Marqués, René (1919–1979) By Stevens, Camilla
During his lifetime, René Marqués was Puerto Rico’s most renowned literary figure. His oeuvre, which includes plays, short stories, essays, film scripts, poetry, and a novel, shows deep concern with the destiny of Puerto Rico and its colonial relationship with the United States. Marqués’s cultural conservatism—reflected in his nostalgia for a paternalist and agrarian past—has been rejected by subsequent generations of intellectuals. However, from the 1950s to the 1970s, his role as a provocateur in politics and the arts solidified the status of the writer as a social critic and professional in Puerto Rico. At the same time, his constant experimentation with literary techniques established him as the exemplary modernist writer of his generation.