14 mar. 2011

The 1930s

I've been increasingly interested in the 1930s. Zambrano's first works, the beginnings of Lezama Lima. Lorca's duende lecture and Diván del Tamarit, Unamuno's San Manuel Bueno, mártir. The 30s represents the end of historical modernism and the beginning of late modernism. The Civil war is 36-39. The years right before are fraught with ideological conflict. The historical avant-garde has its last glorious moments before dying or becoming something else.

The late modernism of the 1975-present period is steeped in the 30s and 40s, that reorientation of modernism that occurs then.

What do you do, then, with social realism of the 1950s and 60s? Speaking of Spain, I guess we could see Sartrean engagement as an influential but short-lived movement. Any good poet from about '55 on was trying to find a way out of the realist nightmare. Even before social poetry reached its high-water mark the good poets were already trying to make an end-run about it. It took a while to develop in the later work of Valente, Crespo, Gamoneda, Atencia, but it was already in early Rodríguez.

Maybe I need chapter on Atencia? It couldn't hurt.