Marked forever in the memories of Peruvians young and old, two of Perú’s greatest writers left this life on April 15th and then April 16th, back to back.
César Vallejo whose verses beat within every Peruvian and live within the language of daily life, passed away in Paris on a day like yesterday in 1938. His poems claimed the imagery of Peruvian life and devotion, pushed against the barriers of language and convention, and found vitality and new life as they still do every time they are recited and every time they find a new reader.
While Vallejo lived much of his adult life in exile from Peru, José Carlos Mariáteguí was able to remain in his country seeking social justice and performing some of the most penetrating analysis ever made of Perú, despite his relative youth.
To Mariátegui scholars attribute the founding of Perú’s once powerful and still living Communist Party. He haunts the current leadership and intelligentsia of Perú in its turn toward Neo-Liberalism as his work angered the powerful landlords who then ruled Peru and its people. Mariátegui died in Lima on April 16th, 1930.
Both men left this life while still young and illustrate the power and ability of Peru’s youth and the dynamism of its soul.