Biography of Alfredo Chacón (1937-VVVV)

Poet, essayist and literary critic Venezuelan, born in San Fernando de Apure (Apure state capital) in 1937. It is one of the most outstanding figures of Venezuelan intellectuals in the second half of the 20th century.

Vivid humanistic concerns man, attended advanced studies in sociology, anthropology and philosophy at the Universidad Central de Venezuela (Caracas), where went to Europe to make his post-graduate studies at the Institute of Ethnology at the University of Paris. Once doctorate in French territory, returned to his native country to undertake a brilliant teaching career at his old alma mater, where, in addition to as a University Professor for many years, he/she held positions as relevant as the director of the school of sociology and anthropology.

Throughout his prolific career as writer, teacher, researcher, and, in general, great promoter and organizer of the contemporary Venezuelan cultural scene, Alfredo Chacón had other roles of both relief and Director of the Fundación CELARG ("Centro de Estudios Latinoamericanos Rómulo Gallegos") - between 1987 and 1991, and that of President of the Ayacucho Library - between March 2001 and April 2003--in front of which he/she carried out valuable work of editing.

In his facet of writer, Venezuelan humanist became known as poet by Saloma (Caracas, 1961), an interesting opera prima which revealed him as a real master in the domain of multiple records of poetic language (with a special predilection for the formal and thematic records coined, by the end of the 19th century, by the Parnassian poets).

Eight years later, Alfredo Chacón returned to convulse the Venezuelan literary forums with the publication of raw material (Caracas, 1969), a new poetic, as proven quality delivery as Saloma, presenting before critics and readers his bold foray in the complex genre of poetry in prose. In this new collection of poems, the author of San Fernando de Apure was demonstrating exceptional acumen when choosing with care and precision the words, although now his verses, fruit of a greater reflection, appeared covered with multiple shades able to evoke the more different meanings.

Third great poems of Alfredo Chacón was made to wait longer until well into the 21st century, when the prestigious publishing house Monte Avila encouraged him to publish compositions he/she had written ten years earlier (in particular, between 1991 and 1994). It is in and everything else (Caracas, 2005), another splendid work that offers the reader the wealth of the particular literary universe of an author already fully mature creative and vital; a writer always attentive to the deep human dimension of the problems of their environment, without neglecting this innate concern for the search of the stylistic exquisiteness, as in the poem which then is copied, belonging to "Waste time" (one of the sections of this book): "bite cups, runs in the / matter which before was not theirs and now / is strange." Opens way to not / knows where, is the exit of the / pulp but not his input, knows / be it relamido enjoy (not / know how is such an event). The / bite doesn't know to do, nobody calls it. / Unknown waiting. "Ignores how / point differs from the kiss and the / dentellada, or if you think" ("of the bite").

As scholar of the cultural fact and essayist with a special sensitivity to criticism, Alfredo Chacón produced a series of works that, from the moment of its appearance, came to swell the essential bibliography for the elucidation of the cultural process in Venezuela during the 20th century. Between these studies and trials of Chacon, should be graduates emphasized the cultural left of Venezuela, 1958-1968 (Caracas, 1970), the work in which humanist of San Fernando de Apure, on the basis of the breakdown of the dictatorial regime of Marcos Pérez Jiménez (1914-2001), discusses with relentless rigor systematic groups, schools and literary movements that flourished in a Venezuela still troubled by its recent openness to democracy. Aside from the acuity with Chacon he/she dissects each of these groups on the basis of literary keys that give them reason to be, this book presents the value no doubt attach the point of view of an accredited sociologist and an eminent anthropologist; in this way, which in principle seemed to present itself as a study of criticism and literary history has just becoming a lucid essay on the evolution of culture, intellectuals and academic Venezuelan during a critical period in the development of the nation.

Identical value should be awarded to another trial of Alfredo Chacón, published at the end of the Decade of the seventies under the title of Curiepe (Caracas, 1979). Here shines with unusual splendour the anthropologist capable of analyzing the magical and religious tradition of the Venezuelan people whose name gives the work its title.

Chacon was the author, over its long intellectual history, of numerous articles published in newspapers and magazines, most of which were collected in the volume entitled the literary passion (1988). Also published many critical studies in different periodicals in the study of letters, such as "the great verbalizador. Conversation with Lorenzo García Vega"(released on Chimera: Journal of literature, no. 206 [2001], pp. 6-12); "Guillermo Sucre in the vastness" (published in Hispanic American notebooks, no. 528 [1994], pp. 111-126); and "The origins experience" (in Hispanic American notebooks, no. 511 [1993], pp. 25-32).

Author of other books as between outskirts and centers, personal acts, minutes of the omen, as is desired, words assailants, dependence and continuous principle, Alfredo Chacón has won some of the most prestigious awards in the Venezuelan cultural landscape, as the prize of the biennial José Rafal Pocaterra - which, in his 1980 call, came to reward the extraordinary quality of his essay Curiepe -, and the biennial literary Mariano Picón Salas.


BALZA, José. "Alfredo Chacón: be and say", in Rev. Writing (Caracas), no. 21 (1986), pp. 3-12.

SILVA, Ludovico. "Apropos of Solomon", in the Tower of the angels (Caracas: Monte Avila, 1991), pp. 133-138.