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Ramón Gómez de la Sernas El alba (1923) and the Dawning of a New Aesthetics

McCulloch, John (2004) Ramón Gómez de la Sernas El alba (1923) and the Dawning of a New Aesthetics. Hispanic Journal, 24 (1-2). pp. 117-126. ISSN 0271-0986

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Abstract

Although Ramón de la Serna has long been associated with bringing the avant-garde to Spain, much of his work evinces a poetic and lyrical style which is directly influenced by fin-de siecle aestheticism and Hispanoamerican modernismo, which he combines with his own subversive aesthetics. In El alba - written during Ramón's sojourn in Paris between 1909-1911 and later amended in 1923 - Ramón takes his poetic style to new heights, abstracting the immediate world through a poetic transformation of reality. The world becomes an aesthetic playground of infinite possibilities where the reader is enmeshed in an untrammelled flux of poetic images and language. For an author who never wrote poetry, but whose narrative fiction largely extols perception over action, El alba is a key work which sheds light on the author's opus as a whole, where narrative is often attenuated in favour of poetic prose. In this article I aim to examine the nature of Ramón's poetic discourse in El alba and the implications this has on our understanding of his literary style as a whole.