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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A Transatlantic Dialogue: Argentina, Mexico, Spain, and the Literary Magazines that Bridged the Atlantic (1920-1930)

  • Author(s): Fernandez, Vanessa
  • Advisor(s): Clayton, Michelle
  • van Delden, Maarten H
  • et al.

While the development of Spain and Latin America's post-colonial relationship during the 1920s has been discussed across multiple disciplines and within various theoretical paradigms, this dissertation engages the topic in an unprecedented manner. Studying specific debates between Spain, Mexico, and Argentina, this project maps a concrete triangular network of cultural exchange. Based on extensive archival research in the three countries, my work maps this dialogue in correspondence, essays and fiction that appeared in literary journals, magazines and newspapers. A critical site that reflected cultural and ideological differences within the literary field, these publications provided a forum in which intellectuals experimented with vanguard aesthetics in prose, poetry, and art, and debated their ideas to create a web of reciprocity that enriched and complicated aesthetic and cultural developments on both sides of the Atlantic. The journals, magazines, and newspapers examined in this dissertation were selected according to their contributions to the triangular network of exchange. Therefore, I evaluate exchanges that took place in well-known journals such as Madrid's Revista de Occidente (1923-36), Mexico's Ulises (1927-28), and Buenos Aires's Martín Fierro (1924-27), as well as journals that have received considerably less scholarly attention such as La Plata's Valoraciones, Mexico's La Antorcha, and Madrid's El Estudiante (1925-26). My work connects unexamined exchanges with better-known polemics in order to reveal that debates previously considered isolated events were in fact part of a broader and more complex tradition of contention. For instance, whereas scholarship on the well-known 1927-polémica del meridiano intelectual has, for the most part, discussed this debate as an unexpected incident, I illustrate that it was the culmination of a series of contentious disputes on related topics that took place during the 1920s. In addition, my thesis demonstrates that these debates and exchanges had a direct impact on literary aesthetics, such as the development of Hispanic vanguard prose.

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