June 5, 2021
Blest Gana at 100 is a special edition for Open Cultural Studies . Alberto Blest Gana was a Chilean writer who wore many hats during his long life, dying in 1920 at the age of 90. One of the most prominent authors of nineteenth-century Chile and Latin America, he went to military school and later held political and diplomatic appointments, all of which caused him to travel and live abroad. In fact, nel mezzo del cammin of his life, Blest Gana transferred to Europe and eventually settled in Paris, never to return to his country of birth. His fiction and non-fiction conveyed a vast array of experiences and insights from his life in Chile and overseas. To commemorate the 100 years since his death, contributors to Blest Gana at 100 approach his oeuvre from innovative and fresh scholarly angles and thus generate new perspectives on the Chilean author’s most celebrated texts, such as Martín Rivas and El ideal de un calavera . They also examine the early days of his literary career; revisit critical scholarship on Blest Gana from the past; bring less explored texts, such as Mariluán and Los Trasplantados (the latter written and published in Paris) to the foreground; research the background to his work as a columnist and discover the extent to which it informed his literary career; and examine the urban social practices in Blest Gana’s award-winning novel La aritmética en el amor . From these analyses, we hope to foster an ongoing conversation of lively and invigorating Blest Gana scholarship.