]. At the same time, Jauja was a destination for tuberculosis patients from Lima and Europe until the early 1950s due to its temperate climate[2†]. This resulted in the formation of a cultured society the writer experienced first-hand[2†].

Rivera Martínez pursued higher education at the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, specializing in literature[2†]. His academic journey also took him to the University of Paris and the University of Perugia, thanks to a scholarship[2†]. Upon returning to Peru, he earned his bachelor’s and doctorate degrees in Literature[2†].

Career Development and Achievements

Edgardo Rivera Martínez began his teaching career in 1956[1†]. He won a scholarship that allowed him to study at the University of Paris (1957-1959) and the University of Perugia[1†]. Upon returning to Peru, he earned his bachelor’s and doctorate degrees in Literature[1†].

From 1962 to 1970, he was a professor at the Universidad Nacional del Centro, based in Huancayo[1†]. In 1964 and 1967, he went to France to continue his professional development[1†]. In 1971, he resumed his teaching duties at San Marcos, where he was a professor of literature in the Faculty of Letters for many years[1†].

Rivera Martínez also made significant contributions to Peruvian literature as a writer. His most important literary works are the short story “Ángel de Ocongate” (1986) and the novel “País de Jauja” (1993), which critics consider one of the best pieces of Peruvian literature in recent times[1†]. He is also the author of numerous research works, particularly on travelers and travel literature in Peru[1†].

In addition to his work as a professor and writer, Rivera Martínez was a member of the Peruvian Academy of Language from 2000 until his death in 2018[1†]. This recognition was not only for his fictional production but also for his work as a scholar and critic[1†].

His novel “País de Jauja”, first published in 1993, continues to be celebrated in contemporary Peruvian literature for its rich subject matter and the quality of its prose[1†][2†]. The novel’s first edition sold out within weeks, and it was highly praised by critics[1†][2†]. In the late 1990s, “País de Jauja” was voted the best Peruvian novel of the decade in a survey conducted by Debate magazine[1†][2†]. In 2013, Rivera Martínez was awarded the National Culture Prize in recognition of his contributions to Peruvian literature[1†][2†].

First Publication of His Main Works

Edgardo Rivera Martínez’s literary journey began with the publication of his first novel, “País de Jauja”, in 1993[3†]. The novel received immediate critical acclaim and is now considered a canonical work in Peruvian literature[3†]. Set in 1947 in the town of Jauja in the Peruvian central highlands, the novel follows the life of Claudio, a teenager from a middle-class family, over several weeks of summer vacation[3†]. The novel is not only a coming-of-age story but also a tribute to the multicultural heritage of Peru[3†].

Here are some of his main works:

Each of these works reflects Rivera Martínez’s unique storytelling style and his positive portrayal of mestizaje, a complex but all-inclusive process in which Peru can see itself as a diverse, multicultural nation[3†].

Analysis and Evaluation

Edgardo Rivera Martínez’s literary works, particularly his novel “País de Jauja”, have been critically acclaimed for their rich subject matter and the quality of their prose[2†]. Published in 1993, “País de Jauja” is considered an essential book in contemporary Peruvian literature[2†][3†]. The novel’s narrative universe is a reflection of Rivera Martínez’s lived experiences, from his childhood in Jauja to his encounters with the local culture of Andean campesinos[2†].

Rivera Martínez’s narrative style is characterized by its rigorous construction and immense narrative depth[2†]. His stories, such as “Ángel de Ocongate”, portray an imaginary that is faithful to the author’s artistic principles[2†]. This story, which won the “1000-Word Story” contest organized by Caretas magazine in 1982, is perhaps the most anthologized of all his work[2†].

In addition to his novels and short stories, Rivera Martínez was also an accomplished essayist[2†][5†]. His essays, such as those compiled in “Imagen de Jauja”, present interpretations and critical readings of Jauja’s development and its significance in Peruvian history[2†][5†]. His work is informed by his comprehensive investigation in Peruvian and overseas reference libraries, and his exhaustive archival research[2†][5†].

Rivera Martínez’s works have left a significant impact on Peruvian literature. His first novel, “País de Jauja”, was voted the best Peruvian novel of the decade in a survey conducted by Debate magazine[2†]. In 2013, Rivera Martínez was awarded the National Culture Prize in recognition of his contributions to Peruvian literature[2†].

Personal Life

Edgardo Rivera Martínez was born on September 28, 1933, in Jauja, Peru, to parents Hildebrando Rivera and María Luz Martínez[1†]. His childhood was marked by a deep familial love and a fascination with the landscapes and images of the Peruvian highlands[1†]. These early experiences would later serve as a source of inspiration for his literary works[1†].

Rivera Martínez’s upbringing was enriched by a stimulating family library, thanks to his middle-class family background[1†][2†]. His mother played a significant role in cultivating his love for classical music[1†][2†]. As a child, Rivera Martínez was well-acquainted with the local culture of Andean campesinos, especially in terms of the myths, music, and dances from his area of the Peruvian Central Andes[1†][2†].

Jauja was a destination for tuberculosis patients from Lima and Europe until the early 1950s due to its temperate climate[1†][2†]. This resulted in the formation of a cultured society that Rivera Martínez experienced first-hand[1†][2†]. These lived experiences would set the stage for the configuration of the novel’s narrative universe[1†][2†].

Conclusion and Legacy

Edgardo Rivera Martínez’s legacy in Peruvian literature is profound and enduring[2†][5†]. His novel, “País de Jauja”, is considered one of the most important pieces of contemporary Peruvian literature[2†][5†]. Nearly three decades after its publication, the novel continues to occupy an important place in the history of the contemporary Peruvian novel[2†].

Rivera Martínez’s work is celebrated for its rich subject matter and the quality of its prose[2†]. His narrative talent was recognized during his lifetime, with “País de Jauja” being voted the best Peruvian novel of the decade in a survey conducted by Debate magazine in the late 1990s[2†]. In 2013, Rivera Martínez was awarded the National Culture Prize in recognition of his contributions to Peruvian literature[2†].

Beyond his novels and short stories, Rivera Martínez was also an accomplished essayist[2†][5†]. His meticulous studies of travelers and their voyages through Peru, as well as the anthologies he compiled on Peruvian regions, demonstrate his comprehensive investigation and exhaustive archival research[5†].

Rivera Martínez’s work is characterized by a high-quality exercise of “cultural interweaving”, allowing readers to envision a new Peruvian nation that recognizes its rich, multicultural legacy[2†][6†]. His characters often reflect on this legacy, adding depth and complexity to his narratives[6†].

Edgardo Rivera Martínez passed away on October 5, 2018, in Lima, Peru[2†]. However, his influence continues to be felt in Peruvian literature, and his works continue to be studied and celebrated for their narrative depth and cultural significance[2†][5†][6†].

Key Information

References and Citations:

  1. Wikipedia (Spanish) - Edgardo Rivera Martínez [website] - link
  2. Latin American Literature Today - País de Jauja by Edgardo Rivera Martínez [website] - link
  3. World Literature Today - by Edgardo Rivera Martínez [website] - link
  4. Goodreads - Author: Books by Edgardo Rivera Martínez (Author of País de Jauja) [website] - link
  5. Latin American Literature Today - Imagen de Jauja by Edgardo Rivera Martínez [website] - link
  6. Latin American Literature Today - Soliloquios/Ciudad de Fuego by Edgardo Rivera Martínez [website] - link
Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License 4.0; additional terms may apply.
Ondertexts® is a registered trademark of Ondertexts Foundation, a non-profit organization.