The Decapitated Generation

Generación decapitada (Spanish for “Beheaded/Decapitated Generation”) is a literary group from the early twentieth century composed primarily of four young Ecuadorian poets. The group is called “decapitada,” or “decapitated,” because each member committed suicide at a young age. It includes two men from Guayaquil, Medardo Ángel Silva and Ernesto Noboa y Caamaño and two from Quito, Arturo Borja and Humberto Fierro. These four writers were heavily influenced by Rubén Darío’s modernismo movement and 19th-century French romantic poetry. They all read the poetry of Baudelaire, Hugo, Rimbaud, and Verlaine in the original French. Despite knowing each other and dedicating poems to one another, they never met to form an actual literary group. The term “generación decapitada” was coined in the mid-twentieth century by writer Raúl Andrade and other journalists and historians who noticed similarities in the authors’ poetry and fates.

Core members of the group:

Other poets who have sometimes been considered members

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