Horacio Quiroga was a Uruguayan writer. His short stories are ranked among the best to emerge from Latin America. Though born and raised in Uruguay, he spent most of his years in neighboring Argentina. His life was crammed with adventure and filled with recurrent tragedy and violence. When he was only a babe in arms his father was accidentally killed when a shotgun went off on a family outing.
Horacio Quiroga , born December 31, , Salto , Uruguay—died February 19, , Buenos Aires , Argentina , Uruguayan-born short-story writer whose imaginative portrayal of the struggle of man and animal to survive in the tropical jungle earned him recognition as a master of the short story. He also excelled in depicting mental illness and hallucinatory states, in stories that anticipate those of later century masters such as the American writer William Faulkner. After travels in Europe during his youth, Quiroga spent most of his life in Argentina , living in Buenos Aires and taking frequent trips to San Ignacio in the jungle province of Misiones, which provided the material for most of his stories. He was a journalist for the greater part of his life, briefly a teacher and a justice of the peace. Soon, however, he found his own direction in the short story. He was influenced at first by 19th-century writers: from the United States the macabre visions of Edgar Allan Poe , and from England the jungle settings of the stories by Rudyard Kipling. Exploring his view of life as an endless struggle for survival, Quiroga depicted the primitive and the savage with exotic imagery in such collections as Cuentos de la selva ; Stories of the Jungle and La gallina degollada y otras cuentos ; The Decapitated Chicken and Other Stories. The work generally recognized as his masterpiece, Anaconda , portrays on several levels—realistic, philosophical, and symbolic—the battles of the snakes in the tropical jungle, the nonpoisonous anaconda and the poisonous viper.
Horacio Quiroga was born December 31, , in Salto, Uruguay. Struggling with severe depression and terminal cancer, Quiroga committed suicide on February 19, , in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Horacio Quiroga was born on December 31, , in Salto, Uruguay. His father accidentally shot himself during a hunting trip a few months later, just the first of several tragic events that would take place during Quiroga's life and color much of his later work. His family moved around during his youth, eventually settling in Uruguay's capital, Montevideo, where Quiroga attended university, developed an interest in literature and began to publish his short stories. Shortly thereafter, he returned to his hometown and founded both a literary magazine and a cycling club. But tragedy struck again in , when his stepfather committed suicide. Seeking solace from the experience, Quiroga traveled to Paris on a four-month trip. Returning from Europe in , Quiroga settled once again in Montevideo and the following year saw the release of his first literary collection, The Coral Reefs. Regardless, the achievement was overshadowed by the death of his two brothers, who succumbed to typhoid fever that same year.
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