After Translation: The Transfer and Circulation of Modern Poetics across the Atlantic

By Ignacio Infante | Go to book overview

2 / The Translatability of Planetary Poiesis:
Vicente Huidobro’s Creacionismo in Temblor
de cielo / Tremblement de ciel

The Chilean poet Vicente Huidobro (1893–1948) briefly settled in Madrid during the fall of 1918 after having spent almost two years in Paris. During his time in France, Huidobro became fluent in French, composed five collections of poetry, founded the avant-garde journal Nord-Sud with the poets Guillaume Apollinaire and Pierre Reverdy, and more important, established the main theoretical foundations of his very own avantgarde movement, a poetics he called creacionismo (creationism).1 Soon after his arrival in Paris in 1916, Huidobro befriended key members of the Parisian avant-garde; he became an important member of a group of poets and artists that included Juan Gris, Max Jacob, André Breton, Tristan Tzara, Blaise Cendrars, and even a young Ezra Pound.2 The arrival of Huidobro in Madrid in 1918 had a major impact on its literary and cultural scene, since he essentially served as an invaluable cultural bridge between Paris, the thriving and cosmopolitan cultural capital of Europe during the first two decades of the century, and Madrid, the capital of Spain, a city then culturally more dormant and provincial when compared to Paris.3 Huidobro brought with him to Madrid a firsthand knowledge of the main currents of avant-garde art, poetry, and poetics mostly absent from Spain prior to his arrival, as well as a wide array of relevant avant-garde figures escaping from the aftermath of World War I, such as Sonia and Robert Delaunay and the Polish painters Wladyslaw Jald and Marjan Paskiewic. In Madrid, Huidobro quickly became the most influential figure of a group of poets and writers that included the Spanish authors Rafael Cansinos-Assens and Guillermo de Torre, and which eventually led to the creation of ultraísmo, arguably the main

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