Ruben Dario en Buenos Aires, 1893-1898: la genesis de un campo literario autonomo

F&G Editores
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Tensiones de la modernidad: del modernismo al realismo, 2009, 1, pp. 59 - 84
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The years 1893 to 1898 when Rubén Darío lived in Buenos Aires represent a key period, not only in the life and work of Rubén Darío himself, but also in all of Latin American literature. Although it is always risky allocating an exact date to important historical movements and processes and converting individual figures into heroes, given them almost god-like qualities, there is no doubt that the presence of Dario in Buenos Aires in that period and his relations with Argentine cultural institutions was fundamental. Darío was not only a heroic catalyst of the modernist revolution in the formal structure of Castilian prose and poetry, but also the genesis of an autonomous literary-artistic field (in the sense in which Pierre Bourdieu (1996) uses the term); that is to say, the differentiation of literature into a relatively separated and professionalized field. This moment also becomes the moment of the institutionalization of intellectual autonomy, such as we understand it today and not as it was understood by the hommes de lettres of the nineteenth century when it was synonymous with, as it was in the case of the Uruguayan essayist José Enrique Rodó, with cultural independence from Spain.1 This essay, then, explores the conjunction of the arrival of Rubén Darío in Buenos Aires, the peak of Modernismo in the incipient cultural institutions of Buenos Aires and the professionalization of the literary writer.
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