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Keywords: Octavio Paz, The Violent Season, Guillaume Apollinaire, intertext, poetical autobiography, poetry and history, universalism.
For citation:

Gladoshchuk A.V. Poetics of Octavio Paz’s The Violent Season. Studia Litterarum, 2018, vol. 3, no 2, pp. 66–79. (In Russ.) DOI: 10.22455/2500-4247-2018-3-2-66-79

Author: Anastasia V. Gladoshchuk
Information about the author:

Anastasia V. Gladoshchuk, PhD student, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Leninskie gori, 1/51, 119991 Moscow, Russia.

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Received: November 01, 2017
Published: June 25, 2018
Issue: 2018 Vol. 3, №2
Department: World Literature
Pages: 66-79
DOI: 10.22455/2500-4247-2018-3-2-66-79
UDK: 821(72)
BBK: 83.3(7Мек)6

Abstract

The poetics of Octavio Paz’s book The Violent Season (1958) is in great part defined by its autobiographical canvas: the sequence of the 9 poems that compose the lyrical series corresponds chronologically and geographically with Paz’s peregrinations during 9 years (1948–1957). Thus, the book can be read as a solid poetical text whose lyrical persona repeats Paz’s itinerary (Naples–Venice–Avignon–Paris–India– Tokyo–Geneva–Mexico), crossing the boundaries of different cultural spaces (the Mediterranean–the East–America) and the limits of his own self. The “plot” resembles that of Apollinaire whose intertextual presence is suggested by the title and by the epigraph. Similar to Apollinaire’s poems, the poetical conscience in The Violent Season synthesizes individual and collective memories — the memory of humankind and the memory of Mexican people in particular. This process reaches culmination in the closing text of the book — the poem “Sunstone” whose very structure conveys the idea of history sublimation. On the whole, the book scarcely reflects the poet’s life biography; some poems have conventional space and time that have no reference to specific geography or exact dates when they were written; the act of crossing cultural boundaries is inconspicuous. The autobiographical itinerary is barely outlined; its main function is to represent the archetypical “departure–and–return” scheme. The book’s stylistic homogeneity is evidence of the poet’s maturity; namely, he perceives heterogeneous manifestations of spiritual experience through the grid of universal categories and structures. In accordance to his desire to conciliate “tradition” and “adventure,” Paz appeals to Apollinaire, a poet whose aesthetics is the source of the modern art and therefore may be considered “universal.”

References

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