The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse


Vicente Blasco Ibáñez (1867–1928) was a Valencian writer, editor, journalist, and politician. He was awarded a degree in law from the University of Valencia in 1888, but he never practiced law. In 1887 he joined the Republican Party and embarked on an active political life. He founded two newspapers, La Bandera Federal (The federal flag), in 1889, and El Pueblo (The people), in 1894, in which he displayed his republican ideas and his opposition to the monarchy. He also founded two publishing houses, Sempere and Prometeo. In 1890 he was forced to seek exile in Paris, where he first became acquainted with French naturalism, which was highly influential in his works. His first successful novel, La barraca (The cabin), was an indictment of social injustice in rural Valencia. The major characteristics of his novels are naturalism, realistic descriptions of different environments, elements relating to customs and manners and regions, and the frantic rhythm of his narratives. His works can be thematically grouped in several categories: works with typical Valencian characteristics, such as Arroz y tartana (Airs and graces), La barraca, and Entre naranjos (The torrent); works of social criticism, such as La catedral (The cathedral) and El intruso (The intruder); psychological novels, such as Sangre y arena (Blood and sand); and war novels, the most famous of which is Los cuatro jinetes del Apocalipsis (The four horsemen of the apocalypse), which was translated into English in 1918 and received international popular acclaim; it became a best seller in the United States in 1919. He also wrote travelogues, based on his two decades of international travels, including La vuelta al mundo de un novelista (A novelist's tour of the world). Blasco Ibáñez died in France in 1928; his body was taken to Valencia, where he was buried in 1933. Los cuatro jinetes del Apocalipsis is a story of World War I, set in France in 1914.

Last updated: November 14, 2017