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Grant number: FA-50175-04

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FA-50175-04

Cathy L. Jrade
Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN 37240-0001)

Delmira Agustini: A Modernista on Her Own Terms

In this study, I build upon my previous research and focus on Delmira Agustini, who was a late modernist and the first female poet of the twentieth-century Spanish America. My study will explore the relationship between Agustini's innovative, erotically charged poetic discourse and the changing gender roles and sexual mores of the day. I will also examine the unusual way that Agustini's writing draws upon the tradition begun by earlier modernistas of questioning and critiquing predominant ideological, cultural, and discursive conventions. These conventions are found both in the language of the nation-state formation that circulated at the turn of the century and within modernista poetry itself. Most specifically, I propose to show how Agustini begins to re-write Ruben Dario, the intellectual center of gravity of the modernista movement, claiming for herself full poetic status by asserting herself in sexual terms. More than simply coming to affirm in her poetry her sexual nature and rejecting the limitations placed upon her by traditional views of women, Agustini sets up a creative conceit to deal with her personal "anxieties of influence." She chooses a sexual model to combat the sense of weakness and ineffectually suggested by imitation. She turns herself into a seductress and a partner and, in this way, rewrites from a female perspective much of the sexual images that run throughout Dario's work. It is an imaginative leap influence by her immediate socio-cultural and literary context.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
Latin American Literature

Program:
Fellowships for University Teachers

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2004 – 7/31/2005