César Vallejo’s Journalism in Context: A Quest for Autonomy

Jose Valentino Gianuzzi Armijo, Valentino Gianuzzi

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis


This thesis examines the different production contexts of the journalistic output of the Peruvian poet Cesar Vallejo (1892-1938). Taking the notion of the writer's autonomy as a guiding thread, the study traces Vallejo's development as a journalist and describes the different ways in which he negotiated with external agents when producing his articles. The first chapter explores Vallejo's early acquaintance with journalism in Peru and places his first chronicles within the discourses of literature, the academy, and the press. It reveals Vallejo's early notion of journalism as a vehicle for advancing his own literary concerns. The second chapter analyzes Vallejo's negotiations with the journalistic market after his trip to Europe. This change in production context brought about a change in his writing, as he had to model his texts considering the established tradition of the Parisian chronicle. By analyzing not only his texts but also the images he provided for his illustrated articles, the chapter shows that Vallejo's use of irony was his main tool to provide, at the same time, a description and a critique of Parisian modernity. The third chapter assesses Vallejo's place in the official and unofficial artistic world of Paris. By taking a closer look at his relationship with the Peruvian government, it demonstrates how he tried to model some of his French articles to garner future economic benefits from Leguia's regime. The last chapter traces Vallejo's politicization during the late 192os through his acquaintance with Marxism and dialectics. It examines the corrections he made when collecting some of his articles in book form in order to withdraw his writing from the more mundane context of the periodical press. The study is complemented by a complete bibliography of Vallejo's uncollected prose and by an appendix collecting eleven new articles discovered during the research.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University College London (UCL)
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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