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By Bruce Dean Willis (auth.)

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Extra resources for Corporeality in Early Twentieth-Century Latin American Literature: Body Articulations

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The woman’s role is not seen as a “solution, but only as a solace or companion in the search for it,” Wood clarifies (202). She is the poetic muse: “Y al fondo de ti misma recuerdas que eras tú / El pájaro de antaño en la clave del poeta” (60) [“And at the bottom of your self you recall what you were / The bird of yesteryear in the poet’s key” (61)]. Poet and poetry are in the same boat; they have not yet reached an eternal expression, and must unite, both spiritually and physically, to achieve that goal.

The decaying body controls the expression of his soul just as the words restrict the poetic expression: “Voy por la vida pegado a mi muerte / Apoyado en el bastón de mi esqueleto” (34) [“I go on through life stuck to my death / Leaning on the cane of my skeleton” (35)]. Here he demonstrates the antithesis of life BODY, LANGUAGE, AND THE LIMITS OF ONTOLOGY 37 and death: the soul, which grows and expands with the passing of time, is supported by the body’s frame (“esqueleto”), which gradually loses its vitality.

Metaphors of bodily and musical decomposition reinforce each of the three stages. The Call for Renewal The commencement of the poem (in the Prefacio) coincides with the birth of Altazor, but quickly thereafter the antithesis of birth is named: “Nací a los treinta y tres años, el día de la muerte de Cristo; nací en el Equinoccio, bajo las hortensias y los aeroplanos del calor . . Y ahora mi paracaídas cae de sueño en sueño por los espacios de la muerte” (2) [“I was born at the age of 33 on the day Christ died; I was born at the Equinox, under the hydrangeas and the aeroplanes in the heat .

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