Full Text


Roxanne Schroeder-Arce

Subject Literature
History » Cultural History

Place Americas » South America
Iberia » Spain

Period 2000 - present
1000 - 1999 » 1900-1999

Key-Topics movements, revolution

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405184649.2009.01025.x


Modernismo is a Spanish-language literary movement which spanned the late nineteenth to early twentieth centuries and transformed poetic expression by opponents of despotism and colonialism. Originated by Nicaraguan poet Rubén Darío, the movement stemmed from a desire to break away from the conservative structures and literary influences of the French Symbolists, the Parnassians, and even the Catholic Church, and advanced an idea of poetry rooted in the material world. The poets who formed part of the Modernismo movement in Spain and Latin America opposed autocratic rule and advocated liberal political ideals. In Latin America, José Martí , the late nineteenth-century Cuban revolutionary leader, was among the first leading Modernismo poets, whose ideas of freedom and justice are clearly found in his writings. The term “modernista” relates mostly to Spanish and Latin American poetry and prose authors whose work can be characterized by the use of free verse, metaphor, and imagery. The Modernismo movement freed authors, as they began to write with more liberty in style and content. Speaking of one of Darío's first works, Azul (Blue), George W. Umphrey explains: “we find flexibility, delicacy, fine shading, clarity and precision of expression; rhythmical flow of language, absence of provincialism and of all local color, characteristic of the prose Modernistas.” Beyond its literary ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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