6 feb. 2011

The Spanish Soul

Nobody writing on Zambrano (almost nobody) seems to question the idea that there is an essence to Spanish culture, a Spanish soul that can be found in the poetry of Saint John of the Cross.

None of the American poets I studied in Apocryphal Lorca question the duende and its expression of a Spanish essence. These are supposedly postmodern poets. (Only Sorrentino when making fun of Bly.)

I think I see a pattern developing.

2 comentarios:

Vance Maverick dijo...

This sounds like one of those seemingly obvious things which it's very well worth pointing out -- or being the one to point out. In your Lorca book, you do set out at least the ingredients of an argument about why a Spanish essentialism (however bogus, parenthetically) was useful to those American writers.

Clarissa dijo...

I couldn't agree more. Essentialism still seems very attractive to people. I wrote my first dissertation on the intellectual debates surrounding the creation of the idea of Spanish "caracter nacional". The whole construct is completely artificial, and you can see it being created in front of your very eyes. Still, essentialism (and not only national but all kinds of essentialism, including gender essentialism) is very comforting to people. So many things can be explained - or rather, dismissed - through references to some imaginary "Spanish soul."