PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
Most Read... Rebecca WattsThe Cult of the Noble Amateur
(PN Review 239)
Mark FordLetters And So It Goes
Letters from Young Mr Grace
(aka John Ashbery)

(PN Review 239)
Henry Kingon Toby Martinez de las Rivas
(PN Review 244)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Jamie OsbornIn conversation with Sasha Dugdale
(PN Review 240)
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
OUP PNR 246 Banner
Monthly Carcanet Books
Next Issue Alex Wong embarks on Ausonius's Moselle Christine Blackwell recalls Jonas Mekas Lives of Graves, Trilling and Curnow visited New poems by Lisa Kelly and Jodie Hollander Andy Croft on the 'poetry industry'

This review is taken from PN Review 37, Volume 10 Number 5, March - April 1984.

THE GENERATION OF MEANING Andrew P. Debicki, Poetry of Discovery: The Spanish Generation of 1956-71 (University Press of Kentucky) $19.50.

Aimed at the enormous numbers of students and teachers of Spanish in the USA, this book makes no concessions to the `interested' British reader, whose knowledge of Spanish poetry generally begins and ends with Lorca. It fulfils its task with that mixture of professional analytic criticism of individual poems and potted summary we have come to expect from American university presses.

Its two main strategies are the acceptance and elaboration of the notion that there exists a 'generation' of Spanish poets who published their first books in the 1950s, and the use of reader-response criticism in dealing with them, the poets treated being Francisco Brines, Claudio Rodríguez, Angel Gonz´lez, Gloria Fuertes, José Angel Valente, Jaime Gil de Biedma, Carlos Sahagún, Claudio Cabañero, Angel Crespo and Manuel Mantero.

I have no objection to the classificatory urge; it is generally a form of historical criticism, and its denial leads to a questionable psychologism. Debicki's introduction, in which he explains his approach, is well-reasoned and convincing with a properly attenuated sense of the inability of a generational scheme to represent the whole of a period. Nevertheless, such schema have a tendency to carry their authentification to such a point that writers who do not fit are edged to the margins of their historical periods and treated as individual geniuses or as lacking in material background. 'Generations' abound in Spanish literary criticism, presenting the danger that neat groups of writers may take over a period in the professional imagination. ...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image