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Alfonsina Storni

Alfonsina Storni Alfonsina Storni[1†]

Alfonsina Storni (May 29, 1892 – October 25, 1938) was an Argentine poet and playwright of the modernist period[1†]. Born in Sala Capriasca, Switzerland, Storni’s family immigrated to Argentina in 1896[1†][2†][1†]. She was one of the foremost poets in Latin American literature[1†][2†].

Early Years and Education

Alfonsina Storni was born on May 29, 1892, in Sala Capriasca, Switzerland[2†][1†]. Her parents, Alfonso Storni and Paola Martignoni, were of Italian-Swiss descent[2†][1†]. Before her birth, her father had started a brewery in the city of San Juan, Argentina, producing beer and soda[2†][1†]. In 1891, following the advice of a doctor, he returned with his wife to Switzerland, where Alfonsina was born the following year[2†][1†]. She lived there until she was four years old[2†][1†].

In 1896, the family returned to San Juan, Argentina, and a few years later, in 1901, moved to Rosario due to economic issues[2†][1†]. There, her father opened a tavern, where Storni did a variety of chores[2†][1†]. At the young age of 10, Alfonsina dropped out of school to help her family and worked washing dishes and waiting tables[2†][3†]. With only 12 years, she wrote her first verse, which was sad and centered on death[2†][3†].

When she was 14 years old, her father died, a victim of alcoholism, and her mother founded a school at home to support the family[2†][3†]. Despite these hardships, Storni continued her education. She later entered the Colegio de la Santa Unión as a part-time student[2†][1†]. In 1907, her interest in dance led her to join a traveling theatre company, which took her around the country[2†][1†]. She performed in Henrik Ibsen’s Ghosts, Benito Pérez Galdós’s La loca de la casa, and Florencio Sánchez’s Los muertos[2†][1†].

In 1908, Storni returned to live with her mother, who had remarried and was living in Bustinza[1†]. After a year there, Storni went to Coronda, where she studied to become a rural primary schoolteacher[2†][1†]. During this period, she also started working for the local magazines Mundo Rosarino and Monos y Monadas, as well as the prestigious Mundo Argentino[2†][1†].

Career Development and Achievements

Alfonsina Storni’s career began in earnest when she moved to Buenos Aires in 1912[1†]. Seeking anonymity in the bustling city, she continued her work as a teacher and also engaged with a young people’s theatre group[1†][2†]. During this time, she formed a friendship with the writer Horacio Quiroga[1†][2†].

Storni’s first book, “La inquietud del rosal” (1916; “The Restless Rose Garden”), brought her recognition from the literary circles in Buenos Aires[1†][2†]. However, it was her volume “El dulce daño” (1918; “The Sweet Injury”) that won her popular success[1†][2†]. Her portrayal of men was ironic and critical, yet she felt a strong need for heterosexual love[1†][2†]. She was able to express the tension and passion of these ambivalent feelings in poetry both simple and deeply sensual[1†][2†].

After the publication of “Ocre” (“Ochre”) in 1925, Storni concentrated for several years on journalistic articles and plays[1†][2†]. Her play “El amo del mundo” (1927; “Master of the World”) was not well received[1†][2†]. However, in the 1930s, influenced by, among others, Federico García Lorca, Storni returned to poetry[1†][2†]. She published “El mundo de siete pozos” (1934; “The World of Seven Wells”) and “Mascarilla y trébol” (1938; “Mask and Trefoil”)[1†][2†].

Much of her later work is marked by despair, largely brought about by her battle with breast cancer[1†][2†]. The poems are involved, intellectual, and highly stylized, and they lack the simplicity and passion of her early work[1†][2†]. Despite her illness, Storni continued to write until her death in 1938[1†][2†].

In 1917, Storni received the Premio Annual del Consejo Nacional de Mujeres[1†]. In 1920, one of her publications, “Languidez,” was awarded the First Municipal prize as well as the second National Literature Prize[1†].

First Publication of Her Main Works

Alfonsina Storni’s literary career was marked by her profound and emotive poetry, as well as her plays and essays[1†][2†]. Here are some of her most notable works:

Storni’s work is a testament to her talent and her ability to express complex emotions and experiences in a deeply personal and poignant way[1†][2†]. Her poetry continues to resonate with readers today, offering a unique perspective on the human experience[1†][2†].

Analysis and Evaluation

Alfonsina Storni’s work is a testament to her talent and her ability to express complex emotions and experiences in a deeply personal and poignant way[5†][2†]. Her poetry often explored themes of love, feminism, and social injustice[5†][4†]. She wrote about the struggles of women in a patriarchal society and advocated for their rights and equality[5†][4†]. Her poems were often deeply personal and reflected her own experiences and emotions[5†][4†].

Storni’s struggles to survive as a single mother led her through a series of odd jobs[5†][6†]. Her feminist sensibilities, expressed through her poetry and essays, published in widely read women’s magazines, were rooted in these experiences, which inspired a critical perspective on the role of women in her society[5†][6†].

Her activism was not limited to the message of her poetry and to the rebellious gesture[5†]. In her career as poet, journalist, teacher, and speaker, Storni exhibited an uncanny eye for social topics directly affecting women’s lives and was able to publicize them through her prose writings[5†]. As an inheritor of a vigorous feminist movement in Latin America, Storni used the “women’s page” of major daily newspapers and magazines to set forth her own version of feminism[5†].

The impact of her poetry and prose and the events of her life have given rise to a legend[5†]. With her status as an unwed mother and social rebel, her name has become a symbol for generations of Latin American women[5†]. The different stages in the creation of a mythic Alfonsina Storni also reflect stages of women’s roles in society[5†].

Personal Life

Alfonsina Storni’s personal life was marked by hardships and personal struggles. Her life took a sharp turn after she fell in love with a married man, by whom she became pregnant[6†]. Refusing to compromise the man’s reputation by revealing his identity, Storni moved to Buenos Aires in order to escape local scandal[6†]. She supported both herself and her son by teaching and working as a journalist[6†][7†].

Storni, considered one of the greatest Latin American poets of the Modernist period, began her creative journey by way of a traveling theatre company after the death of her father and her mother’s second marriage[6†][7†]. Later, she supported both herself and her son by teaching and working as a journalist[6†][7†].

Her personal life, particularly her experience as a single mother, influenced her poetry and other writings. Her works often reflect her personal experiences and offer critical perspectives on societal expectations of women[6†][1†][2†].

Conclusion and Legacy

Alfonsina Storni’s legacy is one of courage, creativity, and determination[4†]. She was a trailblazer for women writers and a champion of feminist ideals[4†]. Her works continue to inspire and influence people around the world, and her contributions to literature and feminism have been recognized and celebrated in many ways[4†].

Storni’s struggles to survive as a single mother led her through a series of odd jobs[4†][6†]. Her feminist sensibilities, expressed through her poetry and essays, published in widely read women’s magazines, were rooted in these experiences, which inspired a critical perspective on the role of women in her society[4†][6†].

Despite the hardships she faced, Storni’s work has left an indelible mark on Latin American literature. Her poetry and plays, characterized by their modernist style and feminist themes, have earned her a place among the foremost poets in Latin American literature[4†][2†][1†].

Knowing that she was incurably ill, Storni committed suicide in 1938[4†][2†]. However, her impact on literature and feminism continues to be felt today[4†]. A volume containing all her poetry, Obra poetica completa (“Complete Poetical Works”), was published in 1961[4†][2†].

Key Information

References and Citations:

  1. Wikipedia (English) - Alfonsina Storni [website] - link
  2. Britannica - Alfonsina Storni: Argentine writer [website] - link
  3. JournalNow - Biography of Alfonsina Storni [website] - link
  4. Pop and Thistle - Alfonsina Storni: A Revolutionary Voice in Latin American Literature [website] - link
  5. Oxford Academic - Women, Culture, and Politics in Latin America - The Journalism of Alfonsina Storni: A New Approach to Women's History in Argentina [website] - link
  6. eNotes - Alfonsina Storni Critical Essays [website] - link
  7. Luna Luna Blog - A Poet I’ve Never Heard Of: Alfonsina Storni [website] - link
  8. Poetry Foundation - Alfonsina Storni [website] - link
  9. Discography of American Historical Recordings - Alfonsina Storni [website] - link
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