Nicaragua History

Nicaragua Literature and History

According to Localcollegeexplorer, Nicaragua is a state of Isthmian Central America, which overlooks both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean and borders with Honduras (to the N) and Costa Rica (to the S).


The death of AH Pallais (1886-1951), a religious poet with a symbolist vein, and of S. de la Selva (1893-1959), author of the Soldado desconocido, as well as the last stages of lyrical research, deep and subtle up to Hermeticism, by A. Cortés (1887-1963), marked for Nicaragua the end of the great literary season which began in the name of R. Darío. The same polemical presence of the emigrant H. Robleto (born in 1893), with his passionate dramas and novels and pamphlets, belongs to the romantic radicalism of the older generations.

Twentieth-century poetry was expressed in a particularly sensitive, elegant and rich in variations way, in the work of J. Coronel Urtecho, born in 1906, whose lyric inspiration also dates back to Christian motifs, and in the raids of PA Cuadra (born in 1912) for all literary genres. But although notable is his essay or dramaturgical work (Pastorela, Satanás entra en la escena, Por los caminos van los campesinos), what remains inimitable is his work as a poet. Especially the series that goes from La tierra prometida of 1952 to the vast summary collection of Poetry (1964) testifies to a presence among the most valid in all of Latin America. The “promised land” for Cuadra is America itself, the place of confluence of all civilizations, blessed by the grace of Nature. His language is broad, withmanian, his use of free verse is supported by a native musicality and an exuberant taste for images. Cuadra is, with the brilliant J. Pasos who died prematurely (1914-1947), the dominant figure of the “new course” of a literature that was struggling to free itself from the crushing weight of Darío’s influence. His prestige has somewhat relegated to the shadows other notable poets such as LA Cabrales, of 1902, M. Cuadra, of 1907, and that C. Brañas who in 1938 had attracted general attention with Viento negro. They are all exponents of the “Taller de San Lucas”, and became the masters, sometimes venerated, sometimes contested, of the next generation. Particularly distinguished in this is E. Cardenal, born in 1925, with works prior to 1957, the year in which he took religious orders and, while continuing to write, left literary life, to which he had contributed among other things with the well-known anthology New Nicaraguan Poetry (1949). At the beginning, Cardenal’s work does not lack influences of a restless and researching spirit such as that of the poet and playwright A. Ordóñez Argüello (born in 1914), but his work has taken a highly personal direction, nourished by an anxiety for justice that often has revolutionary accents, and which is also found in the Epigramas of 1961, Salmos, in the Oración para Marylin Monroe, in the more humble and intimate poem by El estrecho dudoso (1966).

Alongside Cardenal, we should mention at least E. Sanchez Mejías, born in 1923, a true master of the language; C. Martínez Rivas, from 1924, and – younger than five years – the excellent E. Gutiérrez, who especially in Terrestre y celeste (1969) was able to lead the lyrical discourse on the path of a delicate interiority, marked in refined musical tempos. But the new generation is pressing forward, with its avant-garde groupings (Ventana, Grupo U, Generación traicionada), with the humorous verses of M. Valle, with the poetic and critical work of JE Arellano, with the Ars moriendi (1967) by H. Peña born in 1936, obsessed with the nightmares of the atomic age. The other prestigious literary genre, in Nicaragua, is theater (while here there has been no flowering of novelists from other Spanish-American countries). Names such as E. Fernándes, from 1918, F. Centeño Zapata, from 1935, A. Icaza, from 1945, provide texts of considerable value to the scenic activity; often influenced by European and North American dramaturgy, but not infrequently inspired by the national reality and capable of translating the everyday words of the people into expressive, active language.


The issue of a postage stamp (1937) with a map in which the borders were drawn according to the interpretation of Nicaragua, provoked the protests of Honduras: the two countries accepted the mediation offered by Costa Rica, United States and Venezuela; but the dispute dragged on for a long time. An invasion of locusts that lasted for several months, then the fall in world coffee prices, caused an economic crisis which, thanks also to the trade treaties concluded in 1938 and 1939 with France, Great Britain and Italy, barely showed signs of improving at the outbreak of the Second World War. In the same 1939, President Anastasio Somoza was re-elected for 8 years who, on a visit to the United States in May, resumed negotiations for the opening of a channel between the two oceans and started them with El Salvador for the regularization of the San Juan river, the border between the two countries. The question of debts was also defined with the United States (1938); the railways were nationalized.

The war made it necessary to take measures to alleviate the economic situation, which became even more serious. Nicaragua fully cooperated with the United States in the defense policy of the continent; in September 1941 he broke off relations with Germany, in December he declared war on Germany, Japan and Italy. But the entry into the war of the United States made it necessary to speed up the works of the Pan-American road and to start those for a road from the Atlantic to the Pacific, waiting for the canal. Thus unemployment was alleviated; while North American purchases also of food products, and aid to increase the production of rubber and textile fibers and to improve sanitary conditions (fight against malaria, etc.), created a certain well-being. But in 1944 adverse weather conditions forced the suspension of the export of foodstuffs: and in the meantime the constitution was modified to introduce the Atlantic Charter and allow the second re-election of Somoza; however, there were political unrest. The immigration of Chinese was allowed, relations with the USSR were established; and the reconstitution of the Central American Federation, as well as labor legislation, began to be studied; the Liberal Party ruled in favor of women’s suffrage and freedom of the press, as well as the re-election of the president. The new labor code entered into force in July 1945. In the summer, a law forced new immigrants to settle in rural areas; meanwhile, Somoza announced free elections for August 1946, and in November re-established the constitutional guarantees suspended during the war. A troubled period began with 1946: in June, after demonstrations against the government, vigorously quelled by the police, there was a general strike; in September the extraordinary powers granted to the government in 1939 were extended until April 30, 1947. Meanwhile, the National Liberal Party, on the advice of Somoza (which did not want to reappear), nominated L. Argüello as candidate, faced by a coalition of conservatives (headed by ex-president E. Chamorro returned after 10 years of exile) and independent liberals: the two parties chose E. Aguado, who also had the support of the socialists and other groups. After the elections of February 2, 1947, on the 23rd Somoza proclaimed Argüello elected, who took office on May 10th, but on the 25th he was overthrown by a military coup, promoted by the president himself.

Nicaragua History