Tomás Blanco

Tomás Blanco

Writer of the 1930s generation who was known for his essays on cultural and literary criticism. He also wrote short stories, novels and poetry. His writing presents a critical analysis of the Puerto Rican culture, as well as reflections on universal topics.

Born in San Juan in 1897. He studied medicine at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and later lived in Madrid for many years, where he wrote literary criticism..

In 1935, he published his first book, Prontuario histórico de Puerto Rico, an interpretation of the history of Puerto Rico. This work became, along with Insularismo – a work by writer Antonio S. Pedreira that analyzes Puerto Rican identity – an essential study in the analysis of Puerto Rican history and culture.

His essays included El prejuicio racial en Puerto Rico (1942), a study of the conditions of blacks on the island; Sobre Palés Matos (1950), an analysis of the Afro-Antillean poetry by that writer; Los cinco sentidos: cuaderno suelto de un inventario de cosas nuestras (1955), a work that analyzes the cultural and political condition of Puerto Ricans; and Miserere: en la muerte de Georges Rouault y luz perpetua luzca en él (1959), a commentary on a collection of paintings by Rouault.

He also wrote essays for many magazines, such as the Ateneo Puertorriqueño, Isla Asomante, Presente, Revista de la Asociación de Mujeres Graduadas and Revista del Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña. His prose, with its lyrical qualities, is written in a general form of Spanish, though it presents Puerto Rican regional characteristics.

He also pursued other genres of writing, including the short story. Among his stories are Los aguinaldos del Infante: glosa de Epifanía (1954), La dragoneta: cuento de Semana Santa (1956) and Cuentos sin ton ni son (1970). In poetry, he wrote Letras para música (1964), and he wrote the novel Los vates: embeleco fantástico para niños mayores de edad (1949). He was also the author of the lyrics to the song “Tres estrofas de amor: Canción para soprano” (1925), for which Pablo Casals (cellist, composer and musical director) composed the music.

Blanco’s fiction addressed the same topics as his essays: concern about the cultural and political condition of Puerto Ricans and reflection on metaphysical and universal themes.

Blanco Geigel died in San Juan on April 12, 1975.


Rivera de Alvarez, Josefina. Literatura puertorriqueña, su proceso en el tiempo. Madrid: Ediciones Panteón, 1983.

Del Rosario, Rubén. Breve Enciclopedia de la Cultura Puertorriqueña. Hato Rey: Ediciones Cordillera, 1976.

Vélez, Rigoberto. Puertorriqueños Ilustres de todos los tiempos. Ponce: Editorial Centro Pedagógico, 1986.

Gran Enciclopedia de Puerto Rico

Author: Grupo Editorial EPRL
Published: September 16, 2014.

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