Águila o sol?, de Octavio Paz y Variaciones sobre tema Mexicano, de Luis Cernuda: el poema en prosa y el panteamiento de una poética, concordancias y discordancias



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Texas Tech University


The prose poem is ene of the mest remarkable literary genres in the evolutien of Spanish and Spanish American literatures in the twentieth century. The origin of the genre appeared in the eighteenth century, when a group of French poets translated in prose some psalms of the Bible. In the Romanticism, the genre completed its evolution when a number of poets decided to write poems without verse. The first successfull attempt arouse in the nineteenth century with the publication of Bertrand's Gaspard de la nuit (1842). In Spain, Becquer's Leyendas inaugurated the genre, whereas in Spanish America the prose poem was cultivated by the Modernistas poets.

The purpose of this dissertation is to compare Luis Cenuda's Variaciones sobre tema mexicano and Octavio Paz's ¿Águila o sol? These two works represent the aesthetic ideas of the authors in crucial moments of their poetic evolution and show similarities as well as differences in contení and stylistic features. The contribution of this dissertation is to analyzed the most remarkable similarities and differences, and contextualize the literary achievements of these two significant authors in the history of Spanish and Spanish American prose poem.

Both, ¿Águila e sol? and Variaciones sobre tema mexicano were written by the middle of the twentieth century (1951 and 1952, respectively). These two texts share the same topic; the Mexican culture subjectively viewed. Nevertheless, Paz emphasizes the Mexican identity of the poet as the main character of his book. Cernuda, on the other hand, consolidated his poetics of the body due to his interaction with the Mexican people. Another similarity between these two works is the use of the discursive techniques commonly employed in the genre, that is, narrative and lyricism. The later carries a more important task in the definition of both authors' styles. The main difference can be found analyzing the role of the distinct poetic voices. Paz utilizes fíve different voices and privileges the presence of the first person singular in his poetic discourse. On the contrary, Cernuda employs four voices and diminishes the importance of the lyric monologue.