Once Upon a Time Colombia

Literary Arts: William Ospina

Family and Early Life

William Ospina is a Colombian essayist, novelist and poet. He was born on March 2nd 1954 in Herveo, Tolima. His father was Luis Ospina, a man who dedicated his entire adult-life to folklore music. It was his father who transmitted Ospina that love and passion for the Colombian and Latin American culture. William Ospina studied Law and Politics in the Santiago de Cali University, in Colombia. From 1970 to 1981 he traveled through Europe including countries such as Germany, Belgium, Italy, Greece and Spain. Making him a great connoisseur of the European culture as well. In 1986 he published his first volume of poems: “Hilo de Arena”. Since then, he has been a great contributor to Colombian culture, society and literature.

Dedication to Colombian Culture

William Ospina has dedicated his career to Colombian and Latin-American history and culture. Most of his essays make reference to our origins as country, and continent. Books such as “América Mestiza” published in 2000 shows us the heterogeneous culture we inherited from the variated inmates our continent received, and from which we took little pieces to form our culture, our country and our traditions. The trilogy of historical novels containing  “Úrsua”(2005), “ El país de la canela” (2008) and “La serpiente sin ojos” (2012) narrates us the conquest of the Amazon in a way worth of numerous acknowledgements. In fact, he won the “ Romulo Gallegos Prize” for the second book of the trilogy. He even founded  a magazine promoting culture in 1993 along with other 10 professionals.

Thoughts on his literature

Despite the fact, Ospina shows his love and passion for the undervalued culture we live in, he is also aware that not everything is nice and dandy. In Essays such as “¿Dónde esta la franja Amarilla?” Published in 1996. Which title arises as a metaphor regarding to Colombia’s flag. Or “Pa que sea cable la vaina” Ospina proposes a great thought of the country’s social, political and economical situation. William Ospina also proposes great reflections towards other aspects such as education in “La Lampara Maravillosa” or literature itself in “ La decadencia de Los Dragones” (2002) in which he offers a great view of recognized author’s words quotes and works. Including Pablo Neruda, Borges and even Shakespeare.

A great contributor

Ospina might not be the most awarded or acknowledged author in Colombia. He might not be recognized as well. But I firmly believe his work and writing is worth worldwide appreciation, because he has dedicated to give his motherland the value it deserves and that isn't estimated by others. He has dedicated to show the society he lives in its flaws, not in order to criticize it or judge it, but in order to make people ponder about them and correct them. The number of awards doesn’t measure the contribution to our nation. The contribution to our nation is measured by the worth of his words, and the effect they have in the people who read them.

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Look at what he has taught me

Have a look at Ospina's Quotes

Copyright Gabriela Mejia 2015