Montalvo, Juan

Montalvo, Juan hwän môntäl´vō [key], 1832–89, Ecuadorean essayist and political writer. A champion of liberalism and a master of political invective, he showered fiery anathemas on the tyrant Gabriel García Moreno and later on the dictator Ignacio Veintimilla. Montalvo's first polemics appeared in his own journal, El cosmopolita (1866–69). Exiled in 1879, he went to France. The publication of his Catilinarias in 1880 made him famous. Endowed with a lucid and inquisitive intellect and a strong, quasi-romantic temperament, Montalvo turned his vivid style to a variety of historical, philosophical, and cultural themes. The essays in Siete Tratados (1882) and in Geometría moral (1902) are often speculative and introspective. Montalvo also wrote a witty sequel to Don Quixote, entitled Capítulos que se le olvidaron a Cervantes [chapters Cervantes forgot] (1921). Montalvo was a dedicated champion of democracy. Many consider him unrivaled as a stylist in 19th-century Spanish letters.

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