Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name



Hispanic & Luso-Brazilian Literatures & Languages


Malva Filer

Committee Members

Juan Carlos Mercado

Oswaldo Zavala

Subject Categories

Latin American Literature | Spanish Literature


Simón Bolívar, Modernismo, escritores modernistas, imagén literaria


The purpose of my thesis is to examine the various ways in which the writers of Latin America’s Modernist movement were influenced by Simon Bolivar’s ideology. At the same time, I will illustrate how these authors utilized throughout their literary discourse the image of the most important and iconic historical figure of South America’s independence wars against Spain. Throughout this thesis I will evaluate several literary works of modernist Latin-American authors such as the Cuban José Martí, the Venezuelans Rufino Blanco Fombona, Manuel Diaz Rodriguez, César Zumeta, the Colombians José Asunción Silva, Guillermo Valencia and José María Rivas Groot, the Nicaraguan Rubén Dario, the Peruvians José Santos Chocano and Manuel González Prada, the Uruguayans José Enrique Rodó and Juana de Ebarbourou, the Argentinian Leopoldo Lugones and the Spaniards Francisco Villaespesa y Pedro de Répide and Eduardo Marquina among others. In the first chapter I will present within a social, economic and historical context how the traditional image of Simon Bolivar as the "Liberator" lays a strong ideological, social, and political foundation among the modernist authors of Latin America. Moreover, I will establish a correlation between these intellectual writers and Bolivar’s own writings such as his political essays, personal and governmental letters, political speeches and the national constitutions that he wrote for the nations he liberated. Based on these historical, literary and philosophical foundations, in the later chapters I will analyze the “Liberator’s” most important writings such as the Jamaica letter, his famous Decree of war to death, the Angostura address (1819), The speech to the congress of Panama, the Cartagena letter (1812) and the Bolivian Constitution (1826) to provide a critical perspective on his influence over these modernist authors. The main topics of study throughout the later chapters will be the ideas of democracy, national identity, anti-imperialism, liberty, slavery, Crossbreeding, Indigenism, Hispanism and continental unity of all Latin-American countries. In the same manner I will also present how certain poems, essays, novels, short stories and discourses of these modernist authors compel us to reflect upon Simon Bolivar’s ideology displayed in most of his own writings. To demonstrate the similarities between Bolivar’s ideas and the writers of this important literary movement of Hispanic America, I will study the historical and literary concept of Hispanic Modernism. Thus, I will refer to textbooks such as Rubén Darío y el modernismo by Angel Rama, Breve historia del Modernismo by Max Henríquez Ureña, Nuevos Asedios del Modernismo and Génesis del Modernismo by Ivan Schulman, Modernismo, supuestos históricos y culturales by Rafael Gutiérrez Girardot, Modernity and the development of Spanish American Literature by Cathy L. Jrade, and España 1900; Modernismo, anarquismo y fin de siglo by Litvak Lily. For a theoretical analysis I will consider the views of Leopoldo Zea, Anibal Gonzalez, Octavio Paz, Arturo Torres Rioseco, Alberto Zum Felde, Christopher Conway and Anderson Benedict among others. From a historical prospective I will consult the works of German Carrera Damás, Rufino Blanco Fombona, Salvador de Madarriaga, Vicente Lecuna Daniel Florencio O’Leary, Augusto Mijares, José Gil Fortoul and Simon Bolivar’s own political and literary writings. The main goal of this thesis is to reveal from a literary prospective how Simon Bolivar’s own writings were interpreted and utilized by the modernist authors of Latin America. At the same time, I intend to show how the "Liberator’s" image influenced these authors’ literary mentality and became an important part of their ideology, thus creating a crucial legacy for the modernist movement within Latin American’s literary tradition.