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Wednesday, January 9, 2013


I don't much care for Ortega. And I'm not fond of his partner Gasset either. In Spanish modernism studies, his idea of dehumanization has had a long, undeserved life. First of all, he did not like avant-garde art or hold it in great esteem: “It may be said that the new art has so far produced nothing worth while, and I am inclined to think the same.” He was in favor of it, not because he liked it, but because it supported his sociology, dividing "men" into classes: those in the elite who were capable of understanding it, and those in the mass who could not. In other words, he liked the avant-garde because it served his elitist purposes, not for its aesthetic value.

He wrote about the dehumanization of art before the great Spanish poetry of the early 30s. There is nothing "dehumanized" about Lorca.

Not even Guillén liked the idea of "dehumanization." Tapiès hated it and railed against it.

And, of course, poets could make a big show of "re-humanizing" poetry after the war. I hate the word "human" when used like this.

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