7 junio, 2024

8 Works of Literary Modernism and their Authors

Some works of literary modernism most important were Blueby Ruben Darío Platero and meby Juan Ramón Jiménez, or free versesby Jose Marti.

Literary modernism was a movement that occurred at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, carried out by an important group of authors who were characterized by a refined language and the aesthetics of their metrics.

Modernism proposed a new use of the Spanish language, introducing new contents and intentions with respect to the literary norms in force at the time. This new perspective included social aspects of urban life, eroticism, psychic problems, among others.

Among the main authors belonging to literary modernism are José Asunción Silva, José Martí, Rómulo Gallegos and the main exponent of the movement: the Nicaraguan Rubén Darío.

Main works of literary modernism


This work is perhaps the most representative of literary modernism. It was written by Rubén Darío during his stay in Chile and published in 1888.

In this book of prose and poems, Rubén Darío addresses topics ranging from mythology to naturalism.

The color blue was one of the main symbols of literary modernism and some authors point to this as the reason for the name of the work.

In this book, Rubén Darío exposed the modernist style, which led to great literary debates at the time.

Platero and me

This prose poem by the Spaniard Juan Ramón Jiménez was published in 1914 and gave its author the impetus to win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1956.

The book consists of 138 chapters and tells the story of a donkey and his master. In the book there is no strict order of events between one lyrical chapter and the next, but it maintains a poetic structure for which it is classified as a work of art.

free verses

This work by José Martí is recognized for an aesthetic of sincerity and passion. Among the main themes of these prose writings, poetic art, freedom and human limitations, among others, are addressed.

The literary contribution of José Martí and his work to modernism is a constant source of debate, however the weight of the figure of the author contributed to broaden the recognition of this literary movement.

book of verses

It was written by José Asunción Silva, one of the most recognized Colombian poets, and published for the first time in 1923. It includes the literary work carried out by Silva between 1891 and 1896.

The main themes of the verses in this work are around love and melancholy. Among the parts that make up the book, the Nocturnes stand out, a set of verses that gave the author universal fame.

The bachiller

It was one of the main works of the Mexican writer Amado Nervo. «El bachiller» is a short novel, in which Nervo narrates in a mystical way the period of adolescence of his characters, with a clear interest in their psychology.

This work, published in 1895, is a fictional prose writing with a shocking ending that divides universal criticism and has been classified by some as inartistic.

the white book

Written by Delmira Agustini and published in 1907. She is one of the few women who was part of the modernist movement.

This work highlights an erotic poetry, with images that invoke beauty, creativity and originality. However, his poems also show dark and tormented traits.

fragile tales

A work by Manuel Gutiérrez Nájera, where 15 stories are compiled, among the most outstanding are New Year’s ballad and Saint John’s morning.

The author was also a surgeon and chronicler observer, helping him create a world of his own in his works. This book especially highlights the problems of the everyday world at the end of the 19th century.

the mountains of gold

The Argentine Leopoldo Lugones was an influential figure and the greatest exponent of modernism in Argentina. The Gold Mountains was published in 1897.

In this collection of poems, the author highlights romance, exalts passion and love affairs. His poetic work is considered the beginning of modern poetry in Spanish.


Coester A. Amado Nervo. Hispania. 1921; 4(6):285-300
Gicovate B. Modernism and its history. Hispanic Review. 1964; 32(3):217-226
Guerard A. Reviewed Work: Prose and verse by José Asunción Silva. Books Abroad. 1943; 17(4):375
Meyer K. The Modern of Modernism. Ibero-amerikanisches Archiv, Neue Folge. 1987; 13(1):77-91
Predmore MP The Structure of “Platero y Yo”. PMLA. 1970; 85(1):56-64
Woodbridge H. Rubén Darío: A Critical Bibliography. Hispania; 1968; 51(1):95-110.

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