Jose Marti

Martí, José

José Martí (hōsā´ märtē´), 1853–95, Cuban essayist, poet, and patriot, leader of the Cuban struggle for independence. One of the greatest prose writers of Spanish America, he is noted for his fluent style and vivid imagery. In Nuestra América (1891) and other essays he brilliantly analyzed the sociopolitical problems of Latin America. As a poet he wrote the famous Ismaelillo (1882), Versos libres (c.1882, pub. 1913), and a collection of exquisite lyrics, Versos sencillos (1891). His disregard for the stilted rhetoric of most 19th-century Spanish literature made him a precursor of the modernismo movement. Simultaneously a poet and a man of action, Martí led a life of heroic dedication to the cause of Cuban independence. At the age of 16 he was arrested and exiled. A long and arduous pilgrimage ensued during which he lived and worked in Mexico, Spain, Guatemala, Venezuela, and the United States, chiefly in New York City. He earned his living mostly by contributing articles (including some perceptive appraisals of literary, artistic, and political life in the United States) to South American newspapers and to the New York Sun. A great admirer of the United States, he nevertheless feared the effect of U.S. power and influence on the South American republics. During his last stay in the United States (1881–95) he founded the Cuban Revolutionary party and became the leading figure of the liberation movement. A major tragedy at the commencement of the final insurrection against Spain was his untimely death at the battle of Dos Ríos in May, 1895.

See biographies by F. Lizoso (1953, repr. 1974) and R. B. Gray (1962).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2013, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

José Martí, Cuban Patriot
Richard Butler Gray.
University of Florida Press, 1962
José Martí, Mentor of the Cuban Nation
John M. Kirk.
University Presses of Florida, 1983
Jose Marti and the Emigre Colony in Key West: Leadership and State Formation
C. Neale Ronning.
Praeger Publishers, 1990
Martí on the U.S.A
José Martí; Luis A. Baralt.
Southern Illinois University Press, 1966
Liberators and Patriots of Latin America: Biographies of 23 Leaders from Doña Marina (1505-1530) to Bishop Romero (1917-1980)
Jerome R. Adams.
McFarland, 1991
Librarian’s tip: "Jose Marti, 1853-1895 (Cuba): Revolutionary Poet" begins on p. 125
Young Heroes in World History
Robin Kadison Berson.
Greenwood Press, 1999
Librarian’s tip: "Jose Marti (January 28, 1853-May 19, 1895)" begins on p. 193
Trading with the Enemy: A Yankee Travels through Castro's Cuba
Tom Miller.
Basic Books, 1996
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Jose Marti begins on p. 267
On Reading South in the New World: Whitman, Marti, Glissant, and the Hegelian Dialectic
Handley, George B.
The Mississippi Quarterly, Vol. 56, No. 4, Fall 2003
Marti, Race, & Cuban Identity
Perez, Hebert.
Monthly Review, Vol. 55, No. 6, November 2003
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