Biography of Gustavo Luis Carrera Damas (1933-VVVV)

Narrator, essayist, literary critic and researcher, Venezuelan folklorist, born in Cumaná (capital of the State of Sucre) on September 3, 1933. It is one of the most outstanding figures of the Venezuelan intellectual scene in the second half of the 20th century.

Born in a family of wealthy and influential - in which also stood out, because of their intellectual merits, his older brother German-, he received from child careful academic training that allowed him to develop his innate humanistic vocation widely. Thus, it soon occupied a relevant place in the Venezuelan cultural life of his time, both in his role as writer and as a researcher of the literary fact, which prompted him to found - in collaboration with other scholars of literature-magazine contemporary criticism. And also deployed a brilliant teaching career that made him one of the most respected figures in academia in his country, where he served as Professor at the Faculty of Humanities and education from the Central University of Venezuela (UCV) and, already in full maturity, as rector of the National Open University (UNA). It was also President of the institutions of education at distance (CREAD) and the Fundalibro project.

In his role as researcher, Gustavo Luis Carrera focused especially on the folk tradition of Venezuelan popular literature, which gave a decisive boost from the relevant position he occupied in the Institute of literary research of the newly quoted Central University.

Despite the respect that it had earned in the forums artistic and intellectual Venezuelans--both by its relevant teaching and institutional work and his magnificent literary works, which became one of the most suggestive narrators of Venezuelan letters from the second half of the 20th century--, the last years of his life were overshadowed by his indirect involvement in the serious crime committed by his son Luis Carrera AlmoinaHe helped to escape justice when sentenced to imprisonment for having kidnapped, raped and tortured a young woman in the year 2001.


Gustavo Luis Carrera ladies became known as a writer at the beginning of the Decade of the 1960s, when he met most of their first-time stories in a splendid volume titled the opposite Word (Caracas: contemporary critical editions, 1962). Since then, this work can be found in its own right in all the anthologies of the Venezuelan story.

It's a collection of stories that the writer and humanist of Cumaná began to write at the end of the previous decade, when the end of the dictatorship of Marcos Pérez Jiménez- which had remained at the forefront of the Venezuelan Government from 1952 until 1958 - gave way to a sudden opening of all sectors of the country to a new democratic system. This dramatic change resulted, as expected, strong political and social turbulence that inspired some of the best accounts of the still young careers ladies, who, in addition to presenting as well as one of the best exponents of the so-called "engaged literature", in this work showed a singular boldness in addressing complex technical innovations that placed him also at the head of the experimental narrative (v. gr.(, the relationship of a story from the many voices that know her and interpreted).

One year after the publication of the opposite Word, Gustavo Luis racing ladies confirmed truthfully virtuoso storyteller as the rearing, mercy to his story titled "The four fallacies", the only award the prestigious tales contest organised by the Rotary Caracas El Nacional. And in 1968 he returned to obtain this award - now ex aequo with the great writer of boilers Orlando Araujo-, through an exceptional story that ended up giving title to his second collection story, published at the beginning of the 1970s. He is salt almena (Caracas: Monte Avila, 1972), work shared space in the windows of the caraquenas libraries, during that same year of his appearance, with the novel of oil in Venezuela (Caracas: Municipal Council of the Federal District, 1972), another interesting book of racing ladies, developer of its sharpness and insight as a literary critic. With this valuable essay, the writer of Cumaná had obtained, in 1971, the Municipal Prize of prose.

In 1973, by means of a new story of extraordinary quality, Gustavo Luis Carreras won for the third time the stories contest of the daily El Nacional in 1973. This story also helped him to title his next collection, the departure of the Aurora (Mérida: Universidad de los Andes, 1980), which then came to joining a global sample of his talent in the cultivation of short fiction, published under the generic title of Tales (Caracas: Monte Avila, 1992).

But racing ladies not only stressed, the cultivation of the prose of fiction, as undisputed master of the complex genre of the story. In his brilliant bibliography must also outline a vast novel of remarkable quality, intense trip (Barcelona [Spain]: Seix Barral, 1977), awarded, the same year of its release, the Municipal narrative of the Federal District. Unanimously considered by critics and readers as one of the leading works of the Venezuelan narrative of the last third of the 20th century (according to the accredited American literature scholar José Napoleón Oropeza, is "one of the finest novels that have been published in Venezuela in recent years") intense trip combines genres as diverse as the historical narrative and the novel of psychological introspection on their pages, thanks to the splitting of the journey that leads his main character, Pedro Lazaro (who, on the one hand, in a distant period of the historical past, runs along the Peninsula of Araya to write a book about it; and, on the other hand, extracted from its observations a series of reflections that occur as another journey into his own inner world).

Subsequently, the writer of Cumaná increased their novelistic production with another brilliant novel, Solomon (Caracas: Monte Avila, 1993), awarded with the Municipal Prize of literature in 1994. In it, Gustavo Luis Carrera resorts to a kind of rogue modern, the protagonist Salomón Rivas (which has been Cook, Baker, painter, sailor, seller of tenths of lottery, etc.), to recreate the recent history of Venezuela through abundant references to oral tradition. During the funeral of a friend, this unique character is realizing its random passage through life, echoing the best stories and legends of folklore of Eastern Venezuela.

Other works of Gustavo Luis Carreras not mentioned in previous paragraphs are the discrete death (1982) novel and the essay virtual image (1984).


ARAUJO, Orlando. "Gustavo Luis Carreras", in contemporary narrative Venezuelan (Caracas: Monte Avila, 1988), pp. 265-266.

CAREER, Liduvina. Gustavo Luis Carrera narrative in five scenarios (Caracas: Commission's study of graduate of the Faculty of Humanities and education from the Central University of Venezuela and Universidad Católica Andrés Bello, 2000).

----------. "Theory of Gustavo Luis Carrera Narrative Praxis", in Rev. Context (Caracas), second stage, vol. 5, no. 7 (July-December 2001), pp. 89-104.

GASCON POTTERLA, Renee. Search for individual identity: a constant in the story of Gustavo Luis Carrera (Caracas: Universidad Central de Venezuela, 1981).

LAZZARO, María Luisa. Reverse trip: sacralization of salt (Caracas: Academia Nacional de la Historia, 1985).