Idea Vilariño

Idea Vilariño

Idea Vilariño Idea Vilariño[1†]

Idea Vilariño Romani (1920–2009) was a Uruguayan poet and critic, part of the influential Generación del ’45. Born into a literary family, she began writing in her teens, with her first major work, La suplicante, published in 1945. Vilariño's poetry, known for its intense coherence, garnered international recognition and awards. She contributed significantly to Latin American literature alongside renowned peers like Onetti and Benedetti[1†][2†][3†].

Early Years and Education

Idea Vilariño was born on August 18, 1920, in Montevideo, Uruguay[2†][4†]. She was born into an educated, middle-class family where music and literature were always present[2†][4†][5†][1†]. Her father, Leandro Vilariño (1892-1944), was a poet whose works were not published in his lifetime[2†][5†][1†]. Her mother was very well educated in European literature[2†][5†][1†].

Just like her siblings, Numen, Poema, Azul, and Alma, she studied music[2†][5†][1†]. This early exposure to music and literature played a significant role in shaping her future career as a poet, essayist, and literary critic[2†][4†][5†][1†].

As an educator, she began her career teaching literature in the high school system of Montevideo[2†][4†]. Many other women of her generation also pursued teaching careers[2†][4†]. In 1985, after the dictatorship of Uruguay ended, she joined the faculty at the University of the Republic in Montevideo[2†].

Career Development and Achievements

Idea Vilariño began her career as a professor of literature and secondary education in 1952[6†][1†]. She held this position until The Coup of 1973[6†][1†]. After the restoration of the democratic system, she returned to education, working as a professor in the department of Uruguayan and Latin-American literature in the College of Education of Humanities and Sciences of The University of the Republic[6†][1†].

She was a part of the Generación del 45, a group of intellectuals that became prominent between 1945 and 1950[6†][1†]. This group included several notable authors such as Juan Carlos Onetti, with whom she had a love affair, Mario Benedetti, Sarandy Cabrera, Carlos Martínez Moreno, Ángel Rama, Carlos Real de Azúa, Carlos Maggi, Alfredo Gravina, Mario Arregui, Amanda Berenguer, Humberto Megget, Emir Rodríguez Monegal, Gladys Castelvecchi, and José Pedro Díaz[6†][1†].

Vilariño’s first poetic work, La suplicante, was published in 1945[6†][1†][2†]. In the subsequent years, she became recognized internationally and was awarded various awards[6†][1†][2†]. Her poems were marked by an intimate experience, intense and distressing, but always very coherent[6†][1†][2†].

She was the author of twelve books of poetry, among the best known of which are Nocturnos (1955) and Poemas de amor (1957)[6†][7†]. Her collected poems, Poesía completa, was published in Uruguay in 2009[6†][7†].

Vilariño was also a celebrated translator of Shakespeare into Spanish[6†][2†]. She wrote critical studies of poets Antonio Machado and Julio Herrera y Reissig, among others[6†][2†]. Additionally, she wrote lyrics for works such as “A una Paloma” (“To a Dove”), set to music by Daniel Viglietti, and “La Canción y el Poema” (“The Song and the Poem”), with a melody by Alfredo Zitarrosa[6†][2†].

First Publication of Her Main Works

Idea Vilariño was a prolific writer, and her works spanned various genres including poetry, essays, and literary criticism[2†]. Here are some of her main works:

Vilariño’s works were marked by an intimate experience, intense and distressing, but always very coherent[2†]. She also worked as a translator, composer, and lecturer[2†]. Vilariño remains a key figure in Latin American literature[2†][3†].

Analysis and Evaluation

Idea Vilariño’s poetry is marked by its simplicity and impact[9†]. Her poems are written with everyday words, making them easy to read, yet they are also impactful[9†]. They often feel like a reflection of our own soul[9†]. This is because Vilariño’s poems are about herself and her own life[9†]. She used to say that every poem that she wrote was inspired by a moment in her own life, none of them were fictional or a lie[9†].

Her most famous work, “Poemas de amor” (Love Poems, 1957), is a testament to both the necessity and the impossibility of love in this world, especially for a passionate, independent woman determined to speak with her own voice[9†][3†]. It includes some of the most beautiful and painful love poems written in Spanish[9†]. The book was dedicated to Juan Carlos Onetti, the Uruguayan novelist, with whom Vilariño had a complicated and intense relationship[9†]. Their romantic relationship didn’t last long, but they continued writing letters and loving each other all their lives[9†].

Vilariño’s work has had a significant impact on Latin American literature. She was part of a group of writers known as the 'Generation of ‘45’, which also included the writers Juan Carlos Onetti, Mario Benedetti and Ángel Rama, among others[9†]. Her poems are about love, loneliness, pain, and sexuality[9†]. In other words, they are about life[9†].

Personal Life

Idea Vilariño was born into a family where music and poetry held a special place[9†]. Her father, Leandro Vilariño, was a poet, and her mother was educated in European literature[9†]. The names chosen for Idea and her siblings—Numen (inspiration), Alma (soul), Azul (blue), and Poema (poem)—reflect the importance of art in the Vilariño household[9†].

Vilariño had a complicated and intense relationship with the renowned Uruguayan novelist Juan Carlos Onetti[9†]. Their romantic relationship was brief, but they continued to write letters and express love for each other throughout their lives[9†]. Even after Onetti fled Uruguay during the military dictatorship (1973-1985) and moved to Spain, their correspondence continued[9†]. Vilariño often referred to Onetti as the love of her life[9†].

Despite her passionate relationship with Onetti, Vilariño remained single throughout her life[9†][10†]. She did not have any children[9†][10†].

Vilariño passed away in Montevideo in 2009[9†][2†].

Conclusion and Legacy

Idea Vilariño’s legacy in the world of literature is profound and enduring. As a member of the “Generación del 45”, she was part of a group of intellectuals that left a lasting impact on Latin American literature[2†][1†]. Her work, marked by an intimate experience, intense and distressing, but always very coherent, has been recognized internationally and awarded with various awards[2†][6†].

Vilariño’s honors include the 2004 Konex Award for literature; the 1987 Premio a la labor intelectual José Enrique Rodó, awarded by the municipal government of Montevideo; and a fellowship at the Complutense University of Madrid[2†]. Her many poetry collections include Poesía (“Poetry,” 1970); Treinta poemas (“30 poems,” 1967); Pobre mundo (“Poor World,” 1966); Poemas de amor (“Love Poems,” 1957), which was dedicated to renowned Uruguayan novelist Juan Carlos Onetti; Nocturnos (“Nocturnes,” 1955); and La suplicante (“The Supplicant,” 1945)[2†].

In 2020, the Pitt Poetry Series published Poemas de amor / Love Poems, a posthumous collection of Vilariño’s original poems presented side by side with translations by Jesse Lee Kercheval[2†][11†]. Vilariño was also a celebrated translator of Shakespeare into Spanish[2†]. She wrote critical studies of poets Antonio Machado and Julio Herrera y Reissig, among others[2†].

Vilariño’s influence extends beyond her poetry. She also wrote lyrics for works such as “A una Paloma” (“To a Dove”), set to music by Daniel Viglietti, and “La Canción y el Poema” (“The Song and the Poem”), with a melody by Alfredo Zitarrosa[2†].

Idea Vilariño passed away in Montevideo in 2009[2†], but her legacy continues to inspire and influence writers and readers around the world.

Key Information

References and Citations:

  1. Wikipedia (English) - Idea Vilariño [website] - link
  2. Poetry Foundation - Idea Vilariño [website] - link
  3. World Literature Today - Four Poems [website] - link
  4. Encyclopedia.com - Vilariño, Idea (1920–) [website] - link
  5. Peoplepill - Idea Vilariño: Uruguayan poet, essayist and literary critic (1920 - 2009) [website] - link
  6. Prabook - Idea Vilariño (August 18, 1920 — April 28, 2009), Uruguayan critic, essayist, poet [website] [archive] - link
  7. World Literature Today - None [website] - link
  8. Harvard Review - Idea Vilariño Archives [website] - link
  9. Sounds and Colours - The Beauty of Simplicity: Idea Vilariño, One of Uruguay’s Most Important Poets [website] - link
  10. CelebsAgeWiki - Idea Vilariño Biography, Age, Height, Husband, Net Worth, Family [website] - link
  11. Latin American Literature Today - From Poemas de amor / Love Poems by Idea Vilariño, translated by Jesse Lee Kercheval [website] - link
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