CAMPOAMOR Y CAMPOOSORIO, Icarn-p6-a-m6? a cam-p6-45-sere-6, Ramon de, Spanish poet: b. Navia, 24 Sept. 1817; d. 11 Feb. 1901. He studied medicine with great enthusiasm and thus got his first love of science which never left him and which continued to influence powerfully all his literary work and, to a certain degree, his political and social writings. But though his love of science re mained with him he soon tired of medicine and turned to literature. Realizing that his education was superficial and that he lacked a thorough knowledge of the literature and art of his own and foreign lands, he shut himself up in the public library and went through a self-imposed course of reading intended to help fit him for a literary life. His literary work, which at the beginning was as much journal istic as anything else, early brought him into prominence in political circles and he received one political office after another. When Chris tina fled from Spain in 1840, Campoamor de fended her and ever afterward he continued to show admiration for and devotion to her. Naturally, holding these views, he was a Con servative, views which were somewhat modified in his later days. But to his political views we owe a great deal of his prose work which was looked upon as one of the most powerful influences at work in Spain in the middle of the last century. This political work brought to Campoamor, among other offices, those'of gov ernor of Alicante and Valencia and State Coun sellor under Alfonso XII (1874). The political views held by him at this period of his life are pretty fully and forcibly expressed in mas con la Democracia,) and other works of a like nature, which present vividly the burning political and social questions of the day. Even his philosophical works, mostly of an eclectic tendency and subjective idealism, are influenced by his political ideas and the struggle in which he was engaged.
Already when scarcely out of his 'teens, Campoamor began to be recognized as a poet of force and futurity, and the Liceo Artistico, of which he was a very active member, pub lished a volume of his poems in 1840 and fol lowed up with his (Fabulas' two years later. In the same year a Madrid house published 'Los ayes del alma); all of which brought him immediate popularity and gave him an entrée into journalism and literary life. He became an editor on El Espanol, a most valued contributor to El Heraldo, one of the strongest and most feared political writers of the day, and one of the most prolific contributors in Spain to magazines, reviews and newspapers. His work was widely copied by the provincial press, so that his name was soon found among the best known in literary circles and by the general public wherever the Spanish language was spoken. With this publicity his popularity as
a writer grew with great rapidity. In 1862 he was elected a member of the Spanish Academy. Gradually he grew tired of political controversy and, in his latter days, he devoted his time and energy to work of a strictly literary nature, in which poetry began to take the foremost place.
Juan Valera, the great Spanish critic, has said of Campoamor that love and joy are the characteristics of the first half of his This is not altogether true, for the sadness, bitter ness, mild cynicism and scepticism of his later writings show through frequently in his earlier work. Yet he is ever the artist and his touch is sure and true. A word painter, he is vivid, passionate, yet ever true to nature. As a poet and thinker, as a molder of new forms of expres sion and shades of thought, he is in the fore rank of the Spanish poets of the past century. The very faults attributed to him by his severest critics are but the reflection of the age in which he lived and labored; for he is at once realistic, sceptical and spiritual, all in a mild way that conveys the impression that faith and doubt are constantly striving in his soul for the mastery; while all the time we are conscious that he is toying with a constantly intruding paganism. For he is a veritable creature of moods, passing from the highest pinnacle of joy to the lowest depths of despair. As a poet, Campoamor possesses a style charac terized by much variety and lending itself to exactness of reasoning and of form of expres sion, to of character painting and naturalness of dialogue. This combined with his power of story construction, his dramatic presentation and his energy and directness of style, rather than his facility of political thought, created for him a place in the field of political controversy.
Campoamor ranks higher as a poet than as a prose writer or philosopher. Among his best i known poetical works are (1840 ; 'Los ayes del alma) (1842) ; (1842 ; 'Ternezas y fibres) (1843) ; (1851 ; 'El Drama National' • (Cuentos (Pequedos ; pequefios poemas' (1W) ; 'Dolores y cantares' (1882) ; y fibulas' ; and (Humoradas.) His dramas, which were never successful on the stage, in clude (El honor' ; 'Guerra a la • 'El palacio de la verdacP ; (Dies ira' ; 'Glorias humans' ; (Cuerdos y locos.) His most im portant prose works are (Historia critica de las Cortes 'Filosofia de las leyes); 'Las polernicas con la 'El Per ; 'Lo ; (La