Leon de Grief: BIOGRAPHY

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Francisco de Asís León Bogislao de Greiff Haevler (is one of the) most important Colombian poesy writer. Known because of his stylistic innovations in poet and deliberately eclectic use of obscure lexicon, being a encourager of the Literary movement: Modernism. Making him be the most influential American avant-garde; recognising his symbolic, imaginative, sarcastic and musical lyricism in his writings. Through his years, he created a large group of intellectuals and artists called "Los Panidas". The best work whe hich define his style of writing is "Tergiversaciones"(1925).

Life School-University

León de Greiff was educated at the Lyceum of the University of Antioquia in Medellin, but also he went on study engineering at the School of Mines. Unfortunately, in 1913 the administration expelled him for being subversive and disruptive, as a result of leftist tendencies in politics and associations with it. He travelled to Bogota in 1914 as a secretary to Rafael Uribe Uribe, who was a friend of his father. In Bogota, he decided to study law at the Free University of S, but he didnt finish this studies because he wanted to focus on his poetry and writings. As sometimes, he alternate his classes of Literature and music history, with works in some minitry and banking.

Family and Background

León de Greiff was born on July 22, 1895 in the city of Medellin, Colombia to Amalia Haeusler Rincón and Luis de Greiff Obregón. His mother was of German descent, the daughter of Hausler who emigrate to Colombia in 1839. His father was of Swedish ancestry and was the grandson of Karl Sigismund Fromholt von Greiff, who emigrate to Colombia in 1825. Also, he hasd four siblings: Astrid, Boris, Hijalmar and Axel.Greiffs family has a strong Colombian identity and were part of standing mainstream Colombian society. His family background influenced some of later works.

Characteristics of his works

Since he was young he demonstrated considerable literary concern, developing an innovative style in his works. His poetic works are difficult to be understandable because of the dark symbolism he used, due to the double ascendency he had. Moreover, his works are: complex, introverted, sarcastic, discontented, imaginative, explosions of rhythsm and words of madness. This characteristics made him be the director of a cultural movement: Cultural Promotion and Fine Arts, which was found in 1949 and compound of intellectuals and artists with different talents in writing. Indeed, one of his works that include all of this characteristics is "Tergiversaciones".

Later life and death

In 1965 de Greiff was awarded of the Order of Boyaca with the rank of commander, which is one of the highest honours he had. Also, in 1974 he was considered "correspondiente" of the Academia Colombiana de la Lengua as being the member of the Ministry of Culture Intitut Caro Y Cuervo. He died at the age of 80 years old, at the early hours of Sunday July 11, 1976 in his home in Bogota.

Famous Works

  • Tergiversaciones (1925)

  • Libro de los signos (1930)

  • Variaciones alrededor de nada (1936)

  • Prosas de Gaspar (1937)

  • Farsa de los pinguinos peripatéticos (1942)

  • Fárrago (1955)

  • Velero paradójico (1959)

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