The Controversy Sorrounding the Ruben Dario Papers in Arizona

A few weeks ago the always with-it Harriet Blog wrote a post about the Arizona State University’s acquisition of a large collection of Ruben Darío´s papers – including a supposedly erotic correspondence with Mexican poet Amado Nervo. Aside from the potential irony of this important hispanophone literary archive house in a state reputed to be less than kind to Latinos, it more importantly looks like a case of fraud.

dario arizona

Many scholars within Darío´s native Nicaragua including novelist Sergio Ramirez have insisted that the papers are falsified. There is plenty of reason to believe they were – mainly mismatched dates that even someone with basic familiarity with Darío´s work and life could spot.They were also auctioned in Spain – or at least papers much like these – but were exposed as a sham a year prior.

Part of these forged papers would include a correspondence that are supposed to evidence Darío´s alleged homosexual relationship with Amado Nervo. (Everyone in this debate as far as I have read has excluded the vague difference between homosexuality and what we might call extreme bromance in the late 19th century, including the beginning of the 20th. So this point seems kind of moot.)

One presumes the collection was sold for a big sum of money, and if these scholars are right, Arizona State University got conned.

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