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RUBÉN DARÍO

RUBÉN DARÍO

Rubén Darío was born in Ciudad Darío in 1867. He was a Nicaraguan poet, journalist and diplomat, and the leading representative of literary modernism in Spanish. He is possibly the poet who has had the largest and most long-lasting influence on 20th century poetry in the Spanish world, and was named the Prince of Spanish letters.

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Darío made two trips to Mallorca. During the first, accompanied by his wife Francisca Sánchez, he rented a house in the Terreno area in the winter of 1906-1907. Darío, a widower of his first wife, Rafaela Contreras, was forced to get married to Rosario Emelina by her brothers, completely drunk and at gun point. In Madrid he met Francisca, daughter of a guard from Casa de Campo, who he married, although he had to battle for years to get a divorce from Rosario.

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On the second trip, Darío came to Valldemossa without his wife, Francisca, who stayed in Paris, and he stayed at the Charterhouse in Valldemossa with Joan Sureda. He was impressed by the monastic character and even had his portrait painted while wearing the Carthusian habit. During his stay he wrote the poem “The Charterhouse” and the novel “The Gold of Mallorca”.

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Rubén Darío and the Catalan painter and writer Santiago Rusiñol (1861-1931), were contemporaries, they belonged to the same movement of literary and artistic renewal, Modernism. They spent long periods in Mallorca, even in the same house at different times, they had Mallorcan friends in common, but never ended up meeting one another on the island.

Darío suffered from serious problems with alcohol and his health began to deteriorate so much that soon after Christmas in 1913 he decided to go to Barcelona, where he met up with his wife Francisca. He left Barcelona for America, where his illness worsened. In 1916 he died in Nicaragua.