By Bruce Dean Willis
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Additional resources for Aesthetics of Equilibrium: The Vanguard Poetics of Vicente Huidobro and Mario de Andrade (Purdue Studies in Romance Literatures)
21 Introduction Kristeva further illuminates the function of poetry by comparing it with fetishism, which is a denial of the symbolic and a return to the semiotic realm as the mother’s womb. Kristeva asks: In short, isn’t art the fetish par excellence, one that badly camouﬂages its archaeology? At its base, isn’t there a belief, ultimately maintained, that the mother is phallic, that the ego—never precisely identiﬁed—will never separate from her, and that no symbol is strong enough to sever this dependence?
Therefore, the avant-garde’s revolutionary rhetoric fascinates because its failure is both predictable, given the revolutionary cycle, and overwhelming, manifesting the avant-garde’s famously hyperbolic excess, inevitably leading to exhaustion. Huidobro and Mário both create allegories of this revolutionary rhetoric, surprisingly similar in form, theme, and symbol. Revolution is central to the plot of each parable, bolstered by biblical allusions that develop a sacred or mystical context, and by the slave and master relationship, which adds further complexities to the battle by implying the reconciliation of the self and the other, and, reinforced by gender pairings, the idea of a central duality or equilibrium.
For José Alberto de la Fuente, in his short summary of the manifestos, the texts express “un mundo en gerundio, en devenir, mágico, inaugurativo e imaginario” (62). Luis Navarrete Orta gives the manifestos more weight by including distinct sections devoted to six of them in his comparative study of Huidobro’s poetry and poetics, although he characterizes the rest of them in a few lines, noting only vaguely the use of “recursos poéticos” (153). Conceptually insightful, his analysis exposes the time lag between Huidobro’s afﬁrmation of aesthetic ideas and his actual use of them in his poetry.