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  • Una poética de la convocatoria. La literatura comunista de Raúl González Tuñón by María Fernanda Alle
  • Marta Sierra
Alle, María Fernanda. Una poética de la convocatoria. La literatura comunista de Raúl González Tuñón. Rosario, Argentina, Beatriz Viterbo Editora, 2019, 490 pp.

María Fernanda Alle focuses on the communist years of Argentinean writer Raúl González Tuñón, an author who, for decades, remained understudied, and has recently received critical attention due to the versatility of his poetry and prose, as well as to his long-lasting aesthetic and political engagement. Una poética de la convocatoria centers on González Tuñón’s literary production between 1930 and 1970. A writer who embraced with similar enthusiasm the two main literary styles of his period—social realism and the avant-garde—González Tuñón’s style evolved during the period considered by Alle. In addition to an excellent work of documentation and reconstruction of the author’s oeuvre, María Fernanda Alle provides a comprehensive reading that illuminates González Tuñón’s literary practice from a more nuanced perspective. Alle combines literary and historical readings. Each chapter starts with a detailed historical reconstruction and the placement of literary production within the contexts of the Russian Revolution, the Spanish Civil War, and the revolutionary poetics and art of the 1960s. But equally profound is the detailed close reading and discussion of poetry and essays. The balance between the literary and the historical makes this volume easy to enjoy. The result is an informative perspective that is useful to the non-specialist and the literary critic. This volume sheds light on González Tuñón’s determination in keeping an enduring ideological and aesthetic practice throughout the years. The sections that discuss his engagement with the literary scene of the period—such as the debates with Martin Fierro and Florida, and Sur—are particularly rich. Overall, this book encompasses [End Page 171] the literary reading, documentation, and historical background of González Tuñón’s production from the conciliatory relationship between aesthetics and politics.

Divided into three sections, the author shows the inseparable commitment to aesthetics and political action in González Tuñón’s works. “El hombre de su tiempo” addresses the first period of his oeuvre—between 1930 and 1940—and recaptures what Alle calls “Marxism as a fantasy” (55). La calle del agujero de la media (1930), El otro lado de la Estrella (1934), and Todos Bailan (1935) are poetry collections inspired by European travel and international bohemia. This section makes an important contribution by showing how González Tuñón reworked the tradition of Boedo and social realism. He introduced international influences in his works coming from the Russian Revolution and the Spanish Civil War, and shaped them into the more prescriptive style of writing characteristic of Boedo.

In the section entitled “Un programa literario bajo la lupa del realismo socialista,” Alle traces the core of González Tuñón’s literary program, in particular, his definition of a romantic realist style. In essays and chronicles inspired by the Spanish Civil War, González Tuñón coined the notion of a literature that balances classic and romantic characteristics to achieve what he conceived as an art of authenticity. Critics have interpreted romantic realism as a poetic form of social realism in González Tuñón, but Alle’s reading—especially of Las puertas del fuego (1938) and La literatura resplandeciente (1976)—goes one step further. As defined in this volume, romantic realism implies the historical, civil or social value of poetry or, in other words, the ways in which poetry engages with society. As the author states, “En la síntesis de esas dos ‘actitudes’—la realista y la romántica—estaría concentrado, para Tuñón, el valor positivo de la literatura y el arte, por oposición del arte ‘inauténtico,’ es decir, aquel que, en pos de la pureza y la exclusividad de la forma, terminaría por servir a los intereses del poder y la explotación y, por consiguiente, se alejaría de las luchas de los pueblos...


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pp. 171-172
Launched on MUSE
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