Felisberto Hernández  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Felisberto Hernandez (October 20, 1902-January 13, 1964) was born in Montevideo, Uruguay. He was a talented self-taught pianist who earned a living playing in the silent-screen theaters and cafés of Uruguay. He is one of the greatest yet least known Latin American short-story writers.

What is interesting in Hernández’s fiction is the magic by-product of his anonymous first-person tales whose obsessive and deranged narrators have knocked down the wall between their minds and the empirical world and injected their obsessions into everyday life. He often used the events surrounding him as fodder for his fiction.

He is considered to be the forefather of fabulism, predating writers such as Gabriel García Márquez, Italo Calvino and Julio Cortázar, who all note Hernández as a major influence.

His fiction often attempts to exploit the secret vitality contained in inanimate objects.

Some of his most famous stories are: "The Balcony," "My First Concert," and "Daisy Dolls".

Selected works translated into English

  • Piano Stories, translated by Luis Harss, Marsilio Publishers, 1993
  • Lands of Memory, translated by Esther Allen, New Directions Press, 2002




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Felisberto Hernández" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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