Reflections on Spanish American Poetry
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In these five essays the Ecuadorian poet Jorge Carrera Andrade traces the evolution of Spanish-American poetry from the sixteenth century to the present.
The author shows how Spanish-American literature grew out of the special conditions produced when the New World environment totally transformed Old World culture and society. Initially, the brilliance of the land and its extraordinary peoples inspired European interest in exotic travel and utopianism; later, Old World literary currents came to have distinctive expression in Spanish-American writing. "Poetry and Society in Spanish-America" follows the historic commitment of the New World poets to social issues, particularly such unique ones as the endeavor to bring the Indians into national life, while "Trends in Spanish-American Poetry" dwells on the more purely aesthetic concerns that have stimulated the poets of the twentieth century. Throughout, Carrera Andrade ties his analysis to specific poems and poets.
In the last two essays the author presents a clear perspective of his poetic development from 1930 to 1960. "A Decade of My Poetry" and "Poetry of Reality and Utopia" will especially interest readers of Carrera Andrade's poetry, for not only do they elucidate the personal history and philosophy informing his poems, they also reveal how truly his inspiration springs from that unique Spanish-American world he has so clearly delineated.
Jorge Carrera Andrade was born in Quito, Ecuador, in 1903 and served his country as an ambassador for many years. He holds a doctor of philosophy degree from the University of Barcelona (1932) and is a member of the Academia Ecuatoriana de la Lengua. In 1969-71 he was Visiting Professor at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He is also the author of El Fabuloso Reino de Quito o El Camino del sol (1963), Registro del Mundo (1940), Edades Poéticas (1958), Interpretationes hispanoamericanas (1967), Poésia Ultima (1968); his autobiography is El Volcan y el Colibri (1970).