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Avant-garde and neo-baroque.

Two quotes illustrate the refusal to concede the end of modernismo and surrealism. Juan Ramon Jimenez declared in an interview in 1934:

Lo que se llama modernismo no es cosa de escuela ni de forma, sino de actitud ... Eso es el modernismo: un gran movimiento de entusiasmo y libertad hacia la belleza. (Qtd. Gullon, 17; my emphasis)

In a similar way, Octavio Paz offered a public lecture on Surrealista in 1954, in which he said:

[E]l surrealismo ... no es una escuela (aunque constituya un grupo o secta), ni una poetica (a pesar de que uno de sus postulados esenciales sea de orden poetico; el poder libertador de la inspiracion), ni una religion o un partido politico. El surrealismo es una actitud del espiritu humano. (Paz, 1954, 204; my emphasis)

It is noticeable the striking parallels. If the weight is on "attitude," the respective movements have a better chance of survival. But although ethics are essential to some artistic movements, aesthetics define their singularity. It is much easier to identify certain poetics by style rather than by its moral values. (1) What we observe throughout time is the transformation of forms and the merging of different styles, even when they were conceived earlier as competing aesthetics. Neo baroque poetry not only incorporates features from 17th century Spanish baroque, but it also considers elements from modernismo, (2) the avant-garde, and even colloquial poetry. In an earlier article, I studied the links between modernismo and neo- baroque. (3) Here, I would like to concentrate on the connections with the avant-garde. After some initial reflections about its continuity, I consider the revival of the historical baroque at the beginning of the 20th century, and then I review the interactions between some of the avant-garde movements (particularly, concretismo and surrealism) and the neo- baroque. More than a thorough study of the multiple connections between them, I make some basic points for further inquiry.

When does the Latin American literary avant-garde end? What criteria should we use to decide that ending? Most critics dealing with it, who have edited manifestos and other relevant documents (Hugo Verani, Nelson Osario, Jorge Schwartz; also, in the bibliography compiled by Merlin Forster and David Jackson, or in the anthology edited by Mihai Grunfeld), use--with minor differences--a beginning and end dates, going from 1916 to 1935. (4) The first one refers to the publication of the very controversial El espejo de agua, by Vicente Huidobro; the second one to the second edition of Pablo Neruda's Residencia en la tierra.

Jorge Schwartz establishes 1938 as the end date, the year that Andre Breton visited Mexico, which served as a forum for the publication of the "Manifesto for an Independent Revolutionary Art," signed by Breton himself, Diego Rivera, and Leo Trotsky (Schwartz publishes Borges' reaction to it in a brief essay titled "Un caudaloso manifiesto de Breton." (5) In historical terms, the Spanish Civil War and World War II were key events that mark an end of an era. At the same time, it is important to note that the major poets of that generation (Borges, Vallejo, Neruda, and even Huidobro in the 1940s) were critical and skeptical towards the avant-garde.

Nevertheless, a brief review of later years would demonstrate that the avant-garde was not extinguished at all. If we take as a starting point that same year of 1938, we should remember all the surrealist magazines of the period: in Chile, Mandragora (1938-1943, edited by Braulio Arenas, Enrique Gomez Correa and Jorge Caceres, and later joined by Teofilo Cid and Gonzalo Rojas), in Peru, El uso de la palabra (1939, by Emilio Adolfo Westphalen and Cesar Moro), or in Argentina, A partir de cera (1952-1954, edited by Enrique Molina and Aldo Pellegrini). In the same surrealist vein, we should consider Gonzalo Arango's "Nadaista Manifesto," published in 1958, in Colombia; and a few years later the Venezuelan magazine El techo de la ballena (1968). In Mexico, Octavio Paz's books, Libertad bajo palabra (1949), ?Aguila a sol? (1951), and La estacion violenta (1958), in addition to his books of essays, El arco y la lira (1957), and Lasperas del olmo (1957), are strongly embedded with surrealism. Other Mexican poets followed this line of exploration: Tomas Segovia, Marco Antonio Montes de Oca and Homero Aridjis, to name a few.

Nicanor Parra's Poemas y antipaemas (1954) continue the nihilistic and rebellious attitude of dadaism. In Argentina, Oliverio Girondo's most radical book, En la masmedula, was published in 1956. And almost simultaneously concretismo emerges in Brazil with Haroldo de Campos, Augusto de Campos and Decio Pignatari. Octavio Paz realized the relevance of this movement: "En 1920 la vanguardia estaba en Hispanoamerica; en 1960, en Brasil" (Paz, 1994, 71). Paz himself practiced concretista poetry in his Tapoemas (1968). Also, at that time he wrote Blanco (1967), which could be considered a culmination of some of the motifs found in cubism and surrealism (written in combination with his celebrated essay "Signos en rotacion," later included in El arco y la lira, but curiously published in Argentina with the subtitle of "manifiesto" (6)). In the Southern Cone, visual poetry was common since the 1970s. In Mexico, Myriam Moscona published Negra marfil (2000), which could be considered, in a certain extent, a cubist poem. (7) Finally, the current digital technology is allowing poetry to use color, sound, music, images, visual space, and hyperlinks. This is in my opinion what the avant-garde conceived as its ultimate goal. Thus, some of the concretista poetry by Augusto and Haroldo de Campos was easily adaptable to the new technology. (8)

In a parallel line of continuity, we should envision the emergence of the neobaroque. From the poetry, essays, and fiction by Jose Lezama Lima in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, later redefined by Severo Sarduy (in the context of the theory emerged at the French journal Tel Quel), the neo-baroque adapts, adjuncts, rejects, reformulates, in its own way, the poetics of the historical baroque, but also of modernismo, the avant-garde, and even (as a counterpoint) colloquial poetry (Jose Coronel Urtecho and Ernesto Cardenal's "exteriorismo"). In his selection, Caribe transplatino. Poesia neobarroca cubana y rioplatense (1991), Nestor Perlonher established some links between the Cuban neo-baroque poetry (Jose Lezama Lima, Severo Sarduy, Jose Kozer), and the one from Rio de la Plata (poets included in the anthology: Osvaldo Lamborghini, Perlongher himself, Roberto Echavarren, Arturo Carrera, Eduardo Milan, and Tomara Kamenszain). Perlongher created the term "neobarroso" ["neomurkiness"?] to bring the baroque to the muddy and erasing waters of Rio de la Plata (using a language akin to the post-structuralist theory he was reading). At the same time, Eduardo Milan was writing his "cronica de poesia" (a monthly poetry chronicle, in the form of review-essays published in the late 1980s at the influential Vuelta magazine). (9) Roberto Echavarren selected work from three rioplatense poets: Marosa di Giorgio, Osvaldo Lamborghini and Nestor Perlongher, in Transplatinos (1991). Eduardo Espina had also coined his own term, "barrococo" [baroque and rococo], in an interview with Miguel Angel Zapata. (10) Medusario (1996) captured all of these experiences, and intended to expand them by including writers from a wider landscape in Latin America.

The modernistas viewed favorably Luis de Gongora and other poets from the 17th century. One may think that Ruben Dario, deeply influenced by French symbolists, went to read Gongora inspired by Verlaine and Mallarme. At the beginning of the 20th century, the late modernista poets, Leopoldo Lugones and Julio Herrera y Reissig, use profuse language, in similarity with the excess of the baroque in their books Los crepusculos del jardin (1905), and Lunario Sentimental (1909), by Lugones, and Los extasis de la montana (1904), by Herrera y Reissig. Their innovation of the metaphor and the poetic image was a clear preview of the avant-garde (as it was recognized by Borges in relation to ultraismo). (11) Herrera y Reissig calls Gongora "a decadentist comet," describing his poetry as "promiscuidad de vocablos de rimbombancia churrigueresca, que saltan a la mente como munecos elasticos, fraseologia fatua, que como un aerostato, mas se hincha cuanto mas ube de tono; hiperboles gigantes que pasan volando ..." (Herera y Reissig, 46). In a way, with this description the Uruguayan poet was also identifying his own writing.

Gongora's relevance will continue with the 1927 Spanish generation, particularly with the contributions by Damaso Alonso. Also, in that same 1927 (which commemorated the third centenary of Gongora's death) Alfonso Reyes published his Cuestiones gongorinas, written in Madrid between 1915 and 1923. In a later essay, "Gongora y America" (written in 1929), Reyes reviews all the main bibliographic references regarding Gongora's reappearance in Spanish American literature. In 1915, Jose Ortega y Gasset wrote "La voluntad del barroco" (essay on Pio Baroja). In it, Ortega established the affinity between the baroque and the avant-garde: "Para Greco todo se convierte en gesto, en dynamis ... en esto consiste lo que hoy y por lo pronto nos interesa mas del arte barroco. La nueva sensibilidad aspira a un arte y a una vida que contengan un maravilloso gesto de moverse" (Ortega y Gasset, 245). (12)

There are many connections between the avant-garde poets and the historical baroque. I would like to summarize what I consider major points in common:

1. At the level of the image, as Octavio Paz points out, there is an important coincidence between the ideas of Gracian and those of the Cubist poet Pierre Reverdy (in the latter case, they applied first to cubism and then were re-adapted by Breton for surrealism). Gracian indicates: "el concepto es un acto del entendimiento que exprime la correspondencia que se halla entre los objetos." In a similar way, Reverdy says in Nord-Sud: "The image is a pure creation of the mind. It cannot be born of a comparison, but only from the bringing together of two more or less different realities ... The more distant and opposite the relationships between the two realities, the stronger the image will be, and the more emotive power and poetic reality it will have" (1918 (qtd. Paz, 1982, 78-79). Paz also notes that "... en su Antologia poetica en honor a Gongora, el poem Gerardo Diego subraya que se trata de crear objetos verbales (poemas) 'hechos de palabras', palabras 'que tengan mas de ensalmo que de verso' ... El mismo Gerardo Diego publico despues un memorable poema, Fabula de Equis y Zeta (1932), en el que el barroquismo se aliaba al creacionismo (Paz, 1974, 188).

2. Fixation with Form. In both the baroque and the avant-garde innovative ways of expression are introduced. While in the baroque it happens more as a product of rhetorical tropes (hyperbaton, hyperbole, antithesis, etc.), in the avant-garde it gets to the point of questioning the genre itself. The new way to experiment with language included games of words, alliterations, rupture of the morphology of the words, of in the image of the word that plays in its interior the mixture of the strangers (the two realities from Reverdy at the morphological level), like the "el unipacio y el espaverso" (the unimos and the cosverse), "la violondrina y el goloncelo" (the violonswallow with a cellotail), and the "lunatando" (moonaluning). (13)

3. The surprise, the unexpected. The baroque poets play with the forms and the language in order to amaze; amongst the vanguardists poets it predominated over the dispute for originality, which was formulated, in Apollinaire's terms as "the new spirit." All the polemics associated with Huidobro derived from his anxiety for appearing as the "first one" in creating new ways of writing. In this sense, vanguardists are forced to experiment with more intensity in their desire to surprise (challenge) readers or spectators. In this sense, the avant-garde is the exacerbation of the baroque.

4. Game, parody, humor. It is obvious the propensity in both cases to language play; baroque poets responded to challenges (to write, for example, poems with certain rhymes, difficult words, etc.); (14) in the avant-garde, at times the game becomes its own structure, its own purpose (like in Tzara's recipe to do a poem).

5. Hermeticism. Ortega y Gasset aims at this element as significant in the separation between the artist and his public. As Gongora, the avant-garde poets become cryptic; works like Trilce, which represented a big difficulty fro the common reader. From Gracian, who says "Truth, the more difficult, the more pleasant, and the knowledge the harder to get, the more esteemed," we move to Lezama Limas famous phrase "Only the difficult is stimulating." (15)

Medusaria compiles the poetry of twenty two writers from different Latin American countries. The selection is preceded by a few poems by Jose Lezama Lima, since he was such an important and major figure for neo-baroque authors. There is not one single way to understand, read, of perceive what could be considered the baroque in them (this diversity has created, I believe, certain ambivalence about the uneasiness with the identification as "neo-baroque" by some of the poets themselves). Also, because of their experimental nature, other readers frequently link several of them to the avant-garde. Indeed, there are many connections to the poetics of the avant-garde, from the presence of Ezra Pound or T. S. Eliot, to dadaism, to fragmentariness and collage of cubism, to the radical experimentation of futurism.

Here I offer a few notes about concretismo and surrealism, since they were relevant in the 1960s that preceded the emergence of two relevant books in 1970: Cantranatura, by Rodolfo Hinostroza; and Adrede, by Gerardo Deniz.


As a way of making a transition from the avant-garde to the Neo baroque, I would like to consider Arturo Carreras poem "Momento de simetria" printed in a folded black cardboard in 1973. It is a splendid galactic poem done with words that glisten (in white) in the darkness (in black), as if they were stars, comets, and planets. Dedicated to Alejandra Pizarnik ("the fascinated traveler"), who had committed suicide one year earlier, the poem wants to be the "moment of symmetry," the point--says Carrera--in that "el escriba ha desaparecido. Es el cero en que se plenifican los vivos y los muertos. Los vivos con los muertos." Also important is the explicit reference to Severo Sarduy's essay on "Baroque and the Neo Baroque." Carrera states:

he centrado mi atencion sobre el Momento de simetria, punto en que crei reunirme con Alejandra. //... surgio de la contemplacion de un grafico de Fred Hoyle ...// y las observaciones de Severo Sarduy sobre la busqueda del "objeto parcial": "a" (seno materno, ORO, mirada, voz) que reina en todo texto barroco, o neobarroco. La busqueda inutil de ese objeto (a), es lo que justifica --o no-- la presencia del suplemento, del derroche de signos, de indicadores que, segun Sarduy, "intervienen para constatar un fracaso": la perdida de ese objeto (a) que no se puede representar y que "resiste a franquear la linea de la Alteridad" --A mayuscula segun la designacion de Jacques Lacan. De ahi todo ese parloteo excremencial, ese vaho aurifero que emana de toda obra barroca. Y ese andamio de oro, laberintico, que "ocupamos" los caidos en esa "linea prohibida" // y la pasion de Alejandra por las texturas de las palabras, sus juguetes tumbales, que para ella, segun comprobe, resultaron ser huesecillos planos, y mas aun: ocelos que la intimidaban. Un dia me dijo: "morire ahogada, Arturito, me atragantara una palabra." (Carrera, n/p)

The squandering of words, the search of the moment of (unsuccessful) symmetry derives in a page that fills in its own way the "horror vacui." Concretism and neo-baroque take both part in the poem. If on the one hand we corroborate that the stars strolling in the black of the galaxy, as this "parloteo excremencial" [excremental chitchat] (like in Vallejo's Trilce I, it is, actually, gold (ORO), as another of Carrera's books will be called), on the other hand we verify that the "coup de des" (throw of the dice) promotes a visual simultaneity in the experience of the reader in which the visual space is privileged. Language is spread, extended in space. Neo baroque appears as the multiple and agglutinative factor of plentiful language, even if everything derives from a disappeared gold, an emptiness, an Alejandra that has been devoured by her own words, as referred in one of her own poems ("Only a name"):
   alejandra alejandra
   debajo estoy yo

The two word-alejandras bury the other "alejandra," the word that is notable to breath, to be body; the elimination of the "I" in a self sacrifice, as a suicide.

Carrera inherits his experimentation from Haroldo and Augusto de Campos. Indeed, the Haroldo of Galaxias (Galaxies), a series of poems that he began to write in 1963 (published as a book in 1984), is the one who can also be seen as a precursor (along with Lezama Lima's poetry) to the profuse tendency of the neo-baroque. Andres Sanchez Robayna explains this double edge in Haroldo de Campos' work:

El poema haroldiano alterna dos polos expresivos ... la conglutinacion verbal 'neobarroca' ... y la mas rigurosa condensacion expresiva, en la que la economia verbal se vuelve una eficaz y personalisima version del 'menos es mas' definitorio de la posteridad mallarmeana. Tal alternancia, aparentemente paradojica, entre la conglutinacion y el despojamiento opera, sin embargo, en un territorio poetico en el que no hay contradiccion posible, pues ambas actuan como formas complementarias del subrayado de la materialidad y de la concrecion del lenguaje. (Sanchez Robayna, 15-16)

In Galaxies, alliteration and paronomasia are essential mechanisms, in a syntax that builds its sentences that seem to flow indefinitely. This fascination with language, this experimental playful tendency, had occurred --as it is known-- in Huidobro's Altazor, or in Girondo's En la masmedula. But I would like to move further back, and quote a poem from the Russian futurism of 1910, "transcreated" (as he says) by Haroldo de Campos to Portuguese. It is "Zakliatie Smekon" ["Conjuration by Laughter," "Encantacao pelo Riso"], by Velimir Klebnikov:
   Ride, ridentes!
   Derride, derridentes!
   Risonhai aos risos, rimente risandai!
   Derride sorrimente!
   Risos sobrerrisos --risadas de sorrideiros risores!
   Hilare esrir, risos de sobrerridoires riseiros!
   Sorrisonhos, risonhos,
   Sorride, ridiculai, risando, risantes,
   Hilariando, riando,
   Ride, ridentes!
   Derride, derridentes! (16)


Nestor Perlongher indicates the relevance that Surrealista had for these poets: "el neobarroco parece resultar del encuentro entre ese flujo barroco que es, a pesar de sus silencios, una constante en el espanol, y la explosion del surrealismo. Alguna vez habra que reconstruir ... los despliegues del surrealismo en su implantacion latinoamericana, como sirvio en estas costas bravias para radicalizar la empresa de la desrealizacion de los estilos oficiales" (Perlongher, 25).

Since the first two editions of Neruda's Residencia en la tierra, a Latin American poetry found its success in the crossing between natural exuberance and verbal density channeled at times with surprising images. The rhythm of the long and well sounded verses of Neruda, accompanied by a strong eroticism, in addition to a bitter condition, returned in diverse ways in the later writers of the 1940s and 50s: Enrique Molina, Olga Orozco, Braulio Arenas, Gonzalo Rojas, Emilio Adolfo Westphalen, Octavio Paz (mainly the Paz from La estacion violenta, with poems like "El rio," "Mutra," and "El cantaro roto"), Alvaro Mutis, Vicente Gerbasi, Juan Sanchez Pelaez, Tomas Segovia, among many others.

Surrealist echoes also resonate in Girondo, Villaurrutia and Lezama Lima. Surrealism and neo-baroque were used as categories to define the whole American continent. The similarities in two statements are noticeable. Breton declares in his visit to Mexico in 1938: "Mexico tiende a ser el lugar surrealista por excelencia. Encuentro el Mexico surrealista en su relieve, en su flora, en el dinamismo que le confiere la mezcla de las razas, asi como en sus aspiraciones mas altas"[qtd, by Baciu, 102]. And Carpentier writes years later: "Nuestro mundo es barroco por la arquitectura, por el enrevesamiento y la complejidad de su naturaleza y su vegetacion, por la policromia de cuanto nos circunda, por la pulsion telurica de los fenomenos a que estamos todavia sometidos." [Carpentier, 116]. Lezama Lima makes fun of these types of exaggerations. Implicitly alluding to Eugenio D'Ors, he says "algun critico excediendose en la generalizacion afirmaba que la tierra era clasica y el mar barroco" (Lezama, 384).

When Lezama was asked if his poetry was surrealist, he responded "claro que no es surrealismo, porque hay una metafora que se desplaza, no conseguida directamente por el choque fulminante de dos metaforas" [qtd, Perlongher, 26]. Although surrealism would later exceed that initial formula, it seems that the important thing is to point to Lezama's idea of the displacement of the images and the negation of the obsessive fixation with the innovation of the metaphor. This is a major difference. From Freud to Lacan, from metaphor to metonymy or synecdoque, the neo-baroque is built on the margin, the periphery; often (like in the first books by Coral Bracho, or in many poems by Jose Kozer) the parenthesis, the aggregate, is what dominates in the texts. It is the Deleuzian rhizome that grows without a predetermined direction, without a center.

If surrealism is also conceived as an attitude, an ethics that proclaim love, poetry, and freedom as tenets to change the world, in its search for the sacred and the absolute, in the neo-baroque there is also resistance that confronts its society, a desire that had to combat, especially in the context of the South American dictatorships, with subtle, oblique ways, allegorical disguises to deceive power. Sarduy emphasized this mechanism that challenges power in its own terms:

Ser barroco hoy significa amenazar, juzgar, parodiar la economia burguesa, basada en la administracion tacana de los bienes, en su centro y fundamento mismo: el espacio de los signos, el lenguaje, soporte simbolico de la sociedad, garantia de su funcionamiento, de su comunicacion. Malgastar, dilapidar, derrochar lenguaje unicamente en funcion de placer. (Sarduy, 209)

A few final remarks. This topic can easily be developed into many different articles. Further research could include: 1) poetry by T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound as model of intertextuality (in Rodolfo Hinostroza, Gerardo Deniz, David Huerta, Nestor Perlongher, to name a few neo-baroque writers); 2) surrealism as it applies in the flow of the images in Coral Bracho (Tamara Kameszain sees her as a "granddaughter of Surrealism") of Jose Kozer; 3) dadaism as the questioning of the lyric in Gerardo Deniz or Raul Zurita's first books; 4) Neruda's Residencia en la tierra strong resonance in David Huerta, Nestor Perlongher (his poem "Cadaveres" takes Neruda's line "Hay cadavers" as the leitmotif), Coral Bracho (possible connections with "Agua sexual," for example) of Raul Zurita (his visionary subject); 5) the syntax in Vallejo's Trilce, in particular his use of anacoluthon (the change of direction in the middle of the sentence), as a rhetorical device for several neo-baroque poets; 6) paronomasia also as a strategy to convey the relevance of sound over meaning; 7) eroticism and pleasure (in many instances going to the surface of the substances associated with them) as mechanisms to defy structures of power; 8) performance (in Perlongher, Zurita, Ettedgui, Deniz) as a tool to exceed the limits of the lyric; and so on.

Like in the historical baroque, in the neo-baroque there is a sum, a constant flow that moves from literary to cultural to artistic references, of the so-called high culture, as well as an incorporation of colloquialisms, popular culture, the mundane, domestic surfaces, sometimes references to insects (a fly in the leg of Sor Juana, in "Campestre," a poem by Gerardo Deniz; or a lady beetle going from flower to flower, in a text by Kozer).

If futurism tried at a time to erase the past to create the new, the neo-baroque is the banquet (see Lezama's essay "La curiosidad barroca") that wants it all, devours it all (antropofagia) in its search for the unreachable object. It is a "megacollage" that at times looses sight of the object that intends to represent. It is the accumulation against absence; or--as Arturo Carrera would say--on excremental chitchat, the bolo alimenticio (alimentary bolus, in the poetry of Carlos German Belli), the eses (in the alliteration of the "s" sound in the word play in a poem by Eduardo Espina), and the heces (feces, also in a text by Belli), that is, the guano, "la simple calabrina tesorea" ("the simple fecapital ponk," in Trilce I, by Cesar Vallejo), ORO (converting the lowest into the highest), that gold that surrounds zero, emptiness, death. Finally, the negation of all, the questioning of silence thanks to the plenty of language.

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--. "El llamado de los deseosos: poesia neobarroca latinoamericana (1970?-). Siglo XX/20th Century 12: 1-2 (1994): 219-237. Print.

Verani, Hugo, ed. Las vanguardias literarias en Hispanoamerica: manifiestos, proclamas y otros escritos [1986]. 2nd. ed. Mexico: Fondo de Cultura Economica, 1995. Print.

Zapata, Miguel Angel. "Eduardo Espina: buscando a Dios en el lenguaje: una escritura llamada barrococo" [interview] Inti. Revista de Literatura Hispanica 26-27 (Otono 1987-Primavera 1988), 115-131. Print.

Jacobo Sefami

University of California, Irvine


(1) It is important to point out that surrealism had evolved from the original aesthetic conception in the 1924 manifesto (where the emphasis was on "ecriture automatique," that is, on a strategy for writing) to the ethics promulgated in the second manifesto, and beyond.

(2) I prefer to use the word in Spanish, modernismo, since modernism has a different meaning in English.

(3) See Sefami, "Los poetas neobarrocos y el modernismo" (1999).

(4) Hugo Verani uses 1916-1935. Nelson Osorio compiles texts from 1909 (an article by Ruben Dario criticizing Marinetti's futurist manifesto) to 1932. Forster and Jackson decide to "concentrate" in their bibliography from 1920 to 1935. Mihai G. Grunfeld also uses 1916-1935 as the frame of reference for his Antologia de la poesia latinoamericana de vanguardia (1995).

(5) See "Periodizacion" in the "Introduccion" by Jorge Schwartz to his Las vanguardias latinoamericanos. Textos programaticos y criticos (1991), 28-32.

(6) See Enrico Mario Santi's edition of Archivo Blanco. Mexico: Ediciones El Equilibrista, El Colegio Nacional, 1995.

(7) This poem is built with fragments that can be read unconventionally, pointing to Mallarme's notion (later used by Apollinaire, Reverdy and Huidobro) of words of phrases that reflect each other. To a certain extent, this is Moscona's reaction to Paz's Blanco.

(8) See, as an example, the "Clip poemas" (from the book Nao, 2003) by Augusto de Campos, at: http://

(9) See Milan's book Una cierta mirada (1989), which compiles said reviews.

(10) Espina explains in the interview with Zapata: La constante variacion formal que hace del texto un espacio de desplazamientos, la desarticulacion de la accion y de la unidad, la canalizacion de toda la realidad con un gesto deliberadamente anacronico y la cursileria adaptada del habla diaria, que son elementos propios del rococo, dialogan con modalidades disenantes del barroco, como ser el horror al espacio vacio, el renunciamiento a nombrar una realidad discernible, el apego a lo corporal, y el proposito de reivindicar la fealdad como suprema manifestacion estetica [Zapata, 120-121].

(11) Borges says: "Lugones publico ese volumen [Lunario sentimental] el ano 1909. Yo afirmo que la obra de los poetas de Martin Fierro y Proa esta prefigurada, absolutamente, en algunas paginas del Lunario" (Borges, XXXVI).

(12) At the same time, it would be important to notice Borges' rejection of not only the ultraismo of his youth, but also of the poetics of Gongora. In El idioma de los argentinos (1928), he says: "Gongora --ojala injustamente-- es simbolo de la cuidadosa tecniqueria, de la simulacion del misterio, de las meras aventuras de la sintaxis. Es decir, del academicismo que se porta mal y es escandaloso. Es decir, de esa melodiosa y perfecta no literatura que he repudiado siempre" (Borges, 123).

(13) Examples of words are taken from Huidobro's Altazor (translations by Eliot Weinberger).

(14) In this vein, Sor Juana's satirical poem, playing with rhyme: "Ines, cuando te rinen por bellaca, / para disculpas no te falta achaque / porque dices que traque y que barraque; / con que sabes muy bien tapar la caca."

(15) The negative view of this difficulty is presented by Borges, who quotes two contemporaries of Gongora and Gracian: Juan de Jauregui and Francisco de Cascales. The first one is the author of Antidoto contra la pestilente poesia de las Soledades (1624) (Antidote to the Pestilential Poetry of the Soledades). The second one says: "Harta desdicha que nos tengan amarrados al banco de la oscuridad solas palabras." See Borges, "Gongorismo," 328-329.

(16) In English
   [Oh, laugh forth, laugh laughadors!
   Oh, laugh on, laugh laughadors!
   You who laugh in laughs, laugh-laugh, you who laughorize so
   Laugh forth, laugh laugh belaughly!
   Oh, laughdom overlaughly, laugh of laughish laughadors!
   Oh, forth laugh downright laughly, laugh of super-laughadors!
   Laughery! Laughery!
   Belaugh, uplaugh, laughikins, laughikins,
   Laughutelets, laughutelets!
   Oh, laugh forth, laugh laughadors!
   Oh, laugh on, laugh laughadors!]
   [Translated by Kaun, qtd in Folejewski, 193]

See/hear the digital version of this poem at:

Here I translate (transcreate) it into Spanish from the Portuguese version: "Encantacion por la risa": Rian, risuenos! / Derritan risas! / Resuenen las risas, riadas rientes! / Hilarantes rios de risas, rizos de risotadas! / Sonrientes, rientes / Sonrian, rizando risas, erizantes / Hilarantes rimas, riendo / Rian, risuenos! / Derritan risas!
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Title Annotation:Estudios y confluencias
Author:Sefami, Jacobo
Publication:Confluencia: Revista Hispanica de Cultura y Literatura
Date:Mar 22, 2011
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