20 oct. 2009

I got my copy of Principios modernos y creatividad expresiva en la poesía española contemporánea today, with my article on Lorca. The rest of the book pretty much backs up the high modern line that I have been promoting, but mine is the only article on Lorca in it. This made me think that my perspective is still based on my own American Lorquismo. For example, in Spain it is Jiménez--a poet for whom I feel little affinity--not Lorca who is considered the great high modernist icon.

I am the only American critic in this volume, and only one of two teaching in US universities. This is a familiar position for me.

So I guess I am in the position of arguing that the preference for Jiménez over Lorca is--not exactly a mistake--but an oversight. JRJ with his tiresome narcissism and his dire influence on the worst kind of "essentialist" poetry. Surely the worst part of Valente and his followers comes from Jiménez--and the best from Lorca, but indirectly. Why do Spanish readers admire some of the worst parts of their own tradition, like Cernuda's later dramatic monologues? They obviously need me to set them straight.


After hearing the St Louis symphony play the 1812 Overture on Saturday and the SLSO Youth Orchestra on Sunday playing Shostakovich, Bernstein, and Wagner, I was a little overwhelmed by orchestral bombast. The KC Youth orchestra in for a visit did Berlioz. It's enjoyable to a degree, and bombast always gets standing ovations. 19th century orchestra music is loud and always ends with a bang.

1 comentario:

Vance Maverick dijo...

The bang is indeed a problem. I'll save my thoughts on this for a substantial post elsewhere...for now, let me just point to the countertradition, which goes back at least as far as the end of Tristan (search for "Liebestod" if you don't already know this). True, having achieved a quiet ending, Wagner adds a bit of a swell, but it's a pretty discreet one considering the scale of what has gone before. And, still in the long 19thC, there are several good quiet endings in Mahler (Das Lied von der Erde; first movement of the 9th). But you're right, it's not till the 20th that composers are bold enough to wrap up a major orchestra piece with an offhand ending, that's not only quiet but undramatic -- the example that comes to mind is Petrushka, of 1911.