Abstract

This paper examines the impact of exile on the literary works of Pedro Garfias, an outstanding Ultraist poet who was forced to flee Spain after the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War. Primavera en Eaton Hastings (1941), the first book of poetry written by Garfias after having left Spain, reflects, both in structure and content, the challenges of writing in exile. Profoundly affected by isolation and the memories of the war, the poems of Pedro Garfias in exile are informed by an urgent sense of responsibility and guilt that questions the limits of the writing itself. Primavera reflects the ethical dimension that Emmanuel Levinas claims as fundamental in the subjectivity. War and exile oblige Garfias to reconsider his identity and to realize that it is not autonomous, but rather dependent on the other. Likewise, he discovers that writing in exile is primordially a responsible act. Having the victims of the Spanish Civil War as its ultimate addressees, Garfias proposes a poetry that talks to —and not about— the Other. The urge to communicate with their addresses without turning them into an object of the poetic voice makes Garfias defy the bucolic conventions and go beyond the limits of aestheticism. Although Garfias had already pursued a more profound and rich encounter with his addresses in the poems he wrote before the Spanish Civil War, it will be in exile when he finally reaches a more satisfactory poetics.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1553-0639
Print ISSN
0018-2176
Pages
pp. 179-196
Launched on MUSE
2008-06-19
Open Access
No
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