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Chapter 15 - Spanish American Literature and the Transatlantic Dimensions of Decadence

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 September 2020

Alex Murray
Affiliation:
Queen's University Belfast
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Summary

Spanish American writers’ engagement with Decadence in the fin de siècle entailed a careful negotiation of ideas about their own region’s future and its historical evolution within the Western world. Their position regarding Decadence repeatedly turns to a discussion of the New World’s geopolitical and artistic position, keeping an eye on Spain’s decline in the global landscape of the fin de siècle. To illustrate these transatlantic negotiations, Blanco engages with the writing of several Spanish figures from the fin de siècle who dealt with Decadence’s controversial arrival in Spanish America. A central figure in this discussion is the Nicaraguan writer Rubén Darío, spin doctor of modernismo and a principal recipient of the ‘Decadent’ label throughout the 1890s and beyond. A writer who moved across different urban centres from Spanish America to Europe, Darío was a prime theorist of new literary developments in the region. As Blanco argues, while modernismo took in Decadence’s poetic energy as well as its diverse artistic work ethic, it had to become something else to breathe new life in Spanish American letters.

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Chapter
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Decadence
A Literary History
, pp. 272 - 286
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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