As I was working on a chapter, it suddenly occurred to me that elegy was going to be key to my project. The difference between Valente's elegies and those of Lorca. About two minutes later, Enrique Morente started to sing "Alma ausente," a portion of Lorca's "Llanto por Ignacio Sánchez Mejías," out of my stereo. I am listening to the songs from my ipod in alphabetical order, and I am on the letter a.
Modernism is not about form over content, but about the collapsing of the distinction. Mimetic language, with a naive theory of representation, no longer works. The unified subject collapses, and language, too, is fractured. Yet Lorca's elegy is a rather traditional one in its tropes.