Encyclopedia of Contemporary Spanish Culture

By Eamonn Rodgers; Valerie Rodgers | Go to book overview

silence followed her 1962 story anthology, A ninguna parte (Going Nowhere). Post-Franco writings include the biographical history of the ‘Mid-Century Generation’, Los niños de la guerra (War’s Children), a theme fictionalized in Porque éramos jóvenes (Because We Were Young). Excellent feminist novels, La enredadera (Clinging Vine) and El vergel (Enclosed Garden) investigate marital discontent, while Historia de una maestra (Schoolmarm’s Tale) pays tribute to her mother and Republic pedagogues. Mujeres de negro (Women in Mourning) explores exile and return.


Further reading

p
Perez, J. (1990) ‘Plant Imagery and Feminine Dependency in Three Contemporary Women Writers’, in N. Valis and C. Bradford (eds) In the Feminine Mode: Essays on Hispanic Women Writers, Lewisburg, PA: Bucknell University Press, pp. 79-100 (analysis of Aldecoa’s La enredadera, plus Carmen Martín Gaite and Maria Antònia Oliver).
——(1991). ‘La madurez narrativa de Josefina Aldecoa’, Alaluz 23, 1: 49-53 (studies La enredadera, Porque éramos jóvenes and El vergel).

JANET PÉREZ


Aleixandre Merlot, Vicente

b. 1898, Seville; d. 1984, Madrid

Poet

One of the most accomplished avant-garde poets of the pre-war period, Vicente Aleixandre served as a mentor to younger poets of successive generations, writing socially engaged verse in the 1950s and evolving in a more philosophical direction during the final decades of his life. The Nobel Prize awarded to Aleixandre in 1977 constituted a significant recognition of his individual achievement as well as of his crucial role in keeping literary culture alive during the Franco regime.

Aleixandre formed part of a brilliant group of poets, known collectively as the ‘Generation of 1927’, who came of age in the 1920s. Working alongside such notable writers as Federico García Lorca and Luis Cernuda, he originally gained recognition for the difficult surrealist-influenced poetry of books like Espadas como labios (Swords Like Lips) and La destruction o el amor (Destruction or Love). Even in the 1930s, however, he sought to mitigate the hermeticism of his work in order to make his poetry more accessible to his readers. The results of this stylistic clarification can be seen in the books he wrote after the Civil War. In Sombra del paraíso (Shadow of Paradise) (1944) he evokes visionary images of his idyllic childhood in Málaga that contrast, implicitly, with the devastation wrought by the war. This book is widely considered one of the most important collections of poetry published in the 1940s, a relatively barren period for Spanish poetry.

Aleixandre’s desire for clarity eventually led him to experiment with a self-consciously ‘prosaic’ style, seen in book such as Historia, del corazón (History/ Story of the Heart) (1954) and En un vasto dominio (In a Vast Dominion) (1962). While Aleixandre’s earlier work dealt largely with the relation between the individual subject and the cosmos, his poetry of the 1950s takes as its central theme the idea of social solidarity. As one of the few important Spanish poets of the pre-war generations to remain in the country after the end of the Civil War, Aleixandre enjoyed an unparalleled prestige among younger poets from the 1940s to the 1970s. Some others who stayed did so because of their sympathy with the Franco regime. Aleixandre, however, was forced to remain because of his chronic ill health, and maintained his staunch opposition to the right-wing politics of the Nationalists. Aleixandre’s motto ‘Poetry is communication’ made him an important model for the social poets of the 1950s, including Blas de Otero. It also inspired the influential theories of Carlos Bousoño, an important poet and literary theorist who wrote the first full-length study of Aleixandre’s poetry.

Aleixandre’s close relationship with younger poets continued throughout the 1960s and 1970s. His style often seemed to be evolving sympathetically in response to the shifting concerns of successive generations of poets. Thus the books written in the 1950s reflect the prevalence of social themes in the immediate post-war period. In the 1960s, likewise, Aleixandre’s style became more

-11-

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Encyclopedia of Contemporary Spanish Culture
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction x
  • Acknowledgments xii
  • Structure xiii
  • Architecture xiv
  • A 1
  • Further Reading 7
  • Further Reading 11
  • Further Reading 29
  • Further Reading 37
  • Further Reading 41
  • B 44
  • Further Reading 47
  • Further Reading 65
  • C 70
  • Further Reading 81
  • Further Reading 93
  • Further Reading 100
  • Further Reading 113
  • Further Reading 128
  • D 135
  • Further Reading 136
  • Further Reading 140
  • E 152
  • Further Reading 155
  • Further Reading 166
  • Further Reading 171
  • F 173
  • Further Reading 185
  • Further Reading 206
  • G 213
  • Further Reading 227
  • Further Reading 229
  • Further Reading 231
  • Further Reading 242
  • H 245
  • I 261
  • Further Reading 266
  • J 276
  • Further Reading 280
  • K 283
  • L 285
  • Further Reading 292
  • M 313
  • Further Reading 332
  • Further Reading 335
  • N 359
  • Further Reading 362
  • Further Reading 365
  • O 376
  • P 384
  • Further Reading 429
  • Q 430
  • R 433
  • Further Reading 435
  • Further Reading 436
  • Further Reading 439
  • Further Reading 443
  • References 452
  • S 464
  • Further Reading 471
  • Further Reading 475
  • T 502
  • Further Reading 508
  • Further Reading 509
  • U 526
  • Further Reading 536
  • V 537
  • Further Reading 538
  • Further Reading 539
  • Further Reading 544
  • W 545
  • X 550
  • Y 552
  • Further Reading 553
  • Z 554
  • Index 557
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