Pablo Palacio

Pablo Palacio

Pablo Palacio was an Ecuadorian avant-garde writer. He was born in Loja on January 25, 1906 and died in Quito on January 7, 1947. In 1925 he earned a degree in jurisprudence from the Central University of Ecuador. He served as professor of philosophy and literature at the same University, as an Undersecretary of the Ministry of education (when it was led by Benjamín Carrión), and as Undersecretary of the National Constituent Assembly in 1938. He is best known for his novels Débora (1927), Vida del ahorcado (1932) and his short story collection Un hombre muerto a puntapiés (1927). His work has been praised for its originality and its contribution to the development of Ecuadorian literature. In 1939, he began to suffer from mental disorders and soon after was declared mad. He spent the last seven years of his life in a psychiatric clinic accompanied and cared for by his faithful wife, who volunteered as a nurse in the same clinic to be able to cover the costs of treatment.

Personal life

Pablo Palacio with his wife Carmen Palacios Cevallos, 1939

In 1937, Palacio married Carmen Palacios Cevallos. Palacio’s fellow writer and friend, José de la Cuadra, described her as: “The queen of the capital’s intellectual world, sculptor and sculpture.” The Palacios had two children, a boy and girl, the latter of which was born with mental retardation.



  • Débora (Quito, 1927).
  • Vida del ahorcado —novela subjetiva— (Quito, 1932).

Short stories

  • El huerfanito (Loja, 1921).
  • El antropófago (Quito, 1926).
  • Luz lateral (Quito, 1926).
  • Brujerías (Quito, 1926).
  • Un hombre muerto a puntapiés (Quito, 1927).
  • Las mujeres miran las estrellas (Quito, 1927).
  • La doble y única mujer (Quito, 1927).
  • El Cuento (Quito, 1927).
  • Señora (Quito, 1927).
  • Relato de la muy sensible desgracia acaecida en la persona del joven Z (Quito, 1927); Una mujer y luego pollo frito (Quito, 1929).
  • Cuentos hispanoamericanos, Ecuador (1992);


  • Comedia inmortal (Quito, 1926).
  • Obras escogidas (Guayaquil).
  • Un hombre muerto a puntapiés —obra completa— (La Habana, 1982).
  • Obra completa —edición de Wilfrido H. Corral— (París, 2000).
  • Consta en las antologías: El nuevo relato ecuatoriano, (Quito, 1951).
  • Primera antología de la ciencia ficción latinoamericana (Buenos Aires, 1970).

Collections which have included Palacio’s writings:

  • Antología del relato ecuatoriano (Quito, 1973).
  • El cuento actual latinoamericano (México, 1973).
  • Antología del cuento ecuatoriano (Lima, 1974).
  • Selección de cuentistas lojanos (Loja, 1979).
  • Así en la tierra como en los sueños (Quito, 1991).
  • Antología crítica del cuento hispanoamericano del siglo XX.
  • 1 Fundadores innovadores (Madrid, 1992).
  • Cuento contigo (Guayaquil, 1993).
  • Cuentos escogidos del Ecuador (Quito, 1995).
  • Veintiún cuentistas ecuatorianos (Quito, 1996).
  • El cuento hispanoamericano en el siglo XX (Madrid, 1997).
  • Antología básica del cuento ecuatoriano (Quito, 1998).
  • Cuento ecuatoriano contemporáneo (México, 2001)

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