Entrepreneurs of exile: Chilean liberals in Peru, 1851--1879

Date of Completion

January 2002


Literature, Latin American|History, Latin American




Entrepreneurs of Exile: Chilean Liberals in Peru, 1851–1879 describes and analyzes the activities of Chilean exiles and émigrés who took up residence in Lima following the unsuccessful Revolutions of 1851 and 1859. Those activities and their significance are tracked to 1879. ^ The War of the Pacific (1879–1883) traditionally is seen as the source of animosities between Chile and Peru. But the seeds of that enmity were planted in the colonial period and had taken root during the middle years of the nineteenth century. The public discourse on the issue can most effectively be described and analyzed through the prism of the Chilean community living in mid-century Peru and through the prism of the Peruvian host culture. ^ In Peru, Chilean Liberals became not only writers in exile but writers of exile. They wrote about the experience of exile, about Chile and about Peru; they commented on other events of the day. They wrote articles, monographs and novels with exilic themes that carried over and became incorporated into their published body-of-work upon their return to Chile in the 1860s. Of equal importance are the letters, essays, poems and pamphlets that discussed the nature of the home and host cultures and societies. These previously neglected analyses of Chile and Peru during the middle years of the nineteenth century are the basis for this study. ^ The phenomenon of exile has generated an extensive body and rage of literature. However, the study of exile suffers from lack of methodology and consistent argument. Entrepreneurs of Exile remedies that deficiency by proposing a typology and methodology for the study of exile that take into account the complexity of the exile experience and the interactive dynamic among exiles and between exiles and their host and home countries. ^