JANUARY 18, 1911


Born in Andahuaylas, in the southern Peruvian Andes, Arguedas grew up in an abusive household where he found solace with the Quecha servants.  He began studying at National University of San Marcos (Lima) in 1931 graduating with a degree in Literature.  Later studying Ethnology, he received his degree in 1957 and his doctorate in 1963.  He began his literary career by writing short stories about the indigenous environment.  His first novel in 1941, Yawar Fiesta (“Blood Fest”), explored the theme that would interest him for the rest of his career: the clash between Western “civilization” and the Indigenous”traditional” way of life.  His next two books Los Ríos Profundos (1958) and Todas las Sangres (1964) followed this theme.  Arguedas worked for the Ministry of Education before becoming the director of the Casa de la Cultura (1963) and of the National Museum of History (1964–1966).  Arguedas died on December 2, 1969, after suffering from depression stemming back to his childhood.

Source:  “Jose Maria Arguedas,” Encyclopedia.com.  Retrieved 6/9/2020, https://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/arguedas-jose-maria
Photo:  Santiagostucchi, 8/16/2011.  Mausoleum of Jose Maria Arguedas.  Permissive Use.

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