In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section La Generación del 30 in Ecuador

  • Introduction
  • General Works
  • Historical Context
  • Literary Analyses
  • Joaquín Gallegos Lara
  • Demetrio Aguilera Malta
  • Enrique Gil Gilbert
  • Literary Criticism Work

Latin American Studies La Generación del 30 in Ecuador
O. Hugo Benavides
  • LAST REVIEWED: 27 June 2017
  • LAST MODIFIED: 27 June 2017
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199766581-0190


La Generación del 30 is one of the most important Ecuadorian literary movements. For many, the importance of the movement is evidenced in the publication of Aguilera Malta, et al. 1970 (see General Works). As the title expresses, Los que se van (Those that are leaving) magnified the lives of the common man of the coast (e.g., cholos y montuvios) who suffered great forms of social and economic exploitation as well as racial discrimination. This paradigmatic book, and all the other literary contributions by its main representatives, explored the manner in which the Ecuadorian subject, as part of a global capitalist cycle, enabled the developed world (i.e., the United States and Europe) to exploit local production and imposed unequal mercantile exchanges. In many ways, these racialized groups, of cholos, montuvios, and indios, as ex-colonial subjects were being reconstituted in similarly oppressive manners within the new neocolonial forms of global exchange. The movement, therefore, gave voice to these otherwise forgotten subjects who were not even seen or treated like human beings by traditional and upper-class Ecuadorian society. The group’s work, through short stories, novels, and essays, slowly impacted the society at large and the manner in which Ecuadorian (and other Latin American nations) saw and self-represented themselves. The work would impact on social policy but would equally and importantly contribute to perhaps the biggest, and most famous, Latin American literary genre, that of magical realism, although it would be decades (until the 1970s) before other Latin American authors in this article would use the genre to express the contradiction and appalling beauty of the continent. The main representatives of the movement are Joaquín Gallegos Lara, Demetrio Aguilera Malta, and Enrique Gil Gilbert. However, both Alfredo Pareja Diezcanseco and José de la Cuadra would join these original three authors, and together be referred to as the “Grupo de Guayaquil,” which would share many of the initial characteristics of a social realist literary genre and a concern for the racially oppressed communities. But also several writers, such as Pablo Palacio, Adalberto Ortiz, Cesar Davila Andrade, among a few others, were also representative, in more or lesser manners, of the group’s ideological premises and national imaginary introduced into the Latin American artistic mind-set.

General Works

The thirty-four stories collected in Aguilera Malta, et al. 1970, Los que se van, very much defined the contours of what decades later would be called La Generación del 30, or the Guayaquil Group (Grupo de Guayaquil). Sacoto 2003 and Sacoto 1990 are instrumental in analyzing and examining the impact of the movement on the future generations of Ecuadorian writers and artists. In a similar vein, Franco 1984 and Valdano Morejón 2002 present the larger continental and national literary histories, providing a context for the work carried out by this generation. In this regard, both Handelsman 2005 and Paez Barrera 2003 analyze Ecuadorian literature in terms of its relationship and impact on globalization at large. Itúrburu 2010 incorporates the work carried out by writers and scholars that, although working in the United States, still contribute enormously to Ecuador’s literary and historical production.

  • Aguilera Malta, Demetrio, Joaquín Gallegos Lara, and Enrique Gil Gilbert. Los que se van: Cuentos del cholo i del montuvio. Guayaquil, Ecuador: Hispanoamerica, 1970.

    The thirty-four short story collection was originally published in 1930. All the stories focus on the daily Ecuadorian subject, and gives life to their existential duress as targets of long-standing forms of historical and social oppression.

  • Franco, Jean. Historia de la literatura hispanoamericana. Buenos Aires, Argentina: Ariel, 1984.

    The book is one of the best histories of Latin American literature.

  • Handelsman, Michael H. Leyendo la globalización desde la mitad del mundo: Identidad y resistencias en el Ecuador. Quito, Ecuador: Editorial El Conejo, 2005.

    The text is unique in its interest in understanding the contribution of Ecuador’s literary tradition to the greater globalization issues of identity and resistance.

  • Itúrburu, Fernando. El águila bajo el sol: Entrevistas a Ecuatorianistas de Estados Unidos. Guayaquil, Ecuador: Centro Ecuatoriano Norteamericano de Guayaquil, 2010.

    The book offers interviews to some of the most iconic scholars working on Ecuador that are currently living in the United States.

  • Paez Barrera, Oswaldo. La casa de la certidumbre: Critica, arte, globalización. Quito, Ecuador: Abya-Yala, 2003.

    The book frames Ecuador’s artistic contribution in terms of the greater issues of globalization, particularly in terms of the relationship of art as a key commodity piece of modernity.

  • Sacoto, Antonio. Novelas claves de la literatura ecuatoriana. Cuenca, Ecuador: Publicaciones del Departamento de Difusión Cultural de la Universidad de Cuenca, 1990.

    Key text in terms of exploring some of the most important Ecuadorian novels of all times.

  • Sacoto, Antonio. El cuento ecuatoriano: 1970–2002. Quito, Ecuador: Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana, 2003.

    The book explores the evolution of the Ecuadorian short story from 1970 to 2002.

  • Valdano Morejón, Juan. Historia de las literaturas del Ecuador. Quito, Ecuador: Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar, 2002.

    A comprehensive history of Ecuadorian literature, with particular emphasis on the differing genres, styles, and focuses that define it.

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