Biography of Raúl Silva Castro (1903-1970)

Journalist and Chilean literary critic born in Santiago on December 8, 1903 and died on June 13, 1970.


Son of Alfredro Silva Wilson and Lucrecia Castro, received his early education at the Institute of Humanities, where spent, in 1917, the National Institute. His journalistic vocation drove you, just got his degree of Bachelor, to found the germ magazine and, in October 1920, without having turned seventeen, another to which they gave the name of clarity. In 1924 the intellectual Carlos Silva Vildósola, director of El Mercurio, he/she realized the potential of the young Silva and hired him to take on the literary criticism section of this newspaper, which simultanesus with the drafting of Las Últimas Noticias, and work where he/she was noted for his sharp pen and fine humor. In 1927, when Colonel Carlos Ibáñez del Campo took the Presidency of the Republic, Enrique Molina required him to direct the College magazine Athena, position that he/she held until 1931, and from which had opportunity to publish works as to the future novel"Chilean", "Maturity in literature" or "Paradoxes about classes in the literature", in numbers 6466 and 67 of the aforementioned magazine.

There was the thing, because that same year of 1927, joined the staff of the national library as head of section, since it allowed him to continue their research in what was his greatest interest: literary history of Chile. In fact, his great ambition was to give light a magna work that glosara comprehensively this field, for which is was to form a huge file of notes. Years later, in 1951, would write the first years of the national library, in recognition of this institution. In 1933 he/she opositó onto a square of Professor of Chilean literature and American in the Pedagogical Institute of the University of Chile, from which spread his teachings.

During this time he/she published several works, among which include some as literary portraits (1932), bibliographical sources for the study of the Chilean literature (1933), anthology of Chilean poets of the 19th century and the Chilean storytellers (1937). Although his studies covered the history of Chilean literature, special mention the dedicated to Juan Egaña, Eusebio Lillo and José Antonio Soffia, poets almost unknown cleric Crescente Errázuriz and its works on historiography religious figure, as well as the almost unfathomable work of Diego Barros Arana. Aware of the influence that the political changes in the country of men of letters had, it extended also to this field the object of their research, which led him to be interested in the writings of Fran Camilo Henríquez, and former candidate for the Presidency, Luis Barros Borgoño. Other Chilean authors his attention were Alberto Edwards, José Toribio Medina and Eduardo de la Barra, as well as Andrés Bello, Justo Arteaga Alemparte, Rubén Daríoand Pablo Neruda, many of which were unknown to the general public. His works on this last author was awarded with the Athena Award from the University of Concepción in 1965, the same year in which edited.

Tireless worker, Silva Castro was giving to press other works, almost in successive years, as they were Chilean creators of fictional characters (1952), Chilean letters (1954), Panorama of the Chilean novel between 1812 and 1952 (Mexico: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1955), the magic lantern (1950), press and journalism in Chile (1812-1956) (1958), general anthology of Chilean poetry (1959) additions and extensions to bibliographic statistics Ramón Briseño (1960), and literary scene of Chile (1961). These should add his analysis on the biography and work of Alberto Blest Gana, published in 1941 from the University of Chile, in addition to numerous articles in which unveiled the result of their investigations and several prologues to works of national authors.

Patriotic and nationalistic, his intellectual career was also enrolled in the most prestigious cultural institutions in the country; He/She was a member of the Chilean society of history and geography, whose Honorary Presidency finally occupied. In 1950 he/she was elected individual of number of the Academia Chilena de Historia, which was incorporated the following year with a praised speech about "The letters of Pedro de Valdivia", and in 1954 joined the Academia Chilena de la Lengua, that years before, in 1951, already had awarded him a study on the figure of the historian Miguel Luis Amunáteguititled Miguel Luis Amunátegui Kings (1861-1949). He/She was also President of the society of bibliophiles Chileans

Among the many awards and recognitions won throughout his life include the invitation that the United States State Department did in 1942 by three months so that he/she imparted his teaching, invitation that recur years later as a professor. He/She was also Advisor of the OAS for the drafting of the Interamerican Journal of bibliography and dictionary of Latin American literature, and a contributor to the Chilean encyclopedia for a long time the Buenos Aires newspaper La Nacion. Peru awarded him in 1945 with the title of Knight Commander of the order of the Sun, and Nicaragua in 1958, with the cross Gran of the order of Rubén Darío.

Writer, which had a son married María Teresa Dodds Mora, also.See Chile: literature.