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The Genealogy of Late Modernism in Spain: Unamuno, Lorca, Zambrano, and Valente

The Genealogy of Late Modernism in Spain: Unamuno, Lorca, Zambrano, and Valente Jonathan Mayhew Introduction: Late Modernism and Zambrano’s Poetic Exceptionalism A paradoxically belated ‘late modernist’ poetics took shape in Spanish poetry during the final decades of the twentieth century. Its bestknown representative was José Ángel Valente (1929–2000), a poet who late in life cultivated the mystique of a para-mystic and cryptic writer, modelling himself explicitly on poets like Paul Celan, whom he translated into Spanish.1 At times it may have seemed to readers of Valente as if he were in competition with the Romanian poet of German expression to make himself deserving of the appellation ‘last European poet’, one whose voice would embody the unspeakable catastrophes of Europe in the twentieth century.2 Spain’s late modernism has also been called ‘essentialism’ [esencialismo] because it favours hermetic knowledge over transparent communication and regression to womblike origins over teleologies of linear progress. This late modernism is not, primarily, a revival of the historical modernism of the 1920s and 1930s. It is, rather, a largely reconfigured movement that arises almost exclusively from a single strain of Spanish modernism: the cultural exceptionalism and poetic phenomenology developed in the writing of irrationalist philosopher María Zambrano (1904–91) and like-minded authors in the generation of 1927. Zambrano, http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Modernist Cultures Edinburgh University Press

The Genealogy of Late Modernism in Spain: Unamuno, Lorca, Zambrano, and Valente

Modernist Cultures , Volume 7 (1): 77 – May 1, 2012

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
© Edinburgh University Press 2012
Subject
Film, Media and Cultural Studies
ISSN
2041-1022
eISSN
1753-8629
DOI
10.3366/mod.2012.0029
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Jonathan Mayhew Introduction: Late Modernism and Zambrano’s Poetic Exceptionalism A paradoxically belated ‘late modernist’ poetics took shape in Spanish poetry during the final decades of the twentieth century. Its bestknown representative was José Ángel Valente (1929–2000), a poet who late in life cultivated the mystique of a para-mystic and cryptic writer, modelling himself explicitly on poets like Paul Celan, whom he translated into Spanish.1 At times it may have seemed to readers of Valente as if he were in competition with the Romanian poet of German expression to make himself deserving of the appellation ‘last European poet’, one whose voice would embody the unspeakable catastrophes of Europe in the twentieth century.2 Spain’s late modernism has also been called ‘essentialism’ [esencialismo] because it favours hermetic knowledge over transparent communication and regression to womblike origins over teleologies of linear progress. This late modernism is not, primarily, a revival of the historical modernism of the 1920s and 1930s. It is, rather, a largely reconfigured movement that arises almost exclusively from a single strain of Spanish modernism: the cultural exceptionalism and poetic phenomenology developed in the writing of irrationalist philosopher María Zambrano (1904–91) and like-minded authors in the generation of 1927. Zambrano,

Journal

Modernist CulturesEdinburgh University Press

Published: May 1, 2012

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