19 ene. 2011

1st two paragraphs of What Lorca Knew

In my reflections about Spanish poetry over the past decade or so, I have been increasingly interested in two paradoxical developments. The first is the predominance of modernism at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Why should a movement that reached its historical apogee in the first decades of the twenty-first century enjoy a second flowering almost a hundred years later? The second paradox is that the most intellectually developed form of late Spanish modernism, that of José Ángel Valente, has its roots in Spanish mysticism of the counter-reformation period, and in other intellectual developments that seem decidedly unmodern, or, at the very least, ambivalent toward modernity. The common element in these two developments is the historical anachronism by which Spanish modernity gets displaced—deferred until the close of the twentieth century or superimposed on the sixteenth.

This persistent anachronism gives the late modern movement in Spanish poetry an uncertain and problematic identity. I have dealt with this problem previously, in a book published in 2009, The Twlight of the Avant-Garde: Spanish Poetry 1980-2000, but there my emphasis was on the rivalry between Valente’s school and the resolutely anti-modern school of Luis García Montero and the “poetry of experience.” This polemic, which dominated discussions of Spanish poetry in the 1990s and the first few years of the twenty-first century, no longer seems as relevant to me as it once did. Late modernism has not only survived but flourished since 2000. Signs of this ascendency include the canonization of Antonio Gamoneda, the publication of Las ínsulas extrañas, and the increasing amount of first-rate scholarship on the philosophy of María Zambrano.

3 comentarios:

Vance Maverick dijo...

Hmm, it doesn't seem very "classic" to start with signposting, phrased personally at that. (Also, "twenty-first" s/b "twentieth".)

JforJames dijo...

Ran across this on Sounding Project audio blog...
New Spanish Poetry (as of 1993, that is)...
http://soundingsproject.org/1993/07/new-spanish-poetry-2/

Jonathan dijo...

God, hearing Debicki's voice again... What a mixture of emotions.