Ricardo Palma

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Ricardo Palma
Ricardo Palma
Birthday/Birthplace Manuel Ricardo Palma Carrillo
(1833-02-07)February 7, 1833
Lima, Peru (disputed)
Deceased October 6, 1919(1919-10-06)
Miraflores, Lima, Peru
Citizenship Peruvian
Spouse Cristina Román Olivier

Ricardo Palma (Lima, February 7, 1833 – Miraflores, Lima, October 6, 1919) was a romantic writer, manners, traditionalist, journalist and Peruvian politician, famous mainly for his stories shorts of historical fiction gathered in the book Tradiciones peruanas. He cultivated practically all genres: poetry, novel, drama, satire, criticism, chronicles and essays of various kinds. His children Clemente and Angelica followed in his footsteps as writers.

Ricardo Palma’s Biography

Manuel Ricardo Palma y Carrillo was born on February 7, 1833 in Lima (although there is a theory of Monsignor Salvador Herrera Pinto who places his crib eight years earlier in the town of Talavera de la Reyna in Apurímac), [n 1] In the bosom of a humble family; he was registered in the baptism party as the natural son of Pedro Ramón Palma Castañeda and Guillerma Carrillo y Pardos, whom many consider the maternal grandmother and that his mother was actually Dominga Soriano and Carrillo, the daughter of 16 years of this, with whom Pedro would marry four years later, on April 6, 1837. [n 2] Ramón, was a mestizo merchant with aspirations, doubling in age to Dominga, who was cuarterona (sub-Saharan ascendancy). The Palma-Soriano marriage “failed quickly -according to the historian Oswaldo Holguín Callo- because of racial, generational and cultural differences”, and little Ricardo, who was 9 years old, remained naturally in his father’s house.

He attended the school for kindergarten of Pascual Guerrero, Antonio Orengo and Clemente Noel. After high school, he followed laws in the Convictorio de San Carlos (although some question this fact as a trick of the author and others say that he was probably an external student).

At age 15 he began his literary career, first writing poetry and dramas. It was at that age that he began to use, along with the first name, his second, Ricardo, who later would already use alone, without Manuel’s first original. Also from a young age he was mixed in politics, and in 1857 he supported the uprising of General Manuel Ignacio de Vivanco against President Ramón Castilla, for which he was separated from the exercise of his position in the Political Corps of the Navy of Peru.

He started as a Mason at the age of 22 in the chalaca lodge of Callao Concordia Universal, on July 4, 1855, being venerable teacher Damián Alzamora, speaker Antonio Álvarez del Villar and secretary José Antonio Barboza.

In the Navy, to which he entered as a third officer in 1853, he served on the schooner Libertad, the brig Almirante Guisse, the transport Rímac -where on March 1, 1855, he was on the point of dying as a result of the shipwreck of the ship- and the steam Loa.He took part in the disembarkation of Guayaquil in 1859, during the war with Ecuador.

In November 1860 he participated in the failed assault on the presidential house that was undertaken by a group of civilians and soldiers of a liberal tendendica, led by José Gálvez. The failure of the coup against Castile forced him to leave Peru and on December 20 he embarked for Chile.

In Valparaíso, where he arrived at the end of the month, he frequented the literary salons, was a member of the Society of Friends of the Enlightenment and collaborated in the Revista del Pacífico and the Revista de Sud-América. The almost three years he spent in that city-during which he made frequent trips to Santiago-were literarily “intense and fruitful.” There he met José Victorino Lastarria, Guillermo Blest Gana and other writers, and in the mentioned magazines he published important texts: poetry, seven traditions and what later would result in the Annals of the Inquisition of Lima that would appear in the Peruvian capital upon his return and with which it can be said that «the literary plenitude of Palma begins».

He returned to Peru in August 1863, after being amnestied, and in July of the following year he was appointed consul in Pará, Brazil, a position that he apparently did not exercise: he obtained a license and traveled to Europe: Le Havre, Paris, London In 1865 he returned via the United States – he stayed a while in New York – when Peru is already in conflict with Spain. With the port of Callao blocked, Palma probably disembarks in Paita and is appointed assistant to Gálvez, Minister of War and Navy. Both participate, from the tower La Merced del Callao, in the fight against the Spanish squadron on May 2, 1866, in which Galvez died when a bomb, fired from the Spanish frigate Almansa or from the White, fell into a deposit of gunpowder. Palma is miraculously saved: he had left the tower minutes before the explosion.

The spa of Chorrillos, 1843, oil painting by Mauricio Rugendas.

He took part in the uprising of Colonel Jose Balta the following year, and was in prison and banished briefly in Guayaquil. Balta named him his private secretary after being elected president in 1868. Shortly afterwards he was also elected senator for Loreto, a position he held until 1872. The murder of Balta, which took place on July 26, 1872, marks the end of political life in Palma, which happens to dedicate itself exclusively to literature. Three years later he retired to Miraflores and in 1878, he moved with his family to the Chorrillos spa.

During the war with Chile he participated in the defense of Lima. When the occupation troops burned down their house in January 1881, located in the Miraflores resort, Palma lost its library and some manuscripts, such as the novel Los Marañones and its memoirs of the Balta government. Lost his house, he moves to Lima where he rents one in Veracruz street.

Two years later, the owner of the newspaper La Prensa of Buenos Aires offered him the position of literary editor of the newspaper, but President Miguel Iglesias managed to convince him to accept the address of the National Library, which was destroyed as a result of the war and that during the occupation had been plundered by the Chileans. When these events occurred in March 1881, Palma, who was at the time assistant director of the Library, had written a protest letter, signed by him and the director, Manuel de Odriozola, which led to the then Rear Admiral Patricio Lynch and commander In chief of the occupation army, he dictates imprisonment against the writer, who served first on the second floor of the same Library occupied and then on a ship in Callao, where he spent 12 days until he was released thanks to the efforts of French diplomats and Brazilians Odriozola, against whom there was also an arrest warrant, “managed to take refuge in the North American legation”.

His work at the head of this institution was one of his great achievements. It was at that time that he earned the nickname of “the beggar librarian” because, before the meager budget he had, he decided to use his prestige and contacts to ask personalities from different countries to donate books. Thanks to his friendship with the president of Chile Domingo Santa María (1881-1886), he managed to recover about 10,000 from Chilean hands. On July 28, 1884, he inaugurated the library, which he directed until February 1912, when he resigned due to disagreements with the government of Augusto Leguía, who, in replacement, appointed his enemy, Manuel González Prada. Truth is that the writer will have his redress: the new government of Colonel Óscar R. Benavides will appoint him honorary director of the Library in 1914, González Prada will be dismissed and his position will be occupied by Palma’s candidate, Luis Ulloa. This, however, will not last long: in February 1916 González Prada regains his position and the famous writer resigns his honorary appointment.

Palma, already the patriarch of Peruvian letters, had retired in March 1912 to Miraflores, where he would live the last years of his life.

He was a corresponding member of the Royal Spanish Academy (1878) and of the Peruvian Language Academy -which he presided from its foundation in 1887 until his resignation in 1918, when he becomes honorary director-, and other prestigious institutions. < / p>

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