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??? COHPAnATIST BOOK NOTES WILLARD BOHN. Apollinaire and the International Avant-Garde. Albany : SUNY Press, 1997. xi + 369 pp. Apollinaire and the International Avant-Garde builds a comprehensive literary history (seven chapters following the introduction) ofApollinaire's reception and influence in the Western world during the early twentieth century. Examining his impact on a worldwide network ofwriters, artists, and critics, Willard Botin reveals his central role as patron saint ofthe avant-garde, cultural innovator, and literary and cultural arbiter ofhis generation. Focused on the major European and American nations, the book discusses in rough chronological order Apollinaire's connections with the British avant-garde, extends the investigation to North America, returns to Europe to chart the poet's presence in the German-speaking world, and then details Apollinaire's Hispanic reception from Catalonia and Spain to Argentina , Uruguay, and Mexico. Framing this avant-garde Odyssey are interesting discussions about the specifics ofvarious movements—Cubism, Simultanism, Dada, Surrealism, Ultraism, Creationism, and the Contemporary School, among others. According to Bohn, Apollinaire's reputation began to grow with F. S. Flint's August 1912 article on contemporary French poetry in The Poetry Review. With Les Peintres cubistes in 1913 he became known as a serious art critic while publication ofAlcools in the same year established him as a serious poet. As a result, in England and elsewhere, Apollinaire was quickly embraced as an aesthetician of the new, revolutionary art, with Richard Aldington and Ezra Pound as key intermediaries in Great Britain. Relying on compelling evidence, Bohn reveals that although both Aldington and Pound started by emulating Apollinaire (the first issue ofBlast, for instance, was inspired by L 'Antitraditionfuturiste), they ultimately dissociated themselves from him: Aldington called Apollinaire "the first French apostle ofSteinism" (27) while Pound refused even to mention his name in the 1930s. In North America, as Bohn shows in the third chapter, Apollinaire was virtually unknown before 1913, and this neglect continued even afterAlcools. In 1914 and 1915 the situation was partially rectified by Marius de Zayas, an artist and critic ofMexican origin, who after being introduced to Apollinaire in Paris succeeded in establishing better relations upon returning to New York. De Zayas's high regard for Apollinaire's visual poetry led him to associate the latter's poetry with Picasso's paintings, a connection that was developed further by William Huntington Wright, especially in Modern Painting: Its Tendency andMeaning, and by Henry McBride, another influential American art critic and defender of modern aesthetics, who published "Apollinaire's Cubistic Authority" in the New York Herald. Given Apollinaire's more complicated relationship with Germany, where he spent his first idyllic Wanderjahr as a French tutor in the Rhineland and where he abandoned his given name for a nom de plume, the fourth chapter offers a detailed and intellectuallysatisfyingdiscussion ofthepoet's significantpresenceamong the German Expressionists in the pre- and post-war period. Far from merely listing the names ofthose connected with Apollinaire or his work, Bohn provides compelling information on the poet's reception in Germany, from his publications in DerSturm to the German praise ofthe avant-garde that elevated him to a cult figure. VcH. 23 (1999): 187 BOOK NOTES In a vivid and interesting tapestry, Bonn's last four chapters interweave Apollinaire 's reception in Old and New World Spanish-speaking cultures. Especially engaging are the subchapters on Guillermo de Torre's discussions ofApollinaire's iconoclasm, audacity, and revolutionary aesthetics (most notably in Literaturas europeas de vanguardia, with its focus on Cubism and Ultraism), as well as his final homage in "Epiceyo a Apollinaire" ("Elegy for Apollinaire"). Also striking are the sections on Bartolomé Galindez, the editor ofthe short-lived literary review Los Raros who connected Apollinaire with the latest discoveries in art and literature , on Ildefonso Perreda Valdes, one of the editors of Los Nuevos (The New Breed), who used Apollinaire's "Les Cloches" to establish thejournal's avant-garde credentials, and on the representatives ofla nueva sensibilidad ("the new sensibility "). Ofspecial interest here is Bonn's discussion ofBorges whose return from his sojourn in Spain marked the genesis ofUltraism in Argentina and whose enthusiasm and reservations about Apollinaire as poet and critic are fully analyzed. The information in this thoroughly...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-0887
Print ISSN
0195-7678
Pages
pp. 187-188
Launched on MUSE
2012-10-03
Open Access
No
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