The Avant-Garde of Literature

Vicente Huidobro

Chilean poet, inspirer of creationism had an active political and intellectual life in Europe and Chile during the first half of the 20th century.

Saturday, August 22, 2009  
Vicente Huidobro

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The poet Vicente García-Huidobro Fernández is considered the ideologue and main exponent of creationism and one of the four great Chlean poets, along with Gabriela Mistral, Pablo Neruda and Pablo de Rokha. He was born on 10 January, 1893 in Santiago to an aristocratic family. His mother, Maria Luisa Fernandez, played a fundamental role in his formation as an active feminist and hostess of literary evenings.
 
With long residencies in Europe, he participated in the avant-garde discussions of the time with Pablo Picasso, Jacques Lipchitz, Joan Miró, Max Ernst, Luis Buñuel, Miguel de Unamuno and Le Corbusier, among others.
 
He was also intensely involved in the Spanish Civil War for the Republican faction and in World War II, when he served as a correspondent and went to Berlin with the Allied troops.
 
In Chile, he participated actively in politics in favor of the Communist Party, to the point that he was proclaimed presidential candidate. He also formed part of literary groups, headed multiple magazines and was active in journalism.
 
Noted among his numerous works is Altazor o el Viaje en Paracaídas  (Altazor or A Voyage in A Parachute) (1931), an essential creation for learning about this  "antipoet and magician", as he defined himself.
 
In his fifties, he moved to a resort close to Santiago called Cartagena, where died of a stroke in 1948. Following his last will, he was buried on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean, with the epitaph: "Here lies the poet Vicente Huidobro / open this tomb / at the bottom of this tomb you will see the sea." 
 

 

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