According to thefreegeography, almost non-existent during the colonial era, literature began to show signs of life after 1830, but developed late and slow, both for the political events of the country and for the proximity of Buenos Aires, where in many cases Uruguayan writers they lived and worked, so the critical hypothesis of a “union” of Argentine and Uruguayan literatures under the name of “Rioplatense” does not appear without foundation. Gauchesque poetry, for example, had its first bard in the Uruguayan B. Hidalgo (1788-1822), but then flourished above all in Argentina, while the Argentine “liberal” writers, refugees in Montevideo during the dictatorship of Rosas, gave impetus to the first Uruguayan romanticism. With political independence, however, Uruguay had its first romantic writers: the easy versifier F. Acuña de Figueroa (1791-1862), the poets A. Berro (1819-1841) and JC Gómez (1820-1884) and the eclectic A. Magariños Cervantes (1825-1893), author of numerous poems, plays and short stories (Caramurú, 1854). The theater began after 1870, with the modest works of O. Moratorio (1852-1898). Somewhat more original, the “second romanticism” had its leading figure in J. Zorrilla de San Martín (1855-1931), whose poem Tabaré (1888) is a very significant text of Indian sentimentality. Not without some merit are also LM Lafinur, T. Díaz, E. Regules, the Gauchish AD Lussich (1848-1929), the historian and critic F. Bauzá and, with particular emphasis, EA Díaz (1851-1921), author of historical and realistic novels (Ismaél, 1888; Nativa, 1890; Grito de Gloria, 1893). But the most fertile season of Uruguayan literature began with modernism, at the beginning of the century. XX. Apart from great writers who settled in Argentina, such as the playwright F. Sánchez (1875-1910) and the narrator H. Quiroga (1878-1937), the lyric poet J. Herrera y Reissig flourished in Montevideo (1875-1910), author especially of Los éxtasis de la montaña, and the essayist JE Rodó (1871-1917), whose Ariel, a high spiritualist message, was read and admired throughout Latin America. At the same time two original poetesses flourished, the passionate D. Agustini (1886-1914) and the pensive and complex ME Vaz Ferreira (1875-1924), as well as other poets such as AA Vasseur (1878-1969), R. de las Carreras (1875-possibly 1968), E. Frugoni (1880-1969), etc. In the same atmosphere of Symbolist renewal, some narrators were formed, including C. Reyles (1868-1938), the first true Uruguayan novelist, and J. de Viana (1868-1926).
In the theater E. Herrera distinguished himself (1886-1917). The luxuriant flowering was accentuated with the postmodernists, sensitive, especially in the Thirties and Forties, to the ways of the avant-gardes. There is a large group of poets, with leading figures such as J.de Ibarbourou (1895-1979), nicknamed Juana de América by popular admiration; C. Sabat Ercasty (1887-1978), a fruitful Whitmanian; E. Oribe (1893-1975), S. de Ibáñez (1910-1971), C. Silva (1905-1978), L. Falco (1906-1955) and J. Cunha (1910-1985), first introducers of the techniques avant-gardes, later adopted by numerous others, including I. Vilariño (1920), R. Paseyro (1927), I. Vitale (1924) etc., with different tendencies and often singular sensibilities. In the prose narrative, in addition to the excellent “ruralist” E. Amorim (1900-1960), who came to the fore in Argentina, the humorist-surrealist F. Hernández (1902-1963), the strong and original J. C Onetti (1909-1994), already well-known novelist, gradually acquired prominence. with El pozo (1939), Tierra de nadie (1941) and Para esta noche (1943), as well as leading author of the 1950s generation with La vida es breve (1959); M. Benedetti (1920), who for his vast and incisive industriousness (poet, playwright, essayist and publicist) should be considered the teacher of the younger generations. Less satisfactory results gave the theater as a whole, in which FS Valdés distinguished themselves (1887-1975), author of Santos Vega, C. Maggi (1922), author of a selection of sparkling humorous texts (El libro del buon humor, 1985), and M. Rosencoff (1933), while A. Zum Felde, founder of Uruguayan literary history, R. Ibáñez (1907-1978), M. Benedetti, ER Monegal (1921-1985), A. Rana (1926-1984). There are always numerous poets (SI Islas, W. Benavides, R. Yakovski, M Schinca, JM Vidal, S. Puig, W. Ortiz y Ayala, J. Meretta) and poetesses, including CP Rossi (1941), author of important lyric collections but also of successful novels; N. Bacelo, C. Maia, A. Gelbtrunk and A. Berenguer. Among the writers who emerged in the second half of the twentieth century E. Galeano (b. 1940), with an intense journalistic and non-fiction activity, the aforementioned Peri Rossi, while J. Sclavo, J. Blanco and A. Mediza work effectively in the theatrical and cinematographic field.
With the advent of the dictatorship (1973) most Uruguayan writers had to leave the country: the great JC Onetti in Spain where he published Dejemos hablar el viento (1980) and Cuando entonces (1988); M. Benedetti in Cuba where he wrote Cuentos, Cuaderno Cubano and Inventario, the poet I. Vitale in Mexico, where he published Fieles (1976); E. Galeano, author of consolidated fame and author of the novel La canción de nosotros, is also exiled (1976), of a very valid trilogy on the origins and destinies of Latin America (Memoria del fuego, 1982-87, El libro de los abrazos, 1992, Días y noches de amor y de guerra, 1997), and CM Moreno, who wrote Con las primeras luces. In Uruguay only the writers M. Levrero, H. Galmés and a few others remained, in addition to the poets E. Milán (1952) and E. Estrázulas, author of Confesión de los perros (1975) and Los viejísimos cielos (1976). After the end of the dictatorship (1985), the publication, continued in the early nineties, of poetic texts written in prison or from exile began, with which the tragic experiences of political imprisonment and torture were given voice. New works by already established authors have been published, such as M. Benedetti and H. Achugar, while the creative effort of the young poets is heavily hampered by serious economic difficulties, which the publishing sector certainly cannot escape. Among the younger voices stand out, for poetry, that of R. Courtoisie (1958), whose work is also known and appreciated in Europe (his book Estado sólido he won the Poetry Prize of the Loewe Foundation in 1996), for fiction F. Butazzoni (1952). The generation of authors that emerged between the end of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first century has different but equally interesting personalities, with a large representation of authors. Among the best interpreters Mercedes Vigil (b. 1965; Matilde, la mujer de Batlle, Una mujer inconveniente) who produced novels steeped in intimate and historical analysis; Andrea Blanqué (b. 1959, Revelación Prize 2001); the very young poet Eliana Nasser (b. 1983). Among the writers Gabriel Peveroni (b.1969), Jorge Majfud (b.1969) stand out, in whose books the socio-political theme is strong, such as Hacia qué patrias del silencio and Renzo Rosello (b. 1960).