Biography of César Falcón Garfias (1892-1970)

Narrator, dramatist, essayist, journalist and Peruvian politician, born in Lima in 1892 and died in his hometown in 1970. Based in Spain for political reasons, he married the Communist militant Madrid Irene Lewy Rodríguez ("Irene Falcón") and is meant for their active participation in the Spanish Civil War, as well as the prominent role of cultural animator who played during their prolonged stay in Spanish soil. Consistent with firmness and vehemence of their political ideas, let a lucid and interesting literary production that, dumped in the most varied generic moulds (story, novel, theatre, essay, etc.) printed, it main objective was the attack on bourgeois aesthetics and consciousness, as well as the planting of the revolutionary principles that encouraged political formations of the ideological spectrum.


Encouraged since his early youth by a vivid humanistic vocation and a no less enthusiastic inclination towards revolutionary politics, he founded, in collaboration with María Weisse, the so-called Group "Amauta", an intellectual forum aimed at two basic actions: the denunciation of the abuses of imperialism, and demand for labor improvements for the Peruvian working class. These and other political activities allowed him to mean very soon on the public stage of his native country, where engaged in relationships with other artists and intellectuals of the Peruvian left, as the essayist of Moquegua José Carlos Mariátegui, with whom he founded, in 1919, the Rotary La Razón. Co-directed by two young, this progressive newspaper immediately excelled among other Peruvian publications by his angry defense of the University reform and its strong support for the labor movement.

On July 4, 1919, a few months after the Foundation of La Razón, occurred in Lima the triumph of the coup promoted by Augusto Bernardino Leguía, one of the most representative of the Peruvian oligarchy ambitious founding fathers. The radical opposition of Falcon and Mariátegui policy who soon began to emerge as a true dictator caused archiepiscopal press, Publisher of La Razón, frightened by the progressive attitude of the two directors of the everyday and refused to continue funding its publication; at the same time, the Government of President Leguía, by RID without great international scandals of the main opposition leaders, offered a series of grants to travel to Europe and "invited" to his political enemies to accept this fate. It was just as Carlos Falcón arrived in Spain in 1919, while his comrade Mariátegui was heading to Italy for, from there, a long and fruitful journey throughout Europe (with extended stays in France, Germany, Austria, Hungary and Czechoslovakia), during which he learned several languages, strengthened their political and ideological education and Marxist adhered to the cause and to the third International (Comintern). Soon after, Mariátegui returned to meet with Carlos Falcón to found, along with other exiled compatriots such as Carlos Roe and Palmiro Machiavelo, the first Peruvian Communist cell, whose initial objective was to promote the political organization of Peruvian workers from Europe.

In Spanish territory, César Falcon soon became a relevant prestige as an activist of the left wing of international politics. He worked regularly in various newspapers and magazines of Madrid, became known as a writer, suffered the harassment and persecution of the dictatorial Government of Miguel Primo de Rivera (who came to make an order of banishment against the Peruvian humanist) and, between 1927 and 1939, he was responsible for the edition of different publications of the Spanish Communist Party. Always slope highlight linkages linking his political travails with cultural interests, between 1932 and 1934 encouraged, along with his wife Irene, the so-called Group us, destined to carry the revolutionary agitation and communist propaganda to the Spanish stage Theater collective. In the same vein, collaborated in all cultural initiatives (as the Foundation of the magazine us and editor of new history), feminists (such as the creation of the women antifascist organization) and policies (such as the founding of the party IRYA, left revolutionary and anti-imperialist) his wife Irene, with which also created another group of dramatic activities, the proletarian theatre.

The victory of the fascist army revolted not only forced César Falcon to return to his native country, but it also deprived the company of his wife, with whom he had had a son in 1926. In fact, Irene Lewy Rodríguez (which, nevertheless, continued to be known as "Irene Falcón") accompanied his inseparable Dolores Ibárruri - who was friend and Secretary until the death of "La Pasionaria" - on his flight to France, to exile then both fighters in Moscow, where his new companion (Czech Gesminder) was executed during the Stalinist purges. Meanwhile, bouncy Lima activist assumed in his nation the direction of new journalism (such as Garcilaso and our voice) projects, although soon their revolutionary ideas was forced to leave again the Peru heading into exile, this time to settle - and permanently - in Mexico, where he lived for more than twenty years (1947-1970). His last editorial efforts, already in Aztec territory, allowed him to launch another prestigious publication: new story.


At the beginning of the Decade of the 1920s, when he was living in Madrid, Carlos Falcón printing gave a splendid collection of short stories, grouped under the title of campus of invalids (1921), presented it as one of the most promising of the new Latin American regionalist narrative. These first-time writer Lima stories, conceived as a formulation of its already well-known ideological postulates (focused, here, in solidarity with the indigenous population and the denunciation of the appalling conditions in which their survival is developed), literary departed regionalist models coined by Abraham Valdelomar, but since a clear purpose to overcome parochial and modernist ballasts that had seized the still dominant in the Peruvian letters regionalism; to do so, César Falcon expanded theme focusing their narrations on the indigenous people of the sierra, and looked for new expressive channels that, fed by some of the innovations of the European avant-garde, allowed him to capture a radical renewal of the traditional regionalism without betraying, therefore, that basic realism that seemed to claim for himself the current indigenous. Identical aesthetic and ideological approaches argued the plot of his first extensive narration, the people without God (1928), in which the Peruvian writer emphasizes the oppression that the owners of the land on the Indian population that works it.

That same year, is the second novel by César Falcon Garfias, the underworld (1928), which can be seen an intensification of criticism and condemnation directed against exploiters, but now with a satirical - sometimes, really cartoonish - approach that opens a new aesthetic aspect in his narrative production. This acid propensity towards the grotesque satire became even more patent in his next romantic delivery, good neighbor Sanabria U (1947), work, conceived as a kind of historical novel pierced by a commitment to critical, offers a lucid and bitter political false interpretation of "good neighbourliness" adopted by the Government of the United States of America in its relations with the countries of the American sub-continent and, in particular, with the Peru of the first term of President Manuel Prado (1939-1945).

In the Decade of the fifties, César Falcon devised an ambitious narrative project focused on the recent history of Spain, from which he had been not only privileged witness, but also outstanding character. It was, in short, a vast recreation fictionalized in the Spanish Civil War, projected in five deliveries and conceived from the traditional approaches to historical novel writing. The first and only episode of this monumental project of the Lima Narrator saw the light at the beginning of the 1960s, under the title of by the route without horizon (1961).

Although today he is remembered only by the already mentioned contributions to the prose of fiction, César Falcon became known as a writer in her native Lima through the release of some theatrical pieces that, like the titled because others (1914) and the House of Ágreda (1914), enjoyed the applause from the audience of his time. In addition, hard-working activist and brilliant Peruvian intellectual left printed some of his most important political ideas in several essays of remarkable interest among those who recalled the titled imperialism and anti-imperialism (1932) and the world that dying (1945).


César Falcon Garfias ', in Peruvian literature Yearbook 1970-1972, Lima: National Library of Peru 1978, pp. 530-548.

DELGADO, Washington: Republican literature history, Lima: Rickchar publishers, 1981.

Falcon, Jorge: The man in action: César Falcon, Lima: men's hour editions, 1982.

-: [select.]: César Falcon. Exaltation and anthology, Lima: Ediciones time of man, 1971.