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Ricardo Palma.
Manuel Ricardo Palma Soriano (Lima, February 7, 1833 - Miraflores, October 6, 1919) was a Peruvianmarker author, scholar, and librarian. His magnum opus is the Tradiciones Peruanas :es:Tradiciones Peruanas.

Young Ricardo Palma became a naval officer, a journalist, and a politician before gaining a reputation as a historian with his book on the Spanish Inquisition operating in the viceroyalty of Peru (Inquisition of Lima, Peru, 1863). He served as director of the National Library of Peru for many years until his death in 1919. Palma successfully took on the task of rebuilding the National Library after it was ransacked by the occupation forces of the Chileanmarker army in 1881 following the battle of Lima during the War of the Pacific. Palma was able to bring the National Library back from the ashes to its previous stature and allowed it to be again recognized as one of the top libraries in South America. It was through his personal friendship with the then Chilean president Domingo Santa María, that Palma was able to recover an estimated 10,000 books from Chilean hands, as well as many others works which were recovered through his own personal efforts.

Palma's literary reputation rests upon his creation and development of the literary genre known as tradiciones - short stories that mix history and fiction, written both to amuse and educate, according to the author's declared intention. It was by creatively using poetic license and by deviating from "pure" history that Palma gained his large South American readership. His Tradiciones Peruanas span several centuries, but with an emphasis on earlier colonial and republican times in Peru. The Tradiciones were published from 1872 to 1910 in a series of volumes - some of which are freely available on the internet (see the bottom of this page for links) . There are also many different editions and selections of the Tradiciones commercially available. The "Tradiciones Peruanas" do not meet formal historical standards of accuracy or reliability sufficiently to be considered "history," but Palma never intended them to be read as "pure" history. Since they are primarily historical fiction they should be understood and enjoyed as such. The author's opinion, the opinions of the other primary sources or oral narrators of the stories he collects and transmits, as well as hearsay, play a large role in his stories. Yet Palma's historical fiction even to this day entertains and amuses readers of all ages. Ricardo Palma therefore made a considerable contribution to Peruvian and South American literature. Some critics have classified the Tradiciones as part of nineteenth-century Romanticism along the lines of Jose Maria Eguren and similar writers. Most, however, would agree that the universality of the "Tradiciones Peruanas" and their enduring success may derive from the fact that they are a window into the idiosyncrasies of the national soul, culture and history of the Peruvian people.

A university and school(pre-high) was recently named after him (Ricardo Palma) both in Lima, Peru.School- Santa Anita

One of his most well-known works, especially within American Spanish literature classes, is "La camisa de Margarita."

Secondary Reading Sources

  • Avelar, Idelber, "Transculturation and Nationhood". Literary Cultures of Latin America: A Comparative History. Eds. Mario J. Valdés & Djelal Kadir. 3 vols. Oxford University Press, 2004: III, 251-257.


  • Andreu, Alicia G. "Una nueva aproximación al lenguaje en las Tradiciones peruanas de Ricardo Palma". Spanish American Literature: From Romanticism to 'Modernismo' in Latin America. Eds. David William Foster & Daniel Altamiranda. New York & London: Garland, 1997: 175-190.




  • Bazán, Dora. Mujeres, ideas y estilo en 'Las tradiciones' de Palma. Lima: Universidad Ricardo Palma/Universitaria, 2001.


  • Chang-Rodríguez, Raquel. "Elaboración de fuentes en 'Carta canta' y 'papelito jabla lengua'". Kentucky Romance Quarterly 24.4 (1977): 433-439.




  • ___. Escribir en el aire. Ensayo sobre la heterogeneidad socio-cultural en las literaturas andinas. Lima: Editorial Horizonte, 1994:107-112.


  • Compton, Merlin. Ricardo Palma. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1982.


  • Durán Luzio, Juan. "Ricardo Palma, cronista de una sociedad barroca". Revista Iberoamericana 140 (julio-septiembre 1987): 581-593.


  • Higgins, James. A History of Peruvian Literature. Liverpool: Francis Cairns, 1987: 66-70.




  • Lindstrom, Naomi. Early Spanish American Narrative. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2004; sobre Palma, 165-170.


  • Mariátegui, José Carlos. "Ricardo Palma, Lima y la Colonia". En siete ensayos de interpretación de la realidad peruana. México: ERP, 1988: 218-227;


  • Mariátegui, José Carlos. "Ricardo Palma, Lima and the Colony". In Seven Interpretive Essays on Peruvian Reality. Trans. Marjory Urquidi. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1971: 195-203.


  • Miró, César. Don Ricardo Palma: El Patriarca de las Tradiciones. Buenos Aires: Editorial Losada, 1953.


  • Moreano, Cecilia. Relaciones literarias entre España y el Perú: la obra de Ricardo Palma. Prólogo de Pura Fernández. Lima, Perú: Universidad Ricardo Palma, Editorial Universitaria, 2004.


  • Palma, Edith. "Ricardo Palma y sus Tradiciones peruanas". Tradiciones peruanas completas. Por Ricardo Palma. Madrid: Aguilar, 1964: xvii-xl


  • Palma, Ricardo. Tradiciones peruanas. Eds. Julio Ortega y Flor María Rodríguez-Arenas. Nanterre, France: Allca XXe, Université Paris X, 1996. Esta edición de las Tradiciones de Ricardo Palma contiene numerosos artículos de excelente calidad.


  • Puccini, Darío. "La doble oralidad y otras claves de lectura de Ricardo Palma". Spanish American Literature: From Romanticism to 'Modernismo' in Latin America. Eds. David William Foster & Daniel Altamiranda. New York & London: Garland, 1997: 169-174.


  • Riva-Agüero, José. Carácter de la literatura del Perú independiente. En Obras completas de José de la Riva-Agüero. Lima: Universidad Católica del Perú, 1962. Sobre Palma, pp. 176-179.


  • Rodríguez Chávez, Iv&aacuten. Otra ventana sobre Ricardo Palma. Lima, Perú: Universidad Ricardo Palma/Editorial Universitaria, 2003.


  • Rodríguez-Peralta, Phyllis. "Liberal Undercurrents in Palma's Tradiciones peruanas". Spanish American Literature: From Romanticism to 'Modernismo' in Latin America. Eds. David William Foster & Daniel Altamiranda. New York & London: Garland, 1997: 153-167.


  • Sánchez, Luis Alberto. “Ricardo Palma”. Escritores representativos de América. Tres vols. Primera serie. Segunda edicición. Madrid: Gredos, 1963: 2: 96-106.






  • Tauzin Castellanos, Isabelle. Claves de una coherencia: las "Tradiciones peruanas" de Ricardo Palma. Lima : Universidad Ricardo Palma, 1999.


  • Valero Juan, Eva Maria. Lima en la tradición literaria del Perú. Lleida: Universidat de Lleida, 2003: 88-93.




  • Various Authors. Aula Palma: discursos de incorporación, 1998-1999. Lima, Perú: nstituto Ricardo Palma, 1999.


  • Ward, Thomas. La teoría literaria: romanticismo, krausismo y modernismo ante la 'globalización' industrial. University, MS: University of Mississippi, "Romance Monographs", 2004: 138-140.


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