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Vicente Huidobro

Vicente Huidobro Vicente Huidobro[2†]

Vicente García-Huidobro Fernández, known as Vicente Huidobro, was a Chilean poet born to an aristocratic family on January 10, 1893, in Santiago, Chile[1†][2†]. He was a self-proclaimed father of the short-lived avant-garde movement known as Creacionismo (“Creationism”)[1†]. Huidobro was a prominent figure in the post-World War I literary vanguard in Paris and Madrid as well as at home in Chile[1†]. He promoted the avant-garde literary movement in Chile and was the creator and greatest exponent of the literary movement called Creacionismo[1†][2†].

Huidobro was a prolific poet and did much to introduce his countrymen to contemporary European, especially French, innovations in poetic form and imagery[1†]. His work was characterized by the use of incongruous juxtapositions of striking images and random, seemingly irrational, sequences of words and letters of the alphabet[1†]. He was also known for his well-publicized exploits, such as his semi-serious candidacy for the presidency of Chile[1†].

Huidobro passed away on January 2, 1948, in Santiago, Chile[1†][2†].

Early Years and Education

Vicente Huidobro was born into a wealthy family in Santiago, Chile[2†][3†][4†]. He spent his early years in Europe, where he was educated by French and English governesses[2†][3†]. This early exposure to European culture and languages likely had a profound influence on his later work and his propensity for the avant-garde.

Upon his family’s return to Chile, Huidobro was enrolled at the Colegio San Ignacio, a prestigious Jesuit secondary school in Santiago[2†][3†]. However, his time at the school was cut short when he was expelled for wearing a ring that he claimed was a wedding ring[2†][3†].

In 1910, Huidobro began studying literature at the Instituto Pedagogico of the University of Chile[2†]. However, much of his knowledge of literature and poetry came from his mother, poet María Luisa Fernández Bascuñán[2†]. She hosted literary salons, or “tertulias,” in the family home, where up to 60 people, including family members, servants, maids, and even a dwarf, would gather to discuss literature[2†]. These salons undoubtedly played a significant role in shaping Huidobro’s literary sensibilities.

In 1911, Huidobro published his first work, “Ecos del alma” (“Echoes of the Soul”), a collection of poems with modernist tones[2†]. The following year, he married Manuela Portales Bello[2†].

Career Development and Achievements

Vicente Huidobro was a prominent figure in the post-World War I literary vanguard in Paris and Madrid, as well as at home in Chile[1†][2†]. He did much to introduce his countrymen to contemporary European, especially French, innovations in poetic form and imagery[1†][2†].

In 1916, after publishing several collections of poetry in Chile and achieving recognition and notoriety for such literary manifestos as "Non serviam" (1914; “I Will Not Serve”), in which he rejected the entire poetic past, Huidobro went to Paris[1†]. There he collaborated with the avant-garde French poets Guillaume Apollinaire and Pierre Reverdy on the influential literary review "Nord-Sud" (“North-South”)[1†]. During this period, Creationism was invented, whether by him or by Reverdy is moot; certainly, Huidobro was its most vociferous exponent[1†].

In "Poemas árticos" (1918; “Arctic Poems”) and "Saisons choisies" (1921; “Chosen Seasons”), the latter in French, he exemplified his Creationist theories with incongruous juxtapositions of striking images and random, seemingly irrational, sequences of words and letters of the alphabet[1†].

Huidobro went to Madrid in 1918, where he was enthusiastically received in avant-garde literary circles and where in 1921 he was one of the founders of Ultraísmo (Ultraism), the Spanish offshoot of Creationism[1†]. Traveling frequently between Europe and Chile, he was largely responsible for creating the climate of literary experimentation, based on French models, that prevailed in post-World War I Chile[1†].

He accomplished this as much through his well-publicized exploits (such as his semi-serious candidacy for the presidency of Chile) as through his frequent magazine articles and poetry[1†]. Continuing to write in the Creationist idiom in such novels as "Sátiro; o, el poder de las palabras" (1939; “Satyr; or, the Power of Words”), Huidobro also remained a prolific poet in that style long after the movement itself had collapsed[1†].

First Publication of His Main Works

Vicente Huidobro was a prolific writer, with his works spanning various genres and styles. His philosophy is illustrated in his masterpiece, Altazor (1931)[5†][4†], as well as in Tour Eiffel (1917), Manifestes (1925), and Ultimos poemas (1948)[5†]. Here are some of his main works:

Huidobro’s works are characterized by their innovative use of language and form, reflecting his commitment to the Creationist movement. His works have had a significant impact on the literary world, particularly in the realm of avant-garde and Creationist poetry[2†][1†][5†][4†].

Analysis and Evaluation

Vicente Huidobro was a self-proclaimed father of the short-lived avant-garde movement known as Creacionismo (“Creationism”)[1†][2†]. He was a prominent figure in the post-World War I literary vanguard in Paris and Madrid as well as at home in Chile[1†][2†]. He did much to introduce his countrymen to contemporary European, especially French, innovations in poetic form and imagery[1†].

In 1916, after publishing several collections of poetry in Chile and achieving recognition and notoriety for such literary manifestos as Non serviam (1914; “I Will Not Serve”), in which he rejected the entire poetic past, Huidobro went to Paris[1†]. There he collaborated with the avant-garde French poets Guillaume Apollinaire and Pierre Reverdy on the influential literary review Nord-Sud (“North-South”)[1†]. During this period Creationism was invented, whether by him or by Reverdy is moot; certainly Huidobro was its most vociferous exponent[1†].

In Poemas árticos (1918; “Arctic Poems”) and Saisons choisies (1921; “Chosen Seasons”), the latter in French, he exemplified his Creationist theories with incongruous juxtapositions of striking images and random, seemingly irrational, sequences of words and letters of the alphabet[1†].

Huidobro went to Madrid in 1918, where he was enthusiastically received in avant-garde literary circles and where in 1921 he was one of the founders of Ultraísmo (Ultraism), the Spanish offshoot of Creationism[1†]. Traveling frequently between Europe and Chile, he was largely responsible for creating the climate of literary experimentation, based on French models, that prevailed in post-World War I Chile[1†].

He accomplished this as much through his well-publicized exploits (such as his semiserious candidacy for the presidency of Chile) as through his frequent magazine articles and poetry[1†]. Continuing to write in the Creationist idiom in such novels as Sátiro; o, el poder de las palabras (1939; “Satyr; or, the Power of Words”), Huidobro also remained a prolific poet in that style long after the movement itself had collapsed[1†].

Huidobro’s work is characterized by its innovative use of language and form, reflecting his commitment to the Creationist movement[1†][2†]. His works have had a significant impact on the literary world, particularly in the realm of avant-garde and Creationist poetry[1†][2†].

Personal Life

Vicente Huidobro was born into a wealthy family from Santiago, Chile[2†]. He spent his first years in Europe and was educated by French and English governesses[2†]. Once his family was back in Chile, Vicente was enrolled at the Colegio San Ignacio, a Jesuit secondary school in Santiago, where he was expelled for wearing a ring that he claimed was a wedding ring[2†].

In 1912, he married Manuela Portales Bello[2†]. He had a close relationship with his mother, poet María Luisa Fernández Bascuñán, who used to host “tertulias” or salons in the family home, where sometimes up to 60 people came to talk and to listen to her talk about literature[2†]. Later, in 1912, she would help him financially and emotionally to publish his first magazine “Musa Joven” (Young Muse)[2†].

In 1916, he traveled to Buenos Aires with Teresa Wilms Montt, a young poet whom he had rescued from a convent[2†].

Conclusion and Legacy

Vicente Huidobro, a self-proclaimed father of the short-lived avant-garde movement known as Creacionismo (“Creationism”), was a prominent figure in the post-World War I literary vanguard in Paris and Madrid as well as at home in Chile[2†][1†]. He did much to introduce his countrymen to contemporary European, especially French, innovations in poetic form and imagery[2†][1†].

His personal poetic style, which he called creationism, was a modality that emphasized the autonomy of poetic expression, a result of the transformation of external referents and of laws of grammar and “sense,” and created its own images, descriptions, and concepts[2†][4†]. This style had a significant impact on the literary world and influenced many poets who came after him[2†][4†].

Huidobro was largely responsible for creating the climate of literary experimentation, based on French models, that prevailed in post-World War I Chile[2†][1†]. He accomplished this as much through his well-publicized exploits (such as his semi-serious candidacy for the presidency of Chile) as through his frequent magazine articles and poetry[2†][1†].

Despite the short-lived nature of the Creationism movement, Huidobro’s influence and legacy in the world of poetry remain significant. His work continues to be studied and appreciated for its innovative and transformative approach to poetic expression[2†][1†][4†].

Key Information

References and Citations:

  1. Britannica - Vicente Huidobro: Chilean writer [website] - link
  2. Wikipedia (English) - Vicente Huidobro [website] - link
  3. Goodreads - Book: The Selected Poetry [website] - link
  4. Encyclopedia.com - Huidobro Fernández, Vicente (1893–1948) [website] - link
  5. Encyclopedia.com - Huidobro, Vicente [website] - link
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