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Severo Sarduy and the Neo-Baroque Image of Thought in the Visual Arts

by Rolando Pérez

Publication Year: 2007

Severo Sarduy never enjoyed the same level of notoriety as did other Latin American writers like García Márquez and Vargas-Llosa, and his compatriot, Cabrera-Infante. On the other hand, he never lacked for excellent critical interpretations of his work from critics like Roberto González Echevarría, René Prieto, Gustavo Guerrero, and other reputable scholars. Missing, however, from what is otherwise an impressive body of critical commentary, is a study of the importance of painting and architecture, firstly, to his theory, and secondly, to his creative work. In order to fill this lacuna in Sarduy studies, Rolando Pérez’s book undertakes a critical approach to Sarduy’s essays—Barroco, Escrito sobre un cuerpo, “Barroco y neobarroco,” and La simulación—from the stand point of art history. Often overlooked in Sarduy studies is the fact that the twenty-three-year-old Sarduy left Cuba for Paris in 1961 to study not literature but art history, earning the equivalent of a Master’s Degree from the École du Louvre with a thesis on Roman art. And yet it was the art of the Italian Renaissance (e.g., the paintings as well as the brilliant and numerous treatises on linear perspective produced from the 15th to the 16th century) and what Sarduy called the Italian, Spanish, and colonial Baroque or “neo-baroque” visually based aesthetic that interested him and to which he dedicated so many pages. In short, no book on Sarduy until now has traced the multifaceted art historical background that informed the work of this challenging and exciting writer. And though Severo Sarduy and the Neo-Baroque Image of Thought in the Visual Arts is far from being an introduction, it will be a book that many a critic of Sarduy and the Latin American “baroque” will consult in years to come.

Published by: Purdue University Press

Series: Purdue Studies in Romance Literatures

Cover

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Series, Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

List of Illustrations

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pp. ix-x

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xii

No book, or any other creative enterprise, is done in isolation. While a particular person’s name appears as the author of the work, the undeniable truth is that for any book there are many authors—“silent” partners—as it were—without whom the project would not have been possible. Many have been...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-10

Severo Sarduy’s work has never enjoyed the same level of notoriety as that of other Latin American writers of his generation like Carlos Fuentes, Mario Vargas Llosa, and Gabriel García Márquez. Instead, he remains what is often referred to as a “writer’s writer,” albeit one who, by that same token, has not been ignored by the academic...

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Chapter One: Sarduy as Critic of the Baroque and the Neo-Baroque Figure in Science and Art

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pp. 11-58

While Sarduy’s interest in the history of astronomy may at first sight seem rather odd for a postmodern writer, he was attracted to the topic from the position of an art critic/historian. Though he was not the first, he was interested in the way in which the scientific discourse of the Copernican revolution mirrored...

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Chapter Two: Sarduy’s Figural Art/Writing: Writing/Art Body

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pp. 59-108

While Sarduy alludes in several places to the possible application of semiotics to the visual arts, he himself does not develop these parenthetical suggestions. On the other hand, since Sarduy’s Barroco, La simulación, and Escrito sobre un cuerpo, and since...

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Chapter Three: Big Bang, Klang Klang, and Painting

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pp. 109-158

Numerous are the reasons why so many critics have stayed away from Sarduy’s poetical oeuvre. None of them, of course, has to do with the quality of the work, but with the difficulty in locating it: both in terms of time (that is to say, when they were written) with respect to the other...

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Chapter Four: Colors, Bodies, Voices, and the Click-Clack of Theater

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pp. 159-200

Joan Brossa called his plays “poesia escènica,” and that may be a very good way to think of Sarduy’s poetic radio plays, for that indeed is what they are: plays that are poems, written/painted with Kandinsky’s colors. Unfortunately, to compare Sarduy’s poems to his plays, most of them published...

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Conclusion: Continuities

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pp. 201-206

Sarduy, a life-long student of art, knew and understood the Western European history of art from the time of the Flavian emperors (the subject of his master’s thesis at the Louvre School of Art) to the contemporary period, which included quite a number of artists who...

Illustrations

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pp. 207-212

Notes

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pp. 213-276

Bibliography

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pp. 277-306

Index

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pp. 307-318

About the Author

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pp. 319-320

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9781612491493
E-ISBN-10: 1612491499
Print-ISBN-13: 9781557536044
Print-ISBN-10: 155753604x

Page Count: 224
Publication Year: 2007

Series Title: Purdue Studies in Romance Literatures
Series Editor Byline: Patricia Hart See more Books in this Series

OCLC Number: 794488907
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Severo Sarduy and the Neo-Baroque Image of Thought in the Visual Arts