When writing about the culture of a country it is extremely difficult to pick one specific person to represent it. There are many people throughout the history of Venezuela that have impacted culture in a very deep way. There are musicians such as Gustavo Dudamel, Simon Diaz and Chelique Sarabia. There were artists who also affected culture such as Armando Reveron, Carlos Cruz Diez and Jesus Soto. In literature there was the great poet Andrés Eloy Blanco and many more! But I would like to focus, though, more specifically on one which I have been very fond of: Teresa de la Parra.
Teresa de la Parra was born in Paris but considered Venezuelan by nationality since her dad was from there. She moved to Venezuelan when she was young because of her fathers’ death. There she became a well-known and considered Venezuelan writer. She did not write a lot, only two books, but they changed Venezuelan literature. Her two books were Ifigenia and Memorias de mamá blanca.
I am very fond of this writer because my dad and I would read her books together, especially Ifigenia. Ifigenia was very relevant to Venezuelan culture because it consists of a girl who comes into Venezuela and learns the way it works. It talks about the people, the food, the men, the maids. It talked about everything having to do with the country. The great thing about it is that it also offered a point of view that came from the outside so Venezuelans could see themselves through the eyes of others. She was also able to reflect through the characters of her novel a lot of what was going on in the government at the time, which was the dictatorship of Juan Vicente Gómez.
There is not a cultural event to celebrate Teresa de la Parra but there does not need to be one to realize the cultural impact she had on literature in Venezuelan. At the end of her life she went to Madrid and passed away there, but her body was exhumed and brought to Venezuela where she belonged. Now she is a very much-loved and admired Venezuelan writer who not only affected literature but culture.
Written by: Iraida Bethencourt Graterón