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Cuadernos del CILHA

versión On-line ISSN 1852-9615


SOLARES-LARRAVE, Francisco. The originality of the influences in Rubén Darío. Cuad. CILHA [online]. 2009, vol.10, n.1, pp. 138-148. ISSN 1852-9615.

Max Henríquez Ureña and Enrique Anderson Imbert, among others, have viewed the influences Rubén Darío received from other writers as a way to explain the Nicaraguan poet's work. However, a particular aspect of these influences is that they were very deliberate on Darío's part, as his famous 1891 statement "Who should I imitate in order to be original?" (EI: 121) proves.  In fact, this remark of Darío's leads us to reconsider our notions of what influence means as a critical category, and also adds context to the cultural phenomenon of transculturation, that gave place to Spanish American modernismo.  Even though critics such as Angel Rama (1970) and José Emilio Pacheco (1970) have examined this topic, both, the idea of influence contained in Darío's statement, and its literary results have led me to reexamine influence as a strategy within modernismo's agenda of cultural reply.  This approach to influence may explain Darío's own acts of literary appropriation, which, according to Noé Jitrik, stem from the poet's concept of literature as commodity.  Within this context, we want to propose that Darío saw these appropriations, now known as influences, as part of a modernization process whose goal was the improvement of his own, as well as Spanish America's cultural production. Hence, his choice to "imitate in order to be original" not only questions the traditional notions of influence, but also forges a pattern of literary and cultural relationships between Spanish America and Europe. This pattern is evident in the relationship between his own works, and those on which his poems were inspired. With these ideas in mind, my essay examines Darío's use of French literature in "Sonatina" ("Le chevalier double" de Théophile Gautier), and "Palabras a la satiresa" ("Les ingénus" de Paul Verlaine).

Palabras clave : Influences; Rubén Darío; Originality; Sonatina; Palabras a la satiresa.

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