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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The Manifestoes and aesthetics of twentieth century Venezuelan poetic groups : from modernity to postmodernity Dykstra, Kevin Lance 2005

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THE MANIFESTOES AND AESTHETICS OF TWENTIENTH CENTURY VENEZUELAN POETIC GROUPS: FROM MODERNITY TO POSTMODERNITY by KEVIN LANCE DYKSTRA B.A., The University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1990 M.A., The University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1993 M.B.A., Instit u t o Centroamericano de Administracion de Empresas, 1995 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES HISPANIC STUDIES THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA March 2005 Kevin Lance Dykstra, 2005 ABSTRACT OF THE DISSERTATION THE MANIFESTOES AND AESTHETICS OF TWENTIENTH CENTURY VENEZUELAN POETIC GROUPS: FROM MODERNITY TO POSTMODERNITY By Kevin Lance Dykstra This d i s s e r t a t i o n observes and discusses the cha r a c t e r i s t i c s of Venezuelan poetry i n the twentieth century as i t relates to the t r a n s i t i o n from Modernity to Postmodernity. It f i r s t discusses the cha r a c t e r i s t i c s of Modernity and the development of Postmodernity i n Western philosophical thought. These • cha r a c t e r i s t i c s are then applied to the context of Latin America and, s p e c i f i c a l l y , Venezuela. The concept of Modernity i s discussed i n terms of p o l i t i c a l and aesthetic developments i n Venezuelan poetry during three d i s t i n c t p o l i t i c a l and economic periods of the twentieth century. The f i r s t stage i s presented as a period of authoritarian rule, the second as a fl e d g l i n g , and struggling, democracy, and the t h i r d as a democratic charade leading to a " c r i s i s of Modernity". This study demonstrates that there has been a steady movement throughout the century from Modernity to Postmodernity i n the aesthetic production of Venezuelan poetic groups. It shows how and why Venezuelan poetic groups began to reject Modernity's insistence that the subject i s capable of categorizing and ordering the world into a ra t i o n a l and progressive system of knowledge. As the century progressed, poetic groups began to consider the f u t i l i t y o f seeking a systematic, l o g i c a l , and controlled approach to r e a l i t y . By the 1980s, Venezuelan poets tended to avoid the i d e o l o g i c a l "metanarratives" that had been prevalent i n the poetry of p r i o r generations. T a b l e o f Contents A b s t r a c t i i T a b l e of C o n t e n t s i v D e d i c a t i o n v I n t r o d u c t i o n 1 Chapter 1 The P r a x i s Of M o d e r n i t y And P o s t m o d e r n i t y 8 Chapter 2 The A e s t h e t i c O r i e n t a t i o n of V e n e z u e l a ' s P o e t i c Groups: M o d e r n i t y and A u t o c r a c y 68 Chapter 3 The E f f e c t s o f Democracy on A e s t h e t i c and I d e o l o g i c a l Trends i n V e n e z u e l a 105 Chapter 4 The C r i s i s o f M o d e r n i t y i n V e n e z u e l a : A e s t h e t i c and S o c i a l Developments i n t h e Post-Boom Years 137 C o n c l u s i o n s 194 B i b l i o g r a p h y 202 A Sandra. G r a c i a s por t u apoyo y t u p a c i e n c i a . Y muchas g r a c i a s a Dr. A n t o n i o U r r e l l o por sus c o n s e j o s y s u g e r e n c i a s . Introduction I t i s my h y p o t h e s i s t h a t Venezuelan p o e t r y i n r e c e n t y e a r s has r e v e a l e d a r e j e c t i o n o f t h e t e n e t s of M o d e r n i t y , namely, a b e l i e f i n an u n d e r l y i n g t r u t h , r e a s o n , . and p r o g r e s s i o n based on t h e a c c u m u l a t i o n of knowledge. T h i s t h e s i s i n t e n d s t o e x p l o r e what I b e l i e v e i s a t r a n s i t i o n from M o d e r n i t y t o P o s t m o d e r n i t y i n the m a n i f e s t o - p r o d u c i n g p o e t i c groups i n V e n e z u e l a d u r i n g t h e T w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y . I t i s my b e l i e f , which I hope t o prove i n t h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n , t h a t t h i s t r a n s i t i o n i n t h e p o e t r y and d e c l a r a t i o n s o f thes e m a n i f e s t o - p r o d u c i n g p o e t i c groups c l o s e l y p a r a l l e l e d changes i n t h e p o l i t i c a l c l i m a t e o f the c o u n t r y . The d e s i r e t o c o n t r o l our environment t h r o u g h t h e a p p l i c a t i o n o f knowledge has been one o f t h e p r i m a r y m o t i v e s b e h i n d the Western p r o j e c t o f c i v i l i z a t i o n s i n c e D e s c a r t e s f i r s t d e c l a r e d cogito ergo sum. Reason was t h e . d r i v i n g f o r c e b e h i n d t h e e v e r - i m p r o v i n g c o n d i t i o n o f man. Chaos was a v o i d e d t h r o u g h the a p p l i c a t i o n o f ' knowledge and f a i t h i n an u n d e r l y i n g u n i v e r s a l " t r u t h " which c o u l d e x p l a i n and r a t i o n a l i z e man's e x i s t e n c e . M o d e r n i t y ' s promise o f c o n t r o l and p r o g r e s s has r e c e n t l y been c r i t i c i z e d by some t h e o r i s t s , who p o i n t out the d i s c r e p a n c i e s between the promise and t h e achievements. As knowledge and i n f o r m a t i o n have i n c r e a s e d , some would suggest t h a t our c o n t r o l , and u n d e r s t a n d i n g , of the w o r l d has d e c l i n e d . F o u c a u l t , f o r example, has q u e s t i o n e d the l e g a c y of t h e E n l i g h t e n m e n t by d i s t r u s t i n g , as M i c h a e l Mahon p o i n t s o u t , "any a l l e g e d l y pure and autonomous s e a r c h f o r t r u t h " ( 1 2 6 ) . Other t h e o r i s t s , such as. F r e d e r i c Jameson, F r a n g o i s L y o t a r d , and Jean B a u d r i l l a r d , have a l s o q u e s t i o n e d t h e p r e c e p t s o f M o d e r n i t y . These t h i n k e r s have e x p r e s s e d a d i s b e l i e f i n the " t o t a l i z i n g t h e o r i e s " and " m e t a n a r r a t i v e s " c r u c i a l t o M o d e r n i t y ' s c l a i m s . Chapter one of t h i s t h e s i s i n t r o d u c e s the t h e o r e t i c a l approach t o t h i s m a t e r i a l . T h i s c h a p t e r o u t l i n e s t h e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f M o d e r n i t y and the development o f P o s t m o d e r n i t y i n Western p h i l o s o p h i c a l t h o u g h t . T h i s approach i s t h e n a p p l i e d t o the c o n t e x t o f L a t i n A m e r i c a and, s p e c i f i c a l l y , V e n e z u e l a . The concept o f M o d e r n i t y i s d i s c u s s e d i n terms of p o l i t i c a l and a e s t h e t i c developments i n V e n e z u e l a . A l l c r i t i c s of l i t e r a t u r e adopt a p a r t i c u l a r frame o f i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , or approach, t o t h e m a t e r i a l t h e y s t u d y , even when t h i s approach i s not e x p l i c i t . A p e r s o n a l , o r o r i g i n a l , c o n t r i b u t i o n t o the s t u d y of a l i t e r a r y work, o r body o f works, stems from the c r i t i c ' s a p p l i c a t i o n o f an i n d i v i d u a l , s p e c i f i c l e n s of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . A r e a d e r , o r c r i t i c , chooses from a number o f m e t h o d o l o g i e s i n o r d e r t o f o c u s t h i s l e n s o f i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . A c r i t i c i n t e r e s t e d i n s t u d y i n g u n i v e r s a l symbols might, f o r example, choose A r c h e t y p a l or Myth C r i t i c i s m t o seek p a t t e r n s o f meaning. In t h i s t h e s i s , I am i n t e r e s t e d i n f i n d i n g the c o n n e c t i o n between l i t e r a t u r e , s p e c i f i c a l l y l i t e r a r y m a n i f e s t o e s and p o e t r y , and t h e e v o l u t i o n of p o l i t i c a l p h i l o s o p h y i n t w e n t i e t h - c e n t u r y V e n e z u e l a . T h i s i n t e r e s t has l e d me t o u t i l i z e a c o m b i n a t i o n o f M a r x i s t C r i t i c i s m and New H i s t o r i c i s m . The common f a c t o r i n t h e s e approaches t o l i t e r a t u r e i s t h e i r emphasis on power and i d e o l o g y . Thus, the r e a d e r o f t h i s t h e s i s w i l l be c o n f r o n t e d w i t h a wide range of s u p p o r t , from Marx and A l t h u s s e r t o F o u c a u l t , f o r my c r i t i c i s m . My hope, i n u s i n g t h i s approach, i s t o i n c r e a s e our awareness, and u n d e r s t a n d i n g , o f the c o n n e c t i o n and i n f l u e n c e o f p o l i t i c a l and economic f o r c e s on t h e p h i l o s o p h i c a l p o s i t i o n o f some Venezuelan p o e t s d u r i n g s e v e r a l s t a g e s o f the t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y . In c h a p t e r two, t h e p o l i t i c a l , i d e o l o g i c a l , and a e s t h e t i c t r e n d s d u r i n g the a u t o c r a t i c p e r i o d are d i s c u s s e d . T h i s p e r i o d extends from the b e g i n n i n g o f the t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y t o 1958. D u r i n g t h i s p e r i o d o f a u t o c r a t i c r u l e the economic s t r u c t u r e o f V e n e z u e l a was t r a n s f o r m e d . T h i s c h a p t e r t r a c e s t h e c o n n e c t i o n between p o l i t i c a l and economic developments and developments i n the m a n i f e s t o e s and the n a t i o n a l p o e t i c p r o d u c t i o n o f key p o e t i c groups. At the end of t h e n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y , b o t h a e s t h e t i c s and p o l i t i c s i n V e n e z u e l a conformed t o what w i l l be d e f i n e d i n the c o n t e x t of t h i s t h e s i s as the p r i n c i p l e s o f M o d e r n i t y . In V e n e z u e l a , at t h a t t i m e , p o l i t i c a l and a e s t h e t i c o u t l o o k s were based on a g e n e r a l l y s t a b l e ' r e l a t i o n s h i p between s e l f and r e a l i t y . The s u b j e c t was viewed as an e n t i t y endowed w i t h . t h e c a p a c i t y t o r e p r e s e n t and u n d e r s t a n d the e x p e r i e n c e s o f l i f e . The purpose of t h i s s u b j e c t was t o e s t a b l i s h a c o n n e c t i o n between r e a l i t y and t r u t h t h r o u g h the c a r e f u l a p p l i c a t i o n o f knowledge. When p r o p e r l y a p p l i e d , knowledge was deemed t o p o s s e s s the a b i l i t y t o t r a n s f o r m r e a l i t y and b r i n g about a p r o g r e s s and e n l i g h t e n m e n t of human a f f a i r s . The p r i n c i p l e s o f M o d e r n i t y p r o m i s e d c o n t r o l and p r o g r e s s t h a t would t h e o r e t i c a l l y i n c r e a s e as knowledge and i n f o r m a t i o n were accumulated. I i n t e n d t o show i n t h i s c h a p t e r t h a t , d u r i n g the f i r s t h a l f o f the t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y , a b e l i e f i n t h e e x i s t e n c e of an e m a n c i p a t i n g i d e o l o g y , or an u n d e r l y i n g , a l l - c o n c l u s i v e t r u t h was e v i d e n t i n b o t h p o l i t i c a l and p o e t i c d i s c o u r s e . Chapter t h r e e d i s c u s s e s a e s t h e t i c and i d e o l o g i c a l t r e n d s i n V e n e z u e l a d u r i n g the i n i t i a l s t a g e s o f "democracy" from 1958 u n t i l the e a r l y 1980s. T h i s was a p e r i o d o f unprecedented growth i n t h e p u b l i c s e c t o r due t o the ready a v a i l a b i l i t y of funds from t h e s t a t e - r u n p e t r o l e u m i n d u s t r y . " D e m o c r a t i c " developments were r e s t r i c t e d by the two dominant p a r t i e s which worked t o s u s t a i n a c o o p e r a t i v e , e l i t i s t form o f p o l i t i c s . The a e s t h e t i c developments of p o e t i c groups d u r i n g t h i s p e r i o d were a r e a c t i o n t o t h i s e l i t i s t p o l i t i c a l system. As i n many L a t i n American c o u n t r i e s d u r i n g t h i s p e r i o d , some p o e t i c groups tended t o use t h e i r c r a f t t o promote l e f t i s t i d e o l o g i e s . In t h e second h a l f o f t h e t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y , a g r a d u a l decay i n t h e p r i n c i p l e s o f M o d e r n i t y can be o b s e r v e d i n t h e p o e t r y and p o l i t i c s o f V e n e z u e l a . The promise o f democracy f o l l o w i n g many y e a r s o f a u t o c r a c y i n V e n e z u e l a was, f o r t h e most p a r t , an i l l u s i o n c r e a t e d by t h e r u l i n g c l a s s and m a i n t a i n e d t h r o u g h the. l i b e r a l i n j e c t i o n o f p e t r o l e u m revenues i n t o s o c i a l programs. T h i s p l a c a t e d some o f the p u b l i c d i s c o n t e n t w i t h the c l o s e d p o l i t i c a l system. T h i s p l a n , known as the p a c t o f Punto F i j o , s t a b i l i z e d t he apparent democracy o f the c o u n t r y by e s s e n t i a l l y d i v i d i n g p o l i t i c a l s p o i l s between the two dominant p a r t i e s , b o th r e p r e s e n t i n g s e c t o r s o f the upper c l a s s . ' The p l a n worked r e a s o n a b l y w e l l as l o n g as t h e r e were e v e r - i n c r e a s i n g revenues from o i l e x p o r t s t o co v e r t h e c o s t o f p l a c a t i n g the p u b l i c . When o i l p r i c e s dropped, p o l i t i c a l p a r t i e s t u r n e d t o f o r e i g n l o a n s t o c o n t i n u e t h e status quo o f democracy t h r o u g h p o l i t i c a l p act-making. T h i s c h a p t e r e x p l o r e s the a e s t h e t i c r e s ponse found i n the m a n i f e s t o e s and p o e t r y o f p o e t i c groups t o t h e s e p o l i t i c a l r e a l i t i e s . C h apter f o u r examines t h e m a n i f e s t o e s and a e s t h e t i c developments among p o e t i c groups f o l l o w i n g t h e economic c r i s i s , and the r e s u l t i n g p o l i t i c a l problems, o f the 1980s and 90s. T h i s c h a p t e r d i s c u s s e s the p o e t i c space used by the p o e t s o f two p o e t i c groups t h a t formed i n Caracas d u r i n g t h i s p e r i o d . I t i s my c o n t e n t i o n t h a t t h e p o e t s o f Trafico and Guaire are r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f a t r e n d towards P o s t m o d e r n i t y . The p o e t i c space which t h e y d e v e l o p r e f l e c t s a growing u n c e r t a i n t y c o n c e r n i n g the p r o g r e s s i v e n a t u r e o f economic and p o l i t i c a l systems. In t h i s c h a p t e r I i n t e n d t o s u b s t a n t i a t e my b e l i e f t h a t the p o e t r y o f t h i s p e r i o d i n d i c a t e d a g r a d u a l d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t ' w i t h the i d e a of M o d e r n i t y . I t i s my h y p o t h e s i s t h a t some p o e t s a n t i c i p a t e d a d e c l i n e i n M o d e r n i t y ' s p r i n c i p l e s by p u r p o s e l y e l i m i n a t i n g o b v i o u s i d e o l o g i c a l r e f e r e n c e s and u n i v e r s a l d e c l a r a t i o n s o f " t r u t h " i n t h e i r p o e t r y . T h i s was a c o n s c i o u s e f f o r t t h a t i s r e f l e c t e d i n t h e a e s t h e t i c m a n i f e s t o e s produced by t h e s e p o e t s . I b e l i e v e t h a t t h e s e p o e t s began t o i n c o r p o r a t e a new v e r s i o n of r e a l i t y w hich e l i m i n a t e d t h e t r a d i t i o n a l d i d a c t i c r o l e o f the poet. I i n t e n d t o show why, and how, t h e s e poets r e j e c t e d the n o t i o n o f a u n i v e r s a l " t r u t h " i n t h e i r p o e t r y . I expect t h i s s tudy t o c o n t r i b u t e t o our u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f the c o n n e c t i o n between economic and p o l i t i c a l e v e n ts and the a t t i t u d e s found i n a e s t h e t i c p r o d u c t i o n . My o b j e c t i v e i n w r i t i n g t h i s t h e s i s i s t h r e e f o l d : t o i n t r o d u c e under-s t u d i e d , yet s i g n i f i c a n t , p o e t i c groups and i n d i v i d u a l p o e t s , t o i n c r e a s e our u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f t h e i d e o l o g y o r p h i l o s o p h y of t h e s e p o e t i c groups, and, f i n a l l y , t o l o o k f o r a c o n n e c t i o n between t h i s i d e o l o g y and developments i n a l a r g e r p o l i t i c a l and economic c o n t e x t . T h i s o b j e c t i v e would be o v e r l y a m b i t i o u s and u n w i e l d y w i t h o u t some k i n d o f ' l i m i t a t i o n . Thus, i n t h i s s t u d y , I w i l l c o n c e n t r a t e on t h e i d e o l o g y and p h i l o s o p h y o f t h e s e p o e t i c groups as t h e y r e l a t e t o the concept o f M o d e r n i t y . Chapter 1 The Praxis of Modernity and Postmodernity In the l a s t few decades of the t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y t h e r e has been.a development i n s o c i a l and c u l t u r a l t h e o r y which has been c h a r a c t e r i z e d , i n p a r t , by a l o s s o f c r e d i b i l i t y i n l e g i t i m a t i n g n a r r a t i v e s . T h i s development has been c o n s i d e r e d by t h e m a j o r i t y o f c r i t i c s as a p r o c e s s which d i f f e r s s i g n i f i c a n t l y from t h e p r o j e c t s and p r e m i s e s of M o d e r n i t y . The c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of M o d e r n i t y , which c r i t i c s such as F r e d r i c Jameson, J i i r g e n Habermas, F r a n c o i s L y o t a r d , E r n e s t o L a c l a u , Jean B a u d r i l l a r d , and M i c h e l F o u c a u l t , began t o q u e s t i o n , were a p r o d u c t o f an e i g h t e e n t h - c e n t u r y p h i l o s o p h i c a l b e l i e f i n t h e power of reason as the t o o l t o know and a n a l y z e r e a l i t y . I n the e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y , t h e r e was a r a d i c a l change i n the European s o c i a l spectrum due t o the r i s e of t h e r e p u b l i c a n form of government, the b e g i n n i n g o f the i n d u s t r i a l r e v o l u t i o n and t h e i d e a o f e q u a l i t y among men. T h i s c e n t u r y a l s o i n i t i a t e d a new e r a i n which i t was b e l i e v e d t h a t man was l i b e r a t e d from h i s f e a r s of the unknown, the " s u p e r s t i t i o n s " of t h e dark ages, by way o f t h e i l l u m i n a t i n g f o r c e s o f Reason. Reason was t o r e p l a c e a " m i s g u i d e d " f a i t h i n the i n s t i t u t i o n s of t h e monarchy and r e l i g i o n , w i t h a b e l i e f i n the power of knowledge, s c i e n c e , and t h e e q u a l i t y of men. A new f a i t h i n s c i e n t i f i c knowledge brought w i t h i t the c oncept of t h e e v e r -i n c r e a s i n g and e v e r - i m p r o v i n g c o n d i t i o n o f man. There was a b e l i e f i n the e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y t h a t the o n l y c o n c e p t u a l c a t e g o r i e s o f importance were N a t u r e arid Reason, which r e p l a c e d the f a i t h i n a D i v i n e p r i n c i p l e o f e a r l i e r p h i l o s o p h i c a l t h o u g h t . I n t h i s Age o f Reason, or E n l i g h t e n m e n t , we can f i n d spokesmen l i k e V o l t a i r e f o r whom Reason i s t o be u n d e r s t o o d as t h e o r d e r i n g p r i n c i p l e t h a t makes us f e e l a t home i n the u n i v e r s e . Reason i s founded i n n a t u r e and p r o v i d e s a r a t i o n a l i z e d , c o n f i d e n t knowledge of r e a l i t y . T h i s f a i t h i n Reason i s c o n s i d e r e d a n a t u r a l e x t e n s i o n o f s c i e n t i f i c o bservance of t h e r u l e s o f n a t u r e : God has i m p l a n t e d i n ' u s a p r i n c i p l e o f r e a s o n t h a t i s u n i v e r s a l , as he has given' f e a t h e r s t o b i r d s and s k i n s t o b e a r s , and t h i s p r i n c i p l e i s so immutable t h a t i t s u b s i s t s i n s p i t e o f a l l the p a s s i o n s which oppose i t , i n s p i t e o f t h o s e t y r a n t s who would drown i t i n b l o o d , in. s p i t e of the i m p o s t e r s who want t o a n n i h i l a t e i t t h r o u g h s u p e r s t i t i o n . ( V o l t a i r e 386) Reason i s thus a r e q u i r e m e n t and a g i f t t h a t i s t o be used t o make sense o f the w o r l d . When t h e r e i s a t h r e a t t o the r a t i o n a l c o n c e p t i o n o f t h e w o r l d by a p p a r e n t l y i r r a t i o n a l or i n e x p l i c a b l e phenomena, the r a t i o n a l mind, i n a V o l t a r i a n p h i l o s o p h i c a l view, does not t u r n t o s u p e r s t i t i o n but t o the l i m i t s of human e v o l u t i o n i n t h e c a p a c i t y t o re a s o n . For V o l t a i r e a l l i s e x p l a i n a b l e t h r o u g h u n i v e r s a l Reason, but t h e r e i s a c e r t a i n impotence i n man's a b i l i t i e s . Thus, he does not view Reason as the i n f a l l i b l e i n s t r u m e n t t h a t i t was f o r D e s c a r t e s 1 . Man's d e s i r e t o c o n t r o l h i s r e a l i t y has m a n i f e s t e d i t s e l f s i n c e the days o f D e s c a r t e s . Western man began an attempt t o impose a r a t i o n a l o r d e r i n g on t h e chaos o f s i g n s t h a t c o u l d be ob s e r v e d i n the w o r l d . I n d o i n g so, he sought an e x p l a n a t o r y and a l l - e m b r a c i n g concept o f h i s t o r y and the s u b j e c t . For D e s c a r t e s , t h e answer t o t h i s s e a r c h was t o be found i n method: i f we can d i s c o v e r the r i g h t method and pr o c e d u r e s , r e p e a t a b l e and c o n s i s t e n t i n a l l subsequent a p p l i c a t i o n s , we can master the e l u s i v e n a t u r e o f r e a l i t y . D e s c a r t e s argued t h a t " t h e t h i n k i n g s u b j e c t ' s c e r t a i n t y of h i s own e x i s t e n c e , h i s e x i s t e n c e as a t h i n k i n g o r m e n t a l b e i n g , was t h e f o u n d a t i o n o f t h i s method" ( P i p p i n 2 3 ) . The d r i v i n g f o r c e b e h i n d Western man's p r o j e c t o f c i v i l i z a t i o n and o r d e r was a c o n f i d e n c e i n the human c a p a c i t y t o know and a p p l y knowledge. A l t h o u g h D e s c a r t e s ' a p p l i c a t i o n o f knowledge t o the p r o c e s s of human c o n s c i o u s n e s s was l a t e r q u e s t i o n e d i n Kant's C r i t i q u e of Pure Reason, t h e r e was no s t r e n u o u s o r complete r e b u t t a l o f h i s premise u n t i l t h e t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y 2 . As Max O e l s c h l a g e r a f f i r m s i n h i s i n t r o d u c t i o n t o Postmodern Environmental Ethics: P a i n t i n g w i t h a broad b r u s h , i t i s p e r m i s s i b l e t o say t h a t p r i o r t o t h e t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y most modern p e o p l e , i n c l u d i n g i n t e l l e c t u a l s , b e l i e v e d t h a t a sure and c e r t a i n knowledge of t h e w o r l d was t h e o r e t i c a l l y p o s s i b l e , , i f not a c t u a l i z e d i n p r a c t i c e . S o - c a l l e d m o d e r n i s t s t y p i c a l l y b e l i e v e t h a t human r e a s o n - e p i t o m i z e d by modern s c i e n c e -i s supreme, t h a t i t e x i s t s w i t h o u t l i m i t s , as i t were, t h a t t h e whole w o r l d l i e s open t o d i s c l o s u r e by human i n t e l l i g e n c e . (2) The l a s t decades o f the n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y gave r i s e t o a l o s s o f c o n f i d e n c e i n the d i s c o u r s e o f Reason. The work of N i e t z s c h e , Freud, and Marx began t o undermine the acceptance o f a p a r t i c u l a r s c i e n t i f i c method as t h e b a s i s o f a u n i v e r s a l u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f t h e c o n d i t i o n o f man. The o b j e c t of N i e t z s c h e ' s c r i t i c i s m was the C a r t e s i a n b e l i e f i n t r a n s c e n d e n t v e r i t y . I n p a r t 3 o f Genealogy 'of Morals, N i e t z s c h e d i a g n o s e s Western t h i n k i n g as an exh a u s t e d a s c e t i c a l i d e a l i s m which c o n t i n u e s t o f o l l o w the he r d of p r e v i o u s p h i l o s o p h e r s and s c i e n t i s t s i n t o a m i s t a k e n b e l i e f i n the e x i s t e n c e o f t r u t h . I n t h e i r hunger f o r o r d e r t h e s e t h i n k e r s have not c o n s i d e r e d the " v a l u e o f t r u t h " nor have they come t o see t h a t t h e r e i s no " v i s i o n " but o n l y p e r s p e c t i v e , no "knowledge" a p a r t from p e r s p e c t i v e . But, a c c o r d i n g t o N i e t z s c h e , t h i s i d e a l i s t i c s e a r c h f o r t r u t h s h a l l come t o an end because " a l l g r e a t t h i n g s p e r i s h o f them s e l v e s , by an a c t o f s e l f -d e s t r u c t i o n " ; t h e " w i l l t o t r u t h " o f the J u d a e o - C h r i s t i a n t r a d i t i o n " w i l l end by drawing t h e u l t i m a t e c o n c l u s i o n , t h e c o n c l u s i o n a g a i n s t i t s e l f , t h a t t h e r e i s no God, t h a t ^God,' never more tha n a semantic f i c t i o n , i s now empty o f m e a n i n g " ( c i t e d i n La B o s s i e r e 434). N i e t z s c h e t h u s i n i t i a t e s a p h i l o s o p h i c a l q u e s t i o n i n g o f the a c c u m u l a t i o n o f knowledge and e v o l u t i o n o f t r u t h , and f o c u s e s i n s t e a d on t h e s e premises as a p e r p e t u a t i o n o f a Western myth and C h r i s t i a n s e l f - d e c e p t i o n . He i s s u s p i c i o u s o f any approach which c l a i m s a p r o g r e s s i o n towards U t o p i a , whether t h i s u t o p i a i s based on t h e e x i s t e n c e o f God or not. N i e t z s c h e m i s t r u s t s t h e o b j e c t i v i t y of h i s t o r i a n s , p h i l o s o p h e r s , academics, and o t h e r t h i n k e r s who t r a d i t i o n a l l y have sought answers t o t h e q u e s t i o n of t r u t h . He d e s i g n a t e s t h i s p e r p e t u a l m i s t r u s t "genealogy" because i t q u e s t i o n s the v a l u e of o r i g i n and t h e o r i g i n o f v a l u e s and opposes the " c a r a c t e r a b s o l u t o de l o s v a l o r e s y a su c a r a c t e r r e l a t i v o y u t i l i t a r i o . . . " ( S a n c h e z 2 ) . In the case o f . F r e u d and Marx, man's a b i l i t y t o s c i e n t i f i c a l l y e x p l a i n and r a t i o n a l i z e t he e x i s t e n c e of t r u t h t h r o u g h an i n d i v i d u a l s u b j e c t ' s a b i l i t y t o r a t i o n a l i z e i s a l s o q u e s t i o n e d . Marx, i n f o c u s i n g on the b o u r g e o i s p r o p a g a t i o n o f a " f a l s e c o n s c i o u s n e s s " i n the r u l i n g c l a s s ' s e f f o r t s towards s e l f - l e g i t i m a t i o n , opens up a new p e r s p e c t i v e on t h e s u b j e c t as a c o l l e c t i v e , r a t h e r t h a n an i n d i v i d u a l , e n t i t y . L i k e w i s e Freud, i n d e v e l o p i n g h i s i d e a s o f p s y c h o a n a l y s i s , abandoned h i s e a r l i e r b e l i e f , i n f l u e n c e d by the p h y s i o l o g i s t E r n s t Brucke, t h a t a l l human thought and a c t i o n c o u l d be u n d e r s t o o d by an a n a l y s i s o f c h e m i c a l and p h y s i c a l f o r c e s . H i s s h i f t from p h y s i o l o g i c a l t o p s y c h o l o g i c a l e x p l a n a t i o n s o f t h e mind was i n f l u e n t i a l i n t h e weakening o f a b e l i e f i n t h e r a t i o n a l i t y o f the subj e c t . However, th e s e e a r l y a t t e m p t s a t q u e s t i o n i n g t h e v a l i d i t y o f reason f e l l p r ey t o what Marx d e s i g n a t e d as p r a x i s . Marx contends t h a t p h i l o s o p h y has o n l y o f f e r e d d i f f e r e n t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s o f t h e w o r l d but has not t r i e d t o change i t . He argues t h a t t r u t h i s d e t e r m i n e d by p r a x i s and t h a t human essence i s not an " a b s t r a c t i o n i n h e r e n t i n each s i n g l e i n d i v i d u a l " but an "ensemble" o f " s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s " r e s u l t i n g from an h i s t o r i c a l l y d e t e r m i n e d s o c i a l p r a x i s and not as an a b s t r a c t q u a l i t y p e r t a i n i n g t o i n d i v i d u a l s ("Thesis on Feuerbach" 29). A l t h o u g h t h i s i n d i c a t e s a change from p r e v i o u s v i e w s , i n Kant e s p e c i a l l y , o f a b e l i e f i n s e l f - d e t e r m i n a t i o n d e r i v e d from knowledge and independent of m a t e r i a l c i r c u m s t a n c e s , t h e r e i s s t i l l a c l e a r r e l i a n c e on t h e e x i s t e n c e of a " t r u t h " of a d i f f e r e n t k i n d . For Marx t h i s " t r u t h " i s viewed as a r e f l e c t i o n o f m a t e r i a l c o n d i t i o n s and the h i s t o r i c a l " r e a l " i s seen as an e x p r e s s i o n o f an economic mode of p r o d u c t i o n . For Marx, men e n t e r i n t o d e f i n i t e r e l a t i o n s i n the " s o c i a l p r o d u c t i o n o f t h e i r l i f e " t h a t a r e i n d i s p e n s a b l e and independent o f t h e i r w i l l , r e l a t i o n s o f p r o d u c t i o n which c o r r e s p o n d t o a d e f i n i t e s t a g e of development o f t h e i r m a t e r i a l p r o d u c t i v e f o r c e s . The sum t o t a l of t h e s e ' r e l a t i o n s of p r o d u c t i o n c o n s t i t u t e s the economic s t r u c t u r e of s o c i e t y , the r e a l f o u n d a t i o n , on which r i s e s a l e g a l and p o l i t i c a l s u p e r s t r u c t u r e and t o which c o r r e s p o n d d e f i n i t e forms o f s o c i a l c o n s c i o u s n e s s . The mode of p r o d u c t i o n o f m a t e r i a l l i f e c o n d i t i o n s t h e s o c i a l , p o l i t i c a l and i n t e l l e c t u a l l i f e p r o c e s s i n g e n e r a l . I t i s not the c o n s c i o u s n e s s o f men t h a t d e t e r m i n e s t h e i r b e i n g , b u t , on t h e c o n t r a r y , t h e i r s o c i a l b e i n g t h a t d e t e r m i n e s t h e i r c o n s c i o u s n e s s . ( A Contribution 4) Marx's apparent s h i f t away from t h e p r o j e c t of M o d e r n i t y i s a change i n p e r s p e c t i v e . Marx does not q u e s t i o n t r u t h i t s e l f , but o n l y the method of s t r i v i n g towards i t . For Kant, t r u t h was based on s e l f - d e t e r m i n a t i o n but f o r Marx i t was on s o c i a l d e t e r m i n a t i o n . T h i s does not i n d i c a t e a r e j e c t i o n of p r o g r e s s , r e a s o n and t h e b e t t e r m e n t o f man on t h e p a r t o f Marx. I t merely i n d i c a t e s the need t o fo c u s on s t r u c t u r e s beyond t h e i n d i v i d u a l ' s a b i l i t y t o change. T h i s i s t r u e a l s o f o r Freud, whose f o c u s on p s y c h o a n a l y s i s a l s o i n d i c a t e s a d e s i r e t o implement a model f o r u n d e r s t a n d i n g man's humanity. Thus, the b e g i n n i n g o f t h e t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y was w i t n e s s t o a change i n the approach and c o n c e p t s r e l a t e d t o M o d e r n i t y i n the Western w o r l d , but not a r e j e c t i o n of i t . T h i s change d i d , however, i n i t i a t e a development i n the r h e t o r i c o f " r u p t u r e " 3 which found e x p r e s s i o n i n avant-garde a e s t h e t i c p r o d u c t i o n 4 . Doubt and a n x i e t y w i t h r e s p e c t t o man's i d e n t i t y p r e v a i l e d i n a r t and l i t e r a t u r e and l e d t o s u r r e a l i s m , dadaism, f u t u r i s m , e x i s t e n t i a l i s m and many o t h e r a r t i s t i c and p h i l o s o p h i c a l r e n o v a t i o n s . These a v a n t - g a r d e movements o f t e n sought t o l e g i t i m a t e and e x p l a i n t h e i r own e x i s t e n c e t h r o u g h the use o f the l i t e r a r y m a n i f e s t o 5 . I n t h e s e documents the groups o f t e n o p e n l y q u e s t i o n some o f t h e fundamental p r e m i s e s of M o d e r n i t y . T h e i r i d e a s and programs o f a c t i o n were u n d e r l i n e d i n t h e st a t e m e n t s and p r o c l a m a t i o n s c o n t a i n e d i n the m a n i f e s t o e s . However, t h e s e m a n i f e s t o e s t h e m s e l v e s , i n many ways, s t i l l i n d i c a t e d a c o n t i n u i n g r e l i a n c e on the p r i n c i p l e s o f M o d e r n i t y because t h e y a l s o sought t o e x p l a i n t h e n a t u r e of t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p between man and h i s environment. They o f t e n l o o k e d f o r " r a t i o n a l i t y " i n t e c h n o l o g y , s c i e n c e , and i n f o r m a t i o n . The e x i s t e n c e o f t h e s e m a n i f e s t o e s e s t a b l i s h e d a t r a d i t i o n among t h e a r t i s t s o f pro m o t i n g t h e i r own v i s i o n , e x p l a i n i n g t h e i r i d e a l s , and, i n l a r g e p a r t , making t h e m s e l v e s known 6. The use o f the m a n i f e s t o i t s e l f was commonly an e x t e n s i o n of t h e group's b e l i e f i n t h e e x i s t e n c e of t o t a l i z i n g d i s c o u r s e s as w e l l as a p r o m o t i o n of t h e i r own v e r s i o n of t h e " c o r r e c t " approach t o u n d e r s t a n d i n g t h e s e d i s c o u r s e s . The l i t e r a r y m a n i f e s t o , i n p a r t i c u l a r , o f t e n i n c o r p o r a t e d , by a s s o c i a t i o n , the r e v o l u t i o n a r y r h e t o r i c o f the p o l i t i c a l m a n i f e s t o and t h e i d e a o f p r o g r e s s , b e t t e r m e n t and U t o p i a 7 . In t h i s manner they c o n t i n u e d t o d i s p l a y t h e i d e n t i f y i n g c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of M o d e r n i t y i n s p i t e o f an i n t e n s e r h e t o r i c o f change 8. I t i s i m p o r t a n t when d i s c u s s i n g t h e p r o j e c t o f M o d e r n i t y t o d e f i n e the c o n c e p t s o f s u b j e c t , h i s t o r y and i d e o l o g y . T h i s i s because each o f t h e s e c o n c e p t s undergoes a r e e v a l u a t i o n as M o d e r n i t y approaches the s o - c a l l e d "end of h i s t o r y " 9 , the "death o f the s u b j e c t " 1 0 and t h e "end o f i d e o l o g y " . 1 1 Ideology and the Subject i n Modernity B e g i n n i n g w i t h the E n l i g h t e n m e n t , the s u b j e c t , as Jameson p o i n t s o u t , was f o r g e d i n t h e c o n c e p t i o n o f "a unique s e l f and p r i v a t e i d e n t i t y , a unique p e r s o n a l i t y and i n d i v i d u a l i t y " , which was a b l e t o " g e n e r a t e i t s own unique v i s i o n o f the w o r l d and t o f o r g e i t s own unique s t y l e " ( 1 7 ) T h i s v i s i o n of i n d i v i d u a l i t y was c h a l l e n g e d , as we have d i s c u s s e d , by Marx's concept of the s o c i a l c h a r a c t e r o f the s u b j e c t b u t , as Jameson p o i n t s out, t h e r e was s t i l l such a t h i n g as i n d i v i d u a l i s m i n t h e " c l a s s i c age o f c o m p e t i t i v e c a p i t a l i s m . . . a n d the b o u r g e o i s i e as t h e hegemonic s o c i a l c l a s s " ( 1 7 ) . The c o n c e p t i o n o f i d e n t i t y was based, i n t h e t r a d i t i o n of M o d e r n i t y , on t h e e x i s t e n c e o f a s e l f o r i n n e r core which emerged at b i r t h , l i k e a p e r s o n a l essence, and remained c o n s t a n t t h r o u g h o u t l i f e , n o t w i t h s t a n d i n g minor adju s t m e n t s due t o time and c i r c u m s t a n c e s . The s e l f was c o n c e i v e d as an essence i n h e r e n t i n t h e human b e i n g and was c o n s t i t u t e d by a sense of t h e i n t e r i o r , which was t h e source o f moral s t r e n g t h and s e l f - c o n t r o l . As we saw i n our d i s c u s s i o n o f D e s c a r t e s , t h i s i n t e r i o r essence of s e l f was proven t h r o u g h t h e e x i s t e n c e o f t h o u g h t : cogito ergo sum. In the l a t e r development o f M o d e r n i t y the i n d i v i d u a l was s t i l l c o n s i d e r e d t o be t h e "master of the u n i v e r s e " i n t h e sense t h a t r e a s o n o r i g i n a t e d w i t h t h e s e l f and the s u b j e c t was a p r o d u c t o f h i s own i n t e r i o r , c o n s c i o u s c o n t i n u i t y . Marx was one of t h e f i r s t a u t h o r s w i t h i n M o d e r n i t y t o q u e s t i o n t h e n a t u r e of t h e s e l f as an autonomous e n t i t y . As we have a l r e a d y p o i n t e d o u t , Marx argued f o r a d e f i n i t i o n o f the s u b j e c t which i n c o r p o r a t e d t h e i n f l u e n c e s of s o c i e t y . Human b e i n g s , a c c o r d i n g t o Marx, can o n l y i n d i v i d u a t e t hemselves from w i t h i n , and as a f u n c t i o n o f , the m a t e r i a l r e a l i t y of t h e i r e x i s t e n c e i n " t h e p r o c e s s of h i s t o r y " ( " T h e s i s " 29). The i n d i v i d u a l , however, i s u n a b l e t o s e p a r a t e h i s own c o n s c i o u s n e s s from th e s o c i a l f a c t o r s which c r e a t e d i t . The M a r x i s t view of the s u b j e c t , t h e r e f o r e , r e q u i r e s an u n d e r s t a n d i n g of t h e development of the c o n n e c t i o n between the i n d i v i d u a l and s o c i e t y . I n d i v i d u a l s a r e bound by i d e o l o g y which i s d e f i n e d , from a M a r x i s t s t a n d p o i n t , as "the v a l u e s , i d e a s , and images which, t i e [ i n d i v i d u a l s ] t o t h e i r s o c i a l f u n c t i o n s and so p r e v e n t them from a t r u e knowledge o f s o c i e t y as a w h o l e " ( E a g l e t o n , Marxism 17). In t h e c l a s s i c a l M a r x i s t t r a d i t i o n , 1 2 i d e o l o g y r e f e r s t o r e l a t i o n s h i p s o f power and i s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h p o l i t i c a l and economic f o r c e s . Thus, the development of t h e s u b j e c t must be r e f e r e n c e d w i t h p o l i t i c a l power and i n v o l v e s a d i s c u s s i o n o f , or r e f e r e n c e t o , t h e s t r u g g l e between l a b o r and c a p i t a l . A M a r x i s t p e r s p e c t i v e o f i d e o l o g y c o n c e i v e s o f and a n a l y z e s a s e t o f s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s which p e r p e t u a t e the o p p r e s s i v e s o c i a l dominance of one c l a s s o ver o t h e r s . I d e o l o g y , w i t h i n t h e framework of Marxism, c a r r i e s a b i p o l a r , t o t a l i z i n g e f f e c t which permeates th e s u b j e c t w i t h t h e c o n f l i c t between t h e r u l i n g c l a s s and t h e p r o l e t a r i a t . The s u b j e c t i s d e f i n e d by t h i s s t r u g g l e and i s o f t e n unable t o i d e n t i f y the c u l t u r a l p r o p a g a t i o n of t h e r u l i n g c l a s s v a l u e s which permeates s o c i e t y . T h i s i s because the c l a s s which c o n t r o l s the r u l i n g m a t e r i a l i s t f o r c e s i n s o c i e t y a l s o c o n t r o l s t h e r u l i n g i d e a s , which, i n t u r n , permeate a e s t h e t i c p r o d u c t i o n . A c c o r d i n g t o a M a r x i s t u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f i d e o l o g y , The c l a s s which has the means o f m a t e r i a l p r o d u c t i o n a t i t s d i s p o s a l has c o n t r o l a t the same time over the means of m e n t a l p r o d u c t i o n , so t h a t t h e r e b y , g e n e r a l l y s p e a k i n g , t h e i d e a s o f tho s e who l a c k t h e means o f men t a l p r o d u c t i o n a r e s u b j e c t t o i t . The r u l i n g i d e a s a r e n o t h i n g more tha n the i d e a l e x p r e s s i o n o f t h e dominant m a t e r i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s , the dominant m a t e r i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s g r a s p e d as i d e a s ; hence o f t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p s which make t h e one c l a s s t h e r u l i n g one, t h e r e f o r e , t h e i d e a s o f i t s dominance. ( E a g l e t o n , Ideology 24) The M a r x i s t c o n c e p t i o n of i d e o l o g y has as a l e i t m o t i v the i d e a t h a t i d e o l o g y s e r v e s as a t o o l of t h e r u l i n g c l a s s . I d e o l o g y , i n t h i s v i e w p o i n t , p r e s e r v e s group s o l i d a r i t y i n accordance w i t h dominant c l a s s o u t l o o k s by s o c i a l i z i n g members of t h e dominated c l a s s i n such a way t h a t t h e dominated c l a s s , the p r o l e t a r i a t , a c c e p t s t h i s o u t l o o k , and t h e s o c i a l p r a c t i c e s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h i t , as b e i n g i n the b e s t i n t e r e s t s of s o c i e t y . The dominant c l a s s , i n t h i s v i e w p o i n t of i d e o l o g y , t y p i c a l l y d i s t o r t s t h e m o t i v e s of s o c i a l p r a c t i c e s i n o r d e r t o p r e s e n t them as l e g i t i m a t e and moral when, i n f a c t , t hey a r e i l l e g i t i m a t e and m o r a l l y c o r r u p t p r a c t i c e s which s e r v e o n l y t h e c l a s s which promotes them 1 3. 'The M a r x i s t concept o f i d e o l o g y was f u r t h e r d e v e l o p e d by L o u i s A l t h u s s e r , who sees i d e o l o g y as a m a t e r i a l system of s o c i a l p r a c t i c e s which produce c e r t a i n e f f e c t s on i n d i v i d u a l s and p r o v i d e them w i t h t h e i r s o c i a l i d e n t i t i e s . A c c o r d i n g t o A l t h u s s e r , Marxism s i m p l i f i e s the " f a l s e c o n s c i o u s n e s s " o f s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s by not a d e q u a t e l y a d d r e s s i n g t h e essence of s o c i a l f o r m a t i o n . A l t h u s s e r d e v e l o p s the i d e a t h a t i d e o l o g y i s the " l i v e d " r e l a t i o n between men and the w o r l d (For Marx 233). I n the work of A l t h u s s e r , t h e p r o p a g a t i o n o f s o c i a l b e l i e f s by t h e r u l i n g c l a s s i n o r d e r t o r e i n f o r c e i t s own p o s i t i o n . i s i t s e l f s u b j e c t t o u n d e r l y i n g s o c i a l f o r c e s . Thus, a c c o r d i n g t o A l t h u s s e r , i d e o l o g y "has v e r y l i t t l e t o do w i t h c o n s c i o u s n e s s ... i t i s p r o f o u n d l y unconscious."(For Marx 233) One of t h e problems which c o u l d a r i s e from u s i n g t r a d i t i o n a l M a r x i s t views r e g a r d i n g i d e o l o g y as a m e t h o d o l o g i c a l b a s i s i s t h a t i t tends t o p o r t r a y t h e w o r k i n g - c l a s s as the s o l e r e v o l u t i o n a r y agent,, and t h e s t a t e as the e x c l u s i v e b e a r e r o f power and the homogenizing f o r c e i n s o c i a l c o n s t r u c t i o n . T h i s approach may cause problems when s t u d y i n g a r t i s t i c p r o d u c t i o n t h a t f a l l s o u t s i d e of t h e l o g i c s and a e s t h e t i c s o f M o d e r n i t y , such as the p e r i o d which Jameson c a l l s t h e p e r i o d o f " l a t e c a p i t a l i s m " , where the " l o g i c " and reason o f the E n l i g h t e n m e n t p r o j e c t i s r e p l a c e d by the " s c h i z o p h r e n i a " o f postmodernism. For L a c l a u and Mouffe, f o r example, M a r x i s t -based n o t i o n s o f s o c i a l c l a s s and c l a s s s t r u g g l e a r e inad e q u a t e i n t h i s postmodern age because, i n t h e i r view, the w o r k i n g c l a s s i s no l o n g e r t h e c e n t r a l agent o f r e v o l u t i o n a r y change: What, i s now i n c r i s i s i s a whole c o n c e p t i o n o f s o c i a l i s m which r e s t s upon t h e o n t o l o g i c a l c e n t r a l i t y o f the w o r k i n g c l a s s . . . . The p l u r a l and m u l t i f a r i o u s c h a r a c t e r o f contemporary s o c i a l s t r u g g l e s has f i n a l l y d i s s o l v e d the l a s t f o u n d a t i o n f o r t h a t p o l i t i c a l i m a g i n a r y . ( 2 ) L a c l a u and Mouffe c l a i m t h a t new, p l u r a l a g e n c i e s have a r i s e n which have " l i t t l e t o do w i t h s t r i c t c l a s s b o u n d a r i e s " and have undermined t h e t r a d i t i o n a l r o l e of t h e p r o l e t a r i a t w i t h "new forms o f p o l i t i c a l s u b j e c t i v i t y c u t t i n g - a c r o s s the c a t e g o r i e s o f the s o c i a l and economic s t r u c t u r e " ( 1 3 ) . In L a t i n America, many o f t h e s e new forms o f s u b j e c t i v i t y emerged d u r i n g t h e tumultuous " r e v o l u t i o n a r y " p e r i o d of t h e 1960s, such as s t u d e n t movements and women's movements, but th e y were not i n f a c t i n v o l v e d i n t h e s e r i o u s r e v o l u t i o n a r y movements a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the p r o l e t a r i a t . N e v e r t h e l e s s , a c c o r d i n g t o Lukacs, t h e s e movements would not be c o n s i d e r e d as a s e r i o u s a f f r o n t t o e x i s t i n g systems because they a r e not d i r e c t l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the means o f p r o d u c t i o n . The b o u r g e o i s i e and t h e p r o l e t a r i a t a r e , i n h i s view, t h e o n l y pure c l a s s e s and " o n l y from t h e vantage p o i n t o f t h e s e c l a s s e s can a p l a n f o r t he t o t a l o r g a n i z a t i o n o f s o c i e t y even be im a g i n e d " ("Class C o n s c i o u s n e s s " 39). Some postmodern t h e o r i s t s , such as L y o t a r d , p r e s e n t t h e i r own i d e a s of t h e "end o f i d e o l o g y " because t h e so u r c e s of s u r p l u s v a l u e , as a p r o d u c t o f t h e l a b o r o f the p r o l e t a r i a t , had s p l i n t e r e d t o i n c l u d e i d e a s and knowledge as t h e p r i m a r y s o u r c e o f w e a l t h and power. T h i s has changed the b a s e - s u p e r s t r u c t u r e model because th e base ( m a t e r i a l p r o d u c t i o n ) and t h e s u p e r s t r u c t u r e ( i d e a s ) have been combined i n t h e p o s t - i n d u s t r i a l economy. T h i s v i e w p o i n t , however, does not seem t o acknowledge t h a t , a l t h o u g h the o r i g i n o f w e a l t h has changed, th e d i v i s i o n between the owners and the workers has become g r e a t e r , not s m a l l e r , and t h a t t h e c a p i t a l i s t system, even i f i t i s " l a t e c a p i t a l i s m " , has never been as s t r o n g . Thus, i n my o p i n i o n , t h e l o g i c o f the p l u r a l i t y , m u l t i p l i c i t y , and f r a c t u r i n g o f s o c i e t y as a b a s i s f o r d i s m i s s i n g a c l a s s -based e x p l a n a t i o n o f i d e o l o g i c a l f o r c e s i s weak. The c o n f l i c t between l a b o r and c a p i t a l , though i t has undergone some changes, i s s t i l l the most ac u t e and f o c u s e d method of a p p r o a c h i n g c u l t u r a l f o r c e s . Of p a r t i c u l a r i n t e r e s t i n t h e M a r x i s t v i e w p o i n t of t h e s u b j e c t , which opposes the e a r l i e r concept of s e l f i n M o d e r n i t y , i s the i d e a of s o c i a l i n t e r a c t i o n . S i n c e the i n d i v i d u a l i s not i s o l a t e d i n h i s development, h i s i d e n t i t y i s d e v e l o p e d i n terms of a s h a r e d s o c i a l and c u l t u r a l view. T h i s s h a r i n g n e c e s s a r i l y c r e a t e s the e x i s t e n c e o f the " o t h e r " ; t h o s e s u b j e c t s which do not s hare t h e same s o c i a l and c u l t u r a l view. I n the case of M a r x i s t - b a s e d p h i l o s o p h y , t h i s d i s t i n c t i o n i s u l t i m a t e l y r e l a t e d t o c l a s s s t r u g g l e and the c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f the s e l f , and the " o t h e r " was based on t h e c o n t i n u i n g n o t i o n of Reason. As f a i t h i n the p r o j e c t of M o d e r n i t y d e c l i n e d , towards t h e end o f the t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y , t h i s b i p o l a r view of t h e " o t h e r " would be r e e v a l u a t e d i n terms of the above mentioned "dea t h of the s u b j e c t " and the "end of i d e o l o g y " . The " r e a s o n " b e h i n d t h e development' of s e l f and t h e " o t h e r " would a l s o be q u e s t i o n e d as c u l t u r a l r e f e r e n c e s "fragmented i n a v a r i e t y o f c o n t r a d i c t o r y i d e n t i t i e s " ( L a r r a i n 8 7 ) . In F o u c a u l t ' s s e a r c h f o r a " g enealogy" of t h e s u b j e c t , he borrows from N i e t z s c h e t o q u e s t i o n t h e v a l i d i t y o f a f o u n d i n g s u b j e c t . When F o u c a u l t s u g g e s t s t h a t " i n e v e r y sentence t h e r e r e i g n s t h e nameless law, t h e b l a n k i n d i f f e r e n c e : 'What m a t t e r who i s s p e a k i n g ; someone s a i d ; what m a t t e r who i s speaking'"(The Foucault Effect 72), he c a l l s a t t e n t i o n t o t h e f a c t t h a t d i s c o u r s e can f u n c t i o n i n d e p e n d e n t l y o f the s u b j e c t . He c l a i m s t h a t i n t h e absence of a s u b j e c t , d i s c o u r s e f o l l o w s i t s own r u l e s and t r a n s c e n d s t h e knowledge of t h e speaker. F o u c a u l t t a k e s t h e s u s p i c i o n s o f Freud, N i e t z s c h e , and Marx r e g a r d i n g t h e c o n n e c t i o n between the s u b j e c t and d i s c o u r s e t o a new l e v e l . Both N i e t z s c h e and Marx were w e l l aware o f the f a c t t h a t d i s c o u r s e was t h e t o o l o f the p r i v i l e g e d c l a s s e s and t h a t words themselves were the p r o d u c t o f a genealogy of s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s . F o u c a u l t e x t r a p o l a t e s on t h i s t o d i s c u s s not o n l y what i s s a i d , but a l s o what c o u l d be s a i d , and what i s l e f t u n s a i d . But F o u c a u l t does no t , i n h i s t r e a t m e n t o f the s u b j e c t , u n d e r t a k e a c r i t i q u e o f r a t i o n a l i t y and i r r a t i o n a l i t y . U n l i k e Adorno, whose c r i t i q u e o f reason was conducted i n terms of "a n o r m a t i v e c o n c e p t i o n o f r e a s o n , of what reason ought t o be l i k e , o f why e x i s t i n g forms o f knowledge and thought are d e f i c i e n t i n r e l a t i o n t o a p a r t i c u l a r i d e a l of reason"(Dean 115), F o u c a u l t sees the n o t i o n o f r e a s o n as "not a n o r m a t i v e but a p e r f o r m a t i v e one. I t q u e s t i o n s reason i n i t s use, not as a norm by which v a r i o u s h i s t o r i c a l forms of r e a s o n can be e v a l u a t e d " ( D e a n 115). N o t i o n s of r e a s o n became more unmanageable as the t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y p r o g r e s s e d , and the d e f i n i t i o n of the s u b j e c t became more d i f f i c u l t . S i n c e F o u c a u l t had i n s i s t e d t h a t "one has t o d i s p e n s e w i t h the c o n s t i t u e n t s u b j e c t , t o get r i d o f t h e s u b j e c t i t s e l f " ( " T r u t h and Power" 59), t h e s u b j e c t has moved q u i c k l y towards t h i s s u g g e s t e d death. The l o s s of r e f e r e n c e s found i n M o d e r n i t y ' s n a r r a t i v e s , h i s t o r y , c l a s s , t e r r i t o r y , n a t i o n a l i t y , and r a c e t o name a few, makes i t d i f f i c u l t t o g r a s p the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f t h e "Postmodern" i d e n t i t y . Indeed, i f the s u b j e c t i s dead, t h e n how can i t be d e f i n e d ? In f a c t , the "death of t h e s u b j e c t " e s t a b l i s h e s a f r a c t u r i n g of i t s r e f e r e n c e s i n t o a c o l l a g e o f meanings, a " p a s t i c h e " and a r e d e f i n i t i o n o f t h e " o t h e r " . Where the i n d i v i d u a l s u b j e c t o f M o d e r n i t y "presumed t o speak f o r o t h e r s i n a u n i f i e d v o i c e " ( H a r v e y 47) o f r e a s o n the new s u b j e c t must speak f o r h i m s e l f . T h i s has l e d t o a " c e n t e r i n g " of t h e p r e v i o u s l y m a r g i n a l groups. The p e r i p h e r y , which d u r i n g M o d e r n i t y i n c l u d e d t h o s e who d i d not have a v o i c e ( s p e c i f i c a l l y , i n M a r x i s t terms, th e w o r k i n g c l a s s ) , i t i s now, i f one t h i n k s as a p o s t m o d e r n i s t , c r o w d i n g the c e n t e r w i t h a p l e t h o r a o f v o i c e s which drown out any sense of o r d e r . The q u e s t i o n o f c l a s s s t r u g g l e seems t o be overwhelmed by o t h e r m i c r o -s t r u g g l e s o f e t h n i c i t y , gender, s e x u a l i t y , e t c . History i n Modernity U n t i l the n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y , h i s t o r y 1 4 was u n d e r s t o o d as a r e c o r d o f an e v o l u t i o n a r y p r o c e s s which l e g i t i m i z e d t h e h i s t o r i c a l autonomy, of epochs. H i s t o r y , i n t h i s sense a l l o w s f o r a c l a s s i f i c a t i o n o f moments of h i s t o r i c a l change. Thus we can speak of t h e R e n a i s s a n c e , t h e Age o f Enlightenment., or more d e f i n e d epochs such as t h e "Romantic" p e r i o d . I n the e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r y , h i s t o r y , a c c o r d i n g t o Grossman 1 5, was a l e g a l and c o n s t i t u t i o n a l argument which s u p p o r t e d s o c i a l laws and p r a c t i c e s from th e p e r s p e c t i v e of t h e r u l i n g c l a s s and i t s i n t e l l e c t u a l r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . H i s t o r y was d e c i d e d from the p e r s p e c t i v e o f t h o s e i n a p o s i t i o n of power and t h e v o i c e o f the o t h e r , the m a r g i n a l v o i c e , was not heard. I n keeping w i t h the i d e a o f M o d e r n i t y , h i s t o r y was viewed as a c o n t i n u i t y of p r o g r e s s i v e d i s c o u r s e . The w r i t t e n r e c o r d of t h e p a s t was equated w i t h the p a s t i t s e l f and i t i s w r i t t e n from the p e r s p e c t i v e of t h o s e i n a p o s i t i o n o f power. The m a r g i n a l i z e d c l a s s e s were r e p r e s e n t e d by a n a r r a t i v e which d i d not b e l o n g t o them. Marx r e c o g n i z e s the p o l i t i c a l and s o c i a l i m p l i c a t i o n o f t h i s b i a s when he observes t h a t t h e " i d e a s o f the r u l i n g c l a s s a r e i n e v e r y epoch t h e r u l i n g i d e a s , i . e . the c l a s s which i s the r u l i n g m a t e r i a l f o r c e o f s o c i e t y , i s a t t h e same time the r u l i n g i n t e l l e c t u a l f o r c e " ( Q t d i n E a g l e t o n , Ideology 2 4 ) . Thus, h i s t o r y i n w r i t t e n d i s c o u r s e i s a p r o p a g a t i o n o f r u l i n g - c l a s s i d e o l o g y . The i d e a s o f Marx and N i e t z s c h e began t o change t h e way the d i s c o u r s e o f h i s t o r y was viewed. The i d e o l o g i c a l markings o f the n a r r a t i o n o f h i s t o r y were a c c e p t e d as u n a v o i d a b l e . T h i s u n a v o i d a b i l i t y , however, seems t o be l i m i t e d t o those c l a s s e s which t e n d t o propagate the " f a l s e c o n s c i o u s n e s s " t h a t a l l o w s them t o m a i n t a i n the status quo o f power r e l a t i o n s . Lukacs, f o r example, has suggested t h a t the p r o l e t a r i a t does not f a c e t h i s i d e o l o g i c a l b a r r i e r , . I t s s o c i a l b e i n g a l l o w s i t t o t r a n s c e n d t h i s b a r r i e r and c l e a r l y see t h e c l a s s r e l a t i o n s h i p s , t h e development o f t h e c l a s s s t r u g g l e , t h a t l i e s b e h i n d the f e t i s h i z e d forms of c a p i t a l i s t s o c i e t y . { E s s a y s 40) For Lukacs, h i s t o r y can o n l y be d e t e r m i n e d i n r e l a t i o n t o c l a s s s t r u g g l e , and the o n l y a c t o r s a r e the p r o l e t a r i a t and the b o u r g e o i s i e because t h e s e are The o n l y c l a s s e s whose e x i s t e n c e and development a r e e n t i r e l y dependent on t h e c o u r s e t a k e n by the modern e v o l u t i o n o f p r o d u c t i o n and o n l y from t h e vantage p o i n t o f t h e s e c l a s s e s can a p l a n f o r t h e t o t a l o r g a n i z a t i o n o f s o c i e t y even be imagined. {"Class" 39) H i s t o r y t h e n , as M o d e r n i t y l o s e s some of i t s f o r c e , becomes l e s s u n i v e r s a l as i t i s d i v i d e d i n t o o f f i c i a l h i s t o r y and m a r g i n a l h i s t o r y . T h i s i d e a becomes c l e a r e r when F o u c a u l t extends t h i s m a r g i n a l i t y , l i m i t e d by Lukacs t o a c l a s s m a r g i n a l i t y , t o i n c l u d e o t h e r s o u r c e s o f c o n f l i c t i n s o c i e t y . In F o u c a u l t we can see a change i n t h e p r a c t i c e of. e x p l a i n i n g h i s t o r y w i t h t h e b a s e - s u p e r s t r u c t u r e and economic d e t e r m i n i s m of M a r x i s t p h i l o s o p h y o r the H e g e l i a n i d e a o f h i s t o r y as a p r o g r e s s i o n . The i d e a o f c o n t i n u i s m and the p r o g e s s i v i s t t h e o r y of s c i e n t i f i c change began t o be c h a l l e n g e d . The view t h a t p h i l o s o p h y and s c i e n c e b u i l d p r o g r e s s i v e l y t o produce e v e r - i m p r o v i n g v e r s i o n s o f th e m s e l v e s , and are always moving towards t h e u l t i m a t e g o a l of " t r u t h " , was r e p l a c e d w i t h d i f f e r e n c e , d i s c o n t i n u i t y , and m u l t i p l i c i t y . Where p r e v i o u s l y the s u b j e c t was g e n e r a l l y d e f i n e d as the p r o d u c t o f e i t h e r an i n d i v i d u a l " e s s e n c e " or as a p r o d u c t o f s o c i e t a l f o r c e s , the s u b j e c t c o u l d now be viewed i n terms o f power. Power was d e f i n e d not i n terms o f who has power, such as t h e r u l i n g c l a s s i n M a r x i s t t h o u g h t , but as how power i n s t a l l s i t s e l f and produces e f f e c t s . F o u c a u l t e x p l a i n s , L e t us n o t . . . a s k why c e r t a i n p e o p l e want t o dominate, what t h e y seek, what i s t h e i r o v e r a l l s t r a t e g y . L e t us ask, i n s t e a d , how t h i n g s work a t t h e l e v e l of t h o s e c o n t i n u o u s and u n i n t e r r u p t e d p r o c e s s e s which s u b j e c t our b o d i e s , govern'our g e s t u r e s , d i c t a t e our b e h a v i o r s etc.(Power/Knowledge 97) In the work of F o u c a u l t we can see a r e a c t i o n t o the M a r x i s t b a s e - s u p e r s t r u c t u r e model, which was perhaps no l o n g e r a b l e t o e x p l a i n an economy t h a t had d e v i a t e d from an i n d u s t r i a l base towards an i n f o r m a t i o n and knowledge base. What had once been c o n s i d e r e d t h e s u p e r s t r u c t u r e , i d e a s and i n f o r m a t i o n , was now t h e base i n many c a s e s , such as i n movies, t e l e v i s i o n , and o t h e r media, t e c h n o l o g y , l o g i s t i c s e t c . The p l u r a l i t y and d i v e r s i t y o f l a t e c a p i t a l i s m had begun t o show s i g n s o f r e p l a c i n g i n d u s t r i a l c a p i t a l i s m w i t h a base which a f f e c t e d t h e u t i l i t y o f a c l a s s - b a s e d model o f t r u t h . Even t r u t h i t s e l f , based i n M o d e r n i t y on the a c c u m u l a t i o n o f knowledge, e s p e c i a l l y s c i e n t i f i c knowledge, was now a n a l y z e d by F o u c a u l t i n terms of t h e "systems o f knowledge" r e q u i r e d f o r t h e p r o d u c t i o n o f t r u t h . The p r o d u c t i o n o f t r u t h , i n t u r n , was dependent on power because "we a r e s u b j e c t e d t o t h e p r o d u c t i o n o f t r u t h t h r o u g h power and we cannot e x e r c i s e power except t h r o u g h the p r o d u c t i o n o f truth"(Power/Knowledge 93). In terms o f the concept o f h i s t o r y , t h e s e i d e a s had a s i g n i f i c a n t impact because t h e y a r t i c u l a t e d the problems a s s o c i a t e d w i t h a s i n g l e system o f h i s t o r i c a l d i s c o u r s e . F o u c a u l t d e s c r i b e s genealogy as " t h e u n i o n of e r u d i t e knowledge and l o c a l memories"(Power/Knowledge 83). T h i s f l o w o f memories and knowledge i s d i s c o n t i n u o u s and p l u r a l , and i t i s i m p o s s i b l e t o f i n d a unique " p r i n c i p l e " b e h i n d the c o m b i n a t i o n of d i s c o u r s e s which make up h i s t o r y . S p e c i f i c d i s c o u r s e s , such as m e d i c i n e , math, economics, and p s y c h i a t r y , cannot be combined t o d i s c u s s a g l o b a l t r u t h , and even w i t h i n t h e s e s p e c i f i c d i s c o u r s e s no s p e c i f i c p r i n c i p l e can be found. T h i s thought moves h i s t o r i c a l d i s c o u r s e away from a g e n e r a l s e a r c h f o r t r u t h towards an observance of the s p e c i f i c , h i s t o r i c , and l o c a l c i r c u m s t a n c e s c o n t r i b u t i n g t o an assessment of t h e p r e s e n t . Thus, F o u c a u l t ' s t h o u g h t s c o u l d be c o n s i d e r e d a p r e c u r s o r o f postmodern t h e o r i e s , p o s t u l a t e d by Harvey, L y o t a r d , B a u d r i l l a r d and o t h e r s , which f o c u s on t h e end o f t o t a l i z i n g d i s c o u r s e and the " m e t a n a r r a t i v e s " which support M o d e r n i t y ' s p r o j e c t towards e m a n c i p a t i o n and t r u t h . Postmodernity The term P o s t m o d e r n i t y was f i r s t used i n t h e r e a l m o f l i t e r a r y t h e o r y , a c c o r d i n g t o Andreas Huyssen, i n t h e 1950s, and was used commonly d u r i n g a p e r i o d of a e s t h e t i c r e v o l u t i o n i n the 1970s. T h i s o r i g i n a l use o f the term, however, was not a r e j e c t i o n o f M o d e r n i t y i t s e l f but o f c e r t a i n a e s t h e t i c forms a s s o c i a t e d w i t h a v e r s i o n o f m o d e r n i t y i n the U n i t e d S t a t e s i n the 1950s 1 7. From t h i s l i m i t e d and r e g i o n a l l y s p e c i f i c use o f t h e term t h e r e emerged few t r a i t s t h a t would remain as t h e term e v o l v e d i n t o a c u l t u r a l t h e o r y , a l b e i t a c o n t r o v e r s i a l c u l t u r a l t h e o r y . One o f the d e s c r i p t o r s t h a t d i d remain was t h e v a l i d a t i o n o f p o p u l a r c u l t u r e over " h i g h " c u l t u r e : I t i s p r e c i s e l y t h e r e c e n t s e l f - a s s e r t i o n o f m i n o r i t y c u l t u r e s and t h e i r emergence i n t o p u b l i c c o n s c i o u s n e s s t h a t has undermined the m o d e r n i s t b e l i e f t h a t h i g h and low c u l t u r e have t o be c a t e g o r i c a l l y kept a p a r t ; such v i g o r o u s s e g r e g a t i o n s i m p l y does not make sense w i t h i n a g i v e n m i n o r i t y c u l t u r e which has always e x i s t e d o u t s i d e i n the shadow of t h e dominant h i g h c u l t u r e . ( H u y s s e n . 2 4 7 ) T h i s o r i g i n a l use of t h e term P o s t m o d e r n i t y i n t h e c o n t e x t o f a e s t h e t i c c r i t i c i s m was l i m i t e d t o N o r t h A m e r i c a . As t h e c o m b i n a t i o n o f h i g h and low c u l t u r e c o n t i n u e d t o m a n i f e s t i t s e l f i n t h i s r e g i o n , and N o r t h American c u l t u r e was e x p o n e n t i a l l y e x p o r t e d w i t h t h e e x p a n s i o n of m u l t i n a t i o n a l m a r k e t i n g , t h e term t o o k on e v e r - i n c r e a s i n g s o c i a l i m p l i c a t i o n s . C u l t u r a l t h e o r y began t o a s s i m i l a t e and b u i l d upon, i n a r c h i t e c t u r e , l i t e r a t u r e , and p a i n t i n g , e t c , t h e o r i g i n a l i d e a of t h e c o m b i n a t i o n of " h i g h " and "low" c u l t u r e . A e s t h e t i c v a l u e s t u r n e d towards a n o s t a l g i a f o r the o l d combined w i t h a f a s c i n a t i o n f o r the new i n what t u r n e d out t o be a mis-matched patchwork of s t y l e s and forms w i t h no apparent dominant " i d e o l o g i c a l " base. In p h i l o s o p h y t h i s l a c k o f dominant i d e o l o g y was t r a n s l a t e d i n t o a n e g a t i o n of t h e C a r t e s i a n - K a n t i a n t r a d i t i o n of Reason, o f t h e e x i s t e n c e o f an u n d e r l y i n g t r u t h which c o u l d be d i s c o v e r e d t h r o u g h the a p p l i c a t i o n ' o f the p r o p e r method, and of a b e l i e f i n t h e t r a n s c e n d e n t a l v e r a c i t y and a c c u m u l a t i o n o f knowledge. Some of the more i n f l u e n t i a l Postmodern t h e o r i s t s i n c l u d e J e a n - F r a n g o i s L y o t a r d , F r e d e r i c Jameson and Jean B a u d r i l l a r d . Each o f th e s e p h i l o s o p h e r s have made s p e c i f i c c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o what i s now a c c e p t e d as a s o c i a l t h e o r y 1 8 , and any d i s c u s s i o n o f Postmodernism n a t u r a l l y r e f e r s back t o t h e s e t h i n k e r s . L y o t a r d d e s c r i b e s P o s t m o d e r n i t y as a " c o n d i t i o n " t h a t marks the end of t h e U t o p i a n hopes o f M o d e r n i t y and s i g n a l s t h e end o f t h e " t o t a l i z i n g t h e o r i e s " t h a t c h a r a c t e r i z e d p h i l o s o p h y u n t i l t h e t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y . L y o t a r d i a n Postmodernism i s s u s p i c i o u s o f the n a r r a t i v e s o f the p a s t which have been m i s t a k e n l y r e g a r d e d as h i s t o r y . He no t e s t h a t an " i n c r e d u l i t y toward m e t a n a r r a t i v e s " ( x x i v ) i s n e c e s s a r y f o r the c o n d i t i o n o f P o s t m o d e r n i t y . I n i t s p l a c e a spectrum o f " m i c r o n a r r a t i v e s " which r e f l e c t t h e p e r s p e c t i v e s o f m a r g i n a l i z e d o r o t h e r s p e c i f i c groups p r o v i d e s a c r o s s - s e c t i o n of p a s t moments. Postmodern a c q u i s i t i o n o f knowledge, a c c o r d i n g t o L y o t a r d , l o o k s t o p r o v i s i o n a l o r l o c a l s o u r c e s r a t h e r t h a n the u n i v e r s a l o r a p p a r e n t l y a b s o l u t e forms found i n p r e v i o u s a c q u i s i t i o n s o f knowledge. The m i n i m i z i n g o f n a r r a t i v e s l e a d s n a t u r a l l y t o a more p e r s o n a l , s e l f - c o n s c i o u s and r e f l e c t i v e c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f t h e microcosm o f the w r i t e r ' s environment. Thus, l o c a l space and p e r s o n a l time a r e ob s e r v e d and i n c o r p o r a t e d i n t o t h e o b s e r v e r ' s i d e a o f i d e n t i t y . The r e d u c t i o n i n the scope of the o b s e r v e r ' s p e r s p e c t i v e a l l but e l i m i n a t e s the c o n n e c t i o n between l o c a l and p e r s o n a l h i s t o r i e s w i t h w i d e r p o l i t i c a l o r s o c i a l agendas. T h i s s i t u a t i o n has l e d some c r i t i c s t o judge P o s t m o d e r n i t y as " a l o o f from p o l i t i c a l l y committed d i s c o u r s e s " and s u s p i c i o u s o f p l a c i n g l i t e r a t u r e " i n t h e s e r v i c e o f any i d e o l o g y o r r e v o l u t i o n " ( G i a r d i n e l l i 221). F r e d e r i c Jameson, i n what some c o n s i d e r a p r e s e r v a t i o n of M a r x i s t t o t a l i z i n g n a r r a t i v e s 1 9 , d e s c r i b e s P o s t m o d e r n i t y as a " c u l t u r a l l o g i c o f l a t e c a p i t a l i s m " and approaches the fragmented s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e s he observes as a new s t a g e o f c a p i t a l i s m i n which new r e l a t i o n s o f c l a s s s t r u g g l e must be i d e n t i f i e d . I n h i s i n f l u e n t i a l a r t i c l e , "Postmodernism and Consumer S o c i e t y " , Jameson d e s c r i b e s P o s t m o d e r n i t y as a " p a s t i c h e and s c h i z o p h r e n i a " ( 1 5 ) which has caused a " m u t a t i o n i n b u i l t space i t s e l f " ( 2 1 ) . Jameson uses the example o f new forms o f a r c h i t e c t u r e , such as t h e Bonaventure h o t e l i n Los An g e l e s t o e x p l a i n t h a t man's a l t e r a t i o n o f space has exceeded h i s a b i l i t y t o d i f f e r e n t i a t e between the imagined and t h e r e a l : We do not y e t p o s s e s s the p e r c e p t u a l equipment t o match t h i s new hyperspace, as I w i l l c a l l i t , i n p a r t because our p e r c e p t u a l h a b i t s were formed i n t h a t o l d e r k i n d o f space I have c a l l e d t h e space of h i g h modernism. The newer a r c h i t e c t u r e t h e r e f o r e - - l i k e many o f t h e o t h e r c u l t u r a l p r o d u c t s I have evoked i n t h e p r e c e d i n g remarks--: s t a n d s as something l i k e an i m p e r a t i v e t o grow new organs t o expand our s e n s o r i u m and our body t o some new, as y e t u n i m a g i n a b l e , perhaps u l t i m a t e l y i m p o s s i b l e , d i m e n s i o n s . ( 2 1 ) The Bonaventure h o t e l i s d e s c r i b e d i n Jameson's a r t i c l e as a " t o t a l space, a complete w o r l d , a k i n d o f m i n i a t u r e c i t y " ( 2 1 ) which a c t s as a p r o t o t y p e f o r the development of the s u r r o u n d i n g c i t y . . The g l a s s s t r u c t u r e o f t h e b u i l d i n g p r e v e n t s the o b s e r v e r from a c t u a l l y i d e n t i f y i n g the o r i g i n of t h e a r c h i t e c t u r a l image,, f o r he sees not t h e h o t e l , "but o n l y the d i s t o r t e d images of e v e r y t h i n g t h a t surrounds i t " (23). Those i n s i d e the b u i l d i n g c ontemplate the e n t i r e c i t y from the r e v o l v i n g lounge, "now t r a n s f o r m e d i n t o i t s own images by the g l a s s windows"(24). Jameson's p o i n t i s t h a t t h i s postmodern space i s an example o f the m u t a t i o n o f t r a d i t i o n a l space i n t o a hyperspace which exceeds man's a b i l i t y t o l o c a t e h i m s e l f p e r c e p t u a l l y and d i s t o r t s h i s mental p i c t u r e o f h i s p o s i t i o n i n a mappable e x t e r n a l w o r l d . B a u d r i l l a r d d e s c r i b e s a postmodern s o c i e t y i n which c u l t u r e , e x p e r i e n c e and s u b j e c t i v i t y produce " s i m u l a t i o n s " and " s i m u l a c r a " . He i s p r o b a b l y the most well-known u s e r o f t h e term h y p e r r e a l i t y t o d e s i g n a t e t h e b l u r r i n g o f the b o u n d a r i e s between the " r e a l " and t h e " i m a g i n e d " i n s p a t i a l p e r c e p t i o n . H i s t h e o r i e s c e n t e r on what he c a l l s the " p r e c e s s i o n o f s i m u l a c r a " t o d e s c r i b e t h e c u m u l a t i v e replacement of t h e r e a l w o r l d w i t h s i m u l a t e d images. He d e v e l o p s h i s t h e o r y by p r e s e n t i n g f o u r p e r i o d s o f c r i t i c a l " e p i s t e m e s " i n t h e development of M o d e r n i t y . The f i r s t episteme, o r phase, i s p r e s e n t e d w i t h the metaphor o f t h e m i r r o r which r e f l e c t s an image o f r e a l i t y . P r a c t i c a l knowledge i s d e r i v e d from our a b i l i t y t o i n t e r p r e t r e f l e c t i o n s from t h e e m p i r i c a l w o r l d i n a s e n s i b l e manner, s o r t i n g out p r a c t i c a l i n f o r m a t i o n from the accompanying n o i s e and d i s t o r t i o n of the image. T h i s episteme i s p r e s e n t e d as f i r s t i n the p h i l o s o p h i c a l t i m e l i n e of t h e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f knowledge. I t s use i n human, b i o l o g i c a l , and p h y s i c a l s c i e n c e s c o n t i n u e s as t h e dominant e p i s t e m o l o g y , and i t i s s t i l l p r e s e n t i n c r i t i c a l thought as a p r a c t i c a l v iew of the w o r l d . B a u d r i l l a r d o b serves t h a t a second c r i t i c a l episteme was deve l o p e d s y s t e m a t i c a l l y t h r o u g h o u t the n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y and i s m e t a p h o r i c a l l y r e p r e s e n t e d by t h e mask. The mask r e p r e s e n t s t h e i d e a t h a t the s e n s i b l e and r a t i o n a l " r e f l e c t i o n s " o f t h e e m p i r i c a l w o r l d a re d i s g u i s e d by a d e c e p t i v e shroud o f f a l s e o r c o u n t e r f e i t appearances. These masks p e r v e r t a b a s i c r e a l i t y , and p r a c t i c a l knowledge and c r i t i c a l u n d e r s t a n d i n g i s a c h i e v e d o n l y by unmasking t h e s u r f a c e appearances and u n c o v e r i n g t h e t r u t h . The use o f t h i s t y p e o f episteme i s found i n c r i t i c a l t h e o r y and l i t e r a r y a n a l y s i s , which b o t h seek t o uncover h i d d e n meaning i n s u r f a c e appearances. T h i s stage c o u l d be c o n s i d e r e d as c o r r e s p o n d i n g t o a M a r x i s t view o f the d e c e p t i v e n a t u r e o f the r u l i n g c l a s s , which uses a " f a l s e c o n s c i o u s n e s s " t o d i s g u i s e i t s e f f o r t s t o m a i n t a i n i t s p o s i t i o n . The t h i r d episteme i n t r o d u c e d by B a u d r i l l a r d d i s c u s s e d the emergence of a new metaphor which he c a l l s the simulacrum. The image here b e g i n s t o develop an "absence of r e a l i t y " which d i f f e r s from the s i m p l e d i s s i m u l a t i o n found i n t h e second episteme, which o n l y d e c e i v e s on the s u r f a c e appearance of t h i n g s , by i n t r o d u c i n g a s u b s t i t u t i o n o f s i g n s and s i m u l a t i o n s of t h e r e a l f o r the r e a l i t s e l f . T h i s " p r e c e s s i o n of s i m u l a c r a " t h r e a t e n s t h e v e r y e x i s t e n c e o f a s e p a r a t i o n between what i s r e a l and what i s imagined, between t h e t r u e and the f a l s e , and between t h e s i g n i f i e r and t h e s i g n i f i e d . For B a u d r i l l a r d t h i s stage r e p r e s e n t s the c u r r e n t , Postmodern, s t a g e of s o c i a l i n t e r a c t i o n . B a u d r i l l a r d c o n t i n u e s h i s c r i t i q u e of t h e image t o i n t r o d u c e a f o u r t h episteme which d e n i e s r e a l i t y c o m p l e t e l y . In t h i s case the image "bears no r e l a t i o n t o any r e a l i t y whatever; i t i s i t s own pure simulacrum" and i s an " u n i n t e r r u p t e d c i r c u i t w i t h o u t r e f e r e n c e o r c i r c u m s t a n c e " . T h i s phase of the image p r e s e n t s a w o r l d i n which r e a l i t y has c o m p l e t e l y d i s a p p e a r e d and has been r e p l a c e d by an " e c s t a s y o f communication" i n which our view o f t he w o r l d i s not r e a l but i s a p r o d u c t o f postmodern t e c h n o l o g y 2 0 . B a u d r i l l a r d ' s p r e s e n t a t i o n of t h e s e f o u r t y p e s o f images, which p r o g r e s s i v e l y b l u r t h e c o n n e c t i o n between the r e a l and the imagined, a r e d e s i g n e d t o q u e s t i o n how we comprehend the w o r l d and a c t w i t h i n i t . L i k e Jameson, B a u d r i l l a r d i s concerned w i t h the s p a t i a l p e r c e p t i o n o f man, and the growing d i s j u n c t i o n "between t h e body and i t s b u i l t environment"(Jameson 25). T h i s a r c h i t e c t u r a l l y based d e s c r i p t o r i s t h e n e x t r a p o l a t e d t o r e f e r t o the new p a t t e r n s o f consumption, l i f e i n t h e " p e r p e t u a l p r e s e n t " and o t h e r f e a t u r e s o f t h e new, "postmodern", a e s t h e t i c s of s o c i e t y . Jameson, B a u d r i l l a r d , and L y o t a r d a l l pay p a r t i c u l a r a t t e n t i o n t o t h e d e f i n i t i o n o f postmodern space. In a l l t h r e e a u t h o r s , the way space i s f i l l e d i s newly d e f i n e d i n terms o f a s a t u r a t e d , f r a c t u r e d , i r r a t i o n a l and i l l u s o r y c o n c e p t i o n which f i n d s i t s most p o i g n a n t metaphor i n t h e urban l a n d s c a p e . The postmodern c i t y goes beyond the b r i c k and m o r t a r o f which i t i s c o n s t r u c t e d ; i t i s d e f i n e d not o n l y by shape and space but by meaning. At t h i s l e v e l o f d e s c r i p t i o n , we can speak o f urban space i n terms o f s i g n s , symbols, and meanings. The m u l t i - f a c e t e d s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s and h i s t o r i e s t h a t combine i n t h e urban space make i t the b e s t metaphor f o r Postmodern r e a l i t i e s . Modernity and Postmodernity i n Latin America I t can be argued, as Raul Bueno does, t h a t M o d e r n i t y i t s e l f i s not a p p l i c a b l e t o a L a t i n American c o n t e x t because i t has never d e v e l o p e d the i n d u s t r i a l a p p a r a t u s , nor t h e o r g a n i z a t i o n of p u b l i c l i f e , which i n d u c e d M o d e r n i t y i n t h e f i r s t w o r l d (Bueno 190). W h i l e I t e n d t o agree w i t h Bueno's o b s e r v a t i o n t h a t the remnants of f e u d a l i s m i n L a t i n America have p r e v e n t e d a f u l l development of M o d e r n i t y , I h e s i t a t e t o endorse h i s v i e w p o i n t t h a t t h e c u r r e n t c u l t u r a l c o n d i t i o n s of L a t i n A merica "have made us r e g r e s s t o t h e most u n d e s i r a b l e c o n d i t i o n s o f L a t i n America's p r e - M o d e r n i t y " ( 1 9 1 ) . In L a t i n A m e r i c a t h e age o f M o d e r n i t y b e g i n s w i t h t h e t r a n s f e r and i m p o s i t i o n o f a l i e n , and hegemonic p a t t e r n s o f thought c o n c e r n i n g the c u l t u r a l , p o l i t i c a l , and economic f e a t u r e s of an undeveloped r e g i o n . Even when L a t i n American c u l t u r a l p r o d u c t s appeared t o l i m i t f o r e i g n c o n t e n t or form, i n t h e i r p r e s e n t a t i o n o f l o c a l h a b i t s and " n a t i v i s m s " , t h e s e d i s c o u r s e s were produced i n an environment o f European and N o r t h American i d e o l o g i c a l p r e s s u r e s which c o n t a m i n a t e d autonomy. The i d e a s and c o n d i t i o n s o f M o d e r n i t y were o r i g i n a l l y s p e c i f i c t o c e r t a i n European r e g i o n s and economies and were o n l y s u p e r f i c i a l l y a p p l i e d l a t e r t o L a t i n A m e r i c a . A p h i l o s o p h i c a l b e l i e f i n r e a s o n , p r o g r e s s , s c i e n c e , and the g r e a t causes o f peace and s o c i a l j u s t i c e and o t h e r U t o p i a s were f o r g e d i n the same f i r e as t h e i n s t r u m e n t s o f i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n , c a p i t a l i s m and democracy. The a p p l i c a t i o n o f t h e s e t o t a l i z i n g c o n cepts t o a p o s t -c o l o n i a l , s e m i - f e u d a l and und e r d e v e l o p e d r e g i o n l i k e L a t i n A m e r i c a caused t h e r e g i o n t o " e n t e r the d a r k s i d e o f Mod e r n i t y " ( B u e n o 10). The French R e v o l u t i o n , which r o u g h l y c o i n c i d e s w i t h the b e g i n n i n g o f the age of M o d e r n i t y , e s t a b l i s h e d i n Europe the i d e a s o f e q u a l i t y , f r a t e r n i t y and l i b e r t y . The L a t i n American c o l o n i e s soon f o l l o w e d s u i t i n d e c l a r i n g , and f i g h t i n g f o r , t h e i r own v e r s i o n of t h i s i d e a . The d i f f e r e n c e was t h a t t h e f i g h t f o r independence i n L a t i n A m e r i c a was never i n t h e hands o f an emerging p r o l e t a r i a t , nor t h e c a p i t a l i s t c l a s s . I t was e s s e n t i a l l y a move o f economic s e l f - i n t e r e s t on the p a r t o f the l a n d e d - o l i g a r c h y and d i d not r e s u l t i n d e m o c r a t i c r u l e . The independence of L a t i n America was based on a p o l i t i c a l and economic i m i t a t i o n of the r e p u b l i c a n model w i t h o u t the i n d u s t r i a l base o r p o l i t i c a l w i l l t o e s t a b l i s h the b e n e f i t s of M o d e r n i t y . T h i s l a c k o f p o l i t i c a l w i l l i s u n d e r s t a n d a b l e s i n c e the c o n d i t i o n s o f M o d e r n i t y would a l s o l e a d t o the demise of t h e r u l i n g l a n d e d e l i t e . Power r e m a i n e d , i n the hands of tho s e w i t h t h e l a n d , and c a p i t a l i s t , i n d u s t r i a l development was based p r i m a r i l y on the e x t r a c t i o n o f p r i m a r y m a t e r i a l s u s i n g cheap l a b o r . M a n u f a c t u r i n g was und e r t a k e n m a i n l y when import t a r i f f s , s u b s i d i e s o r c o r r u p t i o n i n c r e a s e d t h e r a t e o f p r o f i t a b i l i t y . I t has been o b s e r v e d t h a t t h e paradox of M o d e r n i t y ' s c l a i m t o p r o g r e s s i o n and Reason i s t h a t a l t h o u g h man's s e a r c h f o r U t o p i a has r e s u l t e d i n q u a n t i f i a b l e improvements, such as a measurable d e c l i n e i n i n f a n t m o r t a l i t y r a t e s and an i n c r e a s e i n l i f e s p a n i n d e v e l o p e d n a t i o n s , i t has a l s o been the so u r c e o f some o f t h e g r e a t e s t a t r o c i t i e s , such as t h e h o l o c a u s t and o t h e r " e t h n i c c l e a n s i n g " i n t h e name o f n a t i o n a l advancement. I n L a t i n A m erica, of c o u r s e , t h i s t y p e o f " c l e a n s i n g " began i n the name o f r e l i g i o u s and f e u d a l i n t e r e s t s and ended w i t h t h e a n n i h i l a t i o n of s e v e n t y m i l l i o n i n d i g e n o u s s o u l s . T h i s h e r i t a g e o f e r a d i c a t i o n was c o n t i n u e d t h r o u g h t h e age of L a t i n American M o d e r n i t y a t t h e hands o f c o u n t l e s s d i c t a t o r s . When Reason was i m p o r t e d from Western l i b e r a l d e m o c r a t i c molds, the L a t i n American o l i g a r c h y was q u i c k t o n e u t r a l i z e i t i n the c o n t e x t of t h e i r own c o n t e x t of " c i v i l i z a t i o n and b a r b a r i t y " : the s u r v i v a l of t h e " f i t t e s t " (the o l i g a r c h ) v e r s u s the weak and " u n f i t t o s u r v i v e " ( b l a c k s , m e s t i z o s , n a t i v e s , t h e poor, and o t h e r m a r g i n a l i z e d " u n c i v i l i z e d " g r o u p s ) . The use o f f o r e i g n p o l i t i c a l and economic models was i n i t i a l l y l i m i t e d i n L a t i n America because the l a n d e d o l i g a r c h y s t i l l r e t a i n e d most o f the power. The i m p o r t e d i d e a of M o d e r n i t y was t h e r e f o r e a s s i g n e d the t a s k o f a d d r e s s i n g c u l t u r e . A l t h o u g h th e r e g i o n ' s e l i t e may have been r e l u c t a n t t o r e l i n q u i s h i t s power base i n f a v o r of a European model, t h e r e was l i t t l e r e s i s t a n c e t o f o l l o w i n g European c u l t u r a l examples. The European s u b j e c t was c o n s i d e r e d c u l t u r a l l y and i n t e l l e c t u a l l y s u p e r i o r t o the r o m a n t i c i z e d y e t o s t r a c i z e d and a l i e n a t e d i n d i g e n o u s c u l t u r e . T h i s a d m i r a t i o n f o r t h e " c i v i l i z e d " w o r l d l e d t o " a p a t t e r n o f i m p o r t i n g European c u l t u r a l a r t i f a c t s and consumer i t e m s f o r n a t i v e raw m a t e r i a l s which s t u n t e d i n v e s t m e n t i n n a t i o n a l p r o d u c t i o n . I t a l s o l e d t o an i m i t a t i o n o f European s t y l e s i n the a r t s , and a E u r o c e n t r i c approach t o e d u c a t i o n , b u r e a u c r a c y , and b a n k i n g . In A r g e n t i n a t h i s a t t i t u d e even l e d t o t h e i m p o r t a t i o n o f Europeans themselves as a means of d i l u t i n g t h e n a t i o n a l h e r i t a g e . The a c c e p t a n c e o f the i m p o r t e d l i b e r a l d e m o c r a t i c model grew i n L a t i n America as c a p i t a l i s m s l o w l y r e p l a c e d f e u d a l i s m . I n l i t e r a t u r e t h i s change was shadowed by a move from Romanticism t o Modernismo21 and N a t u r a l i s m . The P o s i t i v i s m o f the e a r l y p a r t o f the t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y promoted t h e p r o g r e s s i v e n e s s and u t i l i t y o f s c i e n c e . Time was l i n e a r and p r o g r e s s i v e , and i n some c o u n t r i e s , such as Mexico, r e v o l u t i o n a r y z e a l i n d i c a t e d a w i d e s p r e a d acceptance o f the e x i s t e n c e o f a t r u t h t o s p e c i f i c p o l i t i c a l models, a l t h o u g h t h e s e models were always i m p o r t e d and o f t e n a l r e a d y o b s o l e t e i n t h e i r p l a c e s o f o r i g i n . I f t h e c o n d i t i o n s o f M o d e r n i t y a r e t r u n c a t e d i n L a t i n A m e rica, what then o f P o s t m o d e r n i t y ? P o s t m o d e r n i t y has emerged as one o f " t h e most i m p o r t a n t p o l i t i c a l - c u l t u r a l c u r r e n t s o f the l a s t d e c a d e " ( F r a s e r 373), but has a l s o been used p r i m a r i l y as a s o c i a l t h e o r y , d e s c r i p t o r and " r e p o r t on knowledge i n t h e most h i g h l y d e v e l o p e d s o c i e t i e s " , as L y o t a r d s u g g e s t s i n The Postmodern Condition. Does i t make sense t o speak o f a t r a n s i t i o n ' from M o d e r n i t y t o P o s t m o d e r n i t y i n a L a t i n American c o n t e x t i f M o d e r n i t y i t s e l f has not been f u l l y d e v e l o p e d i n t h e r e g i o n and i f development i t s e l f has not even o c c u r r e d ? A l t h o u g h i t may seem p a r a d o x i c a l , P o s t m o d e r n i t y i s perhaps more r e l e v a n t t o the L a t i n American c o n t e x t t h a n M o d e r n i t y . T h i s i s because P o s t m o d e r n i t y i s not r e a l l y a r e g i o n a l c u l t u r a l and a e s t h e t i c t h e o r y . In s p i t e o f L y o t a r d ' s q u a l i f i e r , the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s he a p p l i e s t o the term P o s t m o d e r n i t y , i f t h e y are a p p l i c a b l e i n the d e v e l o p e d n a t i o n s because t h e s e r e g i o n s are the c e n t e r s o f consumerism and c u l t u r a l p a s t i c h e , they s h o u l d a l s o a p p l y t o a L a t i n American c o n t e x t where, as Brunner p o i n t s out, the L a t i n American s u b j e c t must speak f r a g m e n t a r i l y o f t h e c u l t u r e of our t i m e - as an u n f i n i s h e d c o l l a g e i n c o n s t r u c t i o n / where each p a r t , p i e c e or remnant r e f e r s t o o t h e r s , a l l moving i n a c o n t i n u o u s dance of s i g n s . ( 3 ) In t h e p e r i o d o f M o d e r n i t y i n L a t i n A m e r i c a , s o c i e t a l f o r c e s such as i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n , t h e r i s e o f c a p i t a l i s m and i t s b i n a r y o p p o s i t e , Communism and i t s a f f i l i a t e s , c r e a t e d a t l e a s t a p r e t e n s e and a promise o f U t o p i a t h r o u g h Reason. There was a sense o f p r o g r e s s i n s p i t e o f the i n c o m p l e t e n e s s o f M o d e r n i t y i n . L a t i n A m erica. With P o s t m o d e r n i t y , t h i s b e l i e f i n p r o g r e s s , U t o p i a n p r o j e c t s and s o l u t i o n s has d i s a p p e a r e d . What remains, f o r p o s t m o d e r n i s t s , i s a s t a t e o f permanent l i m b o . The p r e s e n t i s the o n l y r e a l i t y t h e r e i s , and s o l u t i o n s t o t h e problems of i d e n t i t y , autonomy, and t h e more c o n c r e t e i s s u e s , f o r L a t i n A m e r i c a , o f overwhelming p o l i t i c a l and economic problems, cannot be found i n t o t a l i z i n g schemes of p r o g r e s s . These models have been t r i e d and have f a i l e d , and they f a i l e d d u r i n g p e r i o d s o f l e s s s t r e s s f u l , r e l a t i v e l y l i m i t e d , s o c i a l p r e s s u r e s . With t h e development o f the mega-metropolis, t h e i n t r u s i o n of m u l t i n a t i o n a l g l o b a l c u l t u r e , and a d i v e r s i t y o f r e g i o n a l problems, such as t h e d r u g - t r a d e which has p r o f i t e d most from developments i n communication and l o g i s t i c s , the p o s s i b i l i t y o f i d e o l o g i c a l s o l u t i o n s seems remote. Even i n c o u n t r i e s such as V e n e z u e l a t h a t have t r a d i t i o n a l l y been c o n s i d e r e d b a s t i o n s of l i b e r a l democracy i n a r e g i o n known f o r p o l i t i c a l i n s t a b i l i t y , t h e t o l l o f r e c e n t t r e n d s i s e v i d e n t . The Case of Venezuela V e n e z u e l a has r e c e n t l y e x p e r i e n c e d a p o l i t i c a l and economic c r i s i s w hich has been the r e s u l t of an e r o s i o n i n the p o p u l a t i o n ' s p e r c e p t i o n o f democracy. V e n e z u e l a c a p t u r e d i n t e r n a t i o n a l h e a d l i n e s i n 1998 when Hugo Chavez F r i a s , t h e l e a d e r of an e a r l i e r a b o r t i v e coup, emerged as the most l i k e l y c a n d i d a t e f o r the p r e s i d e n c y . In a s h o r t p e r i o d Chavez had g e n e r a t e d support among the l a b o r c l a s s e s by p l e d g i n g a r a d i c a l o v e r h a u l of t h e e x i s t i n g i n s t i t u t i o n a l s t r u c t u r e s i n V e n e z u e l a . T h i s p o p u l a r campaign too k advantage o f a deep f r u s t r a t i o n w i t h a s e l f -s e r v i n g t w o - p a r t y system t h a t had been d e s i g n e d f o r t y y e a r s p r e v i o u s l y . A l t h o u g h Chavez was d e m o c r a t i c a l l y e l e c t e d , h i s r i s e i s i n d i c a t i v e o f a p r o f o u n d p o p u l a r d i s t r u s t o f the " d e m o c r a t i c " system o f V e n e z u e l a . Manuel C a b a l l e r o has e x p r e s s e d t h e v i e w p o i n t t h a t C h a v e z . i s a p r o d u c t of democracy i n the same sense as H i t l e r , M u s s o l i n i and Peron were, i n as much as he d i d not oppose p o p u l a r s h i f t s i n sentiment but r e d i r e c t e d them " h a c i a su p r o p i o cauce a u t o r i t a r i o y peor aun, t o t a l i t a r i o " ( 1 4 8 ) . Chavez's e v i d e n t a u t h o r i t a r i a n t e n d e n c i e s were a c c e p t e d by a p u b l i c t h a t dreamt o f r e p l a c i n g the e r r o r s , c o r r u p t i o n and b e t r a y a l s o f the " d e m o c r a t i c " regime t h r o u g h " e l 'escobazo' de un S a l v a d o r de l a p a t r i a que b a r r i e s e con l a x s u c i a p o l i t i c a ' " ( C a b a l l e r o 148). Chavez was e l e c t e d by a d i s i l l u s i o n e d , a l i e n a t e d e l e c t o r a t e which t u r n e d t o t h i s " s e r i o u s r e v o l u t i o n a r y " 2 2 because normal paths o f d e m o c r a t i c . p o l i t i c a l e v o l u t i o n had been b l o c k e d by a r e s t r i c t i v e and i l l e g i t i m a t e p o l i t i c a l system t h a t had been i n p l a c e f o r f o r t y y e a r s . T h i s c u r r e n t " c r i s i s o f democracy" i n V e n e z u e l a i s the p r o d u c t of a number of n e g a t i v e elements i n t h e e l e c t o r a t e , i n c l u d i n g a l i e n a t i o n , d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t w i t h i d e o l o g i c a l c h o i c e s , - a l a c k o f c o n f i d e n c e i n t h e f i s c a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of the e s t a b l i s h e d p a r t i e s , and a g e n e r a l b e l i e f t h a t t h e i n d i v i d u a l v o t e r i s p o w e r l e s s and e s s e n t i a l l y d i s e n f r a n c h i s e d . T h i s s i t u a t i o n has l e d t o a tremendous i n c r e a s e i n t h e l e v e l of a b s t e n t i o n . C l e a r l y , t h e r e has been a breakdown i n the v o t e r ' s b e l i e f i n t h e i d e o l o g i c a l systems t h a t had p r e v i o u s l y m a i n t a i n e d an i l l u s i o n o f democracy, development, and p o s i t i v e economic advancement. I t i s my c o n t e n t i o n t h a t i n V e n e z u e l a t h e d e t e r i o r a t i o n i n p o l i t i c a l and economic c o n f i d e n c e of t h e p u b l i c was c l o s e l y i m i t a t e d , and even preceded, by c e r t a i n a e s t h e t i c and i d e o l o g i c a l developments among p o e t i c groups. I b e l i e v e t h i s i s t r u e f o r t h e e n t i r e d e m o c r a t i c p e r i o d , from 1958 onwards, and c l o s e l y f o l l o w s what can be c l a s s i f i e d as an i n i t i a l a f f i r m a t i o n , and subsequent r e j e c t i o n of t h e t h e o r e t i c a l p r i n c i p l e s o f M o d e r n i t y . There are t h r e e p e r i o d s of t w e n t i e t h - c e n t u r y Venezuelan p o l i t i c a l , economic and a e s t h e t i c l i f e which can be viewed i n terms of i t s r e l a t i o n t o M o d e r n i t y . The f i r s t of t h e s e p e r i o d s i s t h a t which e x t e n d s from th e b e g i n n i n g of t h e c e n t u r y t o 1958. B e f o r e 1958, V e n e z u e l a was p l a g u e d by a s e r i e s of a u t o c r a t i c r u l e r s , m u l t i p l e p a r t i e s and i n t e r m i t t e n t , f a i l e d , e f f o r t s t o implement a l i b e r a l democracy. E c o n o m i c a l l y , the c o u n t r y was u n d e r g o i n g a change from an a g r a r i a n - b a s e d e x p o r t economy t o a p etroleum-based economy. The d i s c o v e r y and e x p l o i t a t i o n o f o i l r e s e r v e s had f a r - r e a c h i n g e f f e c t s on t h e economic s t r u c t u r e of t h e c o u n t r y , which i n t u r n t r i g g e r e d a p r o c e s s of p o l i t i c a l change. As the p r o f i t a b i l i t y o f the a g r i c u l t u r a l s e c t o r d e c l i n e d i n comparison t o the b u r g e o n i n g p e t r o l e u m s e c t o r , the l a n d e d r u r a l c l a s s , t r a d i t i o n a l a l l i e s of t h e o l i g a r c h y , began t o r e l o c a t e t o the urban s e r v i c e s e c t o r and s t a t e employment. The s t r u c t u r a l c o n d i t i o n s f a v o r a b l e t o t h e maintenance of a u t h o r i t a r i a n c o n t r o l by the c o n s e r v a t i v e o l i g a r c h y were undermined and t h e d e m o c r a t i c p r o c e s s was f a c i l i t a t e d . I n terms of p o e t i c p r o d u c t i o n , t h i s p e r i o d i s marked by a p r o l i f e r a t i o n of p o e t i c groups which sought t o r e v o l u t i o n i z e a e s t h e t i c s . These groups d e v e l o p e d i n a p o l i t i c a l l y charged, o p p r e s s i v e , and r e s t r i c t i v e c l i m a t e . They r e a c t e d t o t h i s p o l i t i c a l s i t u a t i o n by i n t e n s i f y i n g t h e i r s e a r c h f o r a " r e a s o n a b l e " a l t e r n a t i v e . The use o f the l i t e r a r y m a n i f e s t o , as we have mentioned, became a common t o o l f o r t h e i r e x p r e s s i o n and t h e s e d i s c o u r s e s were s t e e p e d i n t h e Enl i g h t e n m e n t c o n c e p t i o n s o f reason, autonomy, and hope f o r the f u t u r e t h r o u g h the a p p l i c a t i o n o f a e m a n c i p a t i n g i d e o l o g y . The second p e r i o d o f development i n V e n e z u e l a , i n terms o f i t s r e l a t i o n t o the p r i n c i p l e s o f M o d e r n i t y , extends from 1958 t o t h e e a r l y 1980s. D u r i n g t h i s t i m e , the l i b e r a l democracy sought d u r i n g t h e p r e v i o u s p e r i o d was a p p a r e n t l y a c h i e v e d on t h e s u r f a c e . The Punto F i j o p a c t between the two s i g n i f i c a n t p a r t i e s e s t a b l i s h e d t h e " r u l e s of t h e game" and e s s e n t i a l l y . c o n s o l i d a t e d power among the m i d d l e - c l a s s urban e l i t e s which had been a l i e n a t e d by the p r e v i o u s o l i g a r c h i c regime. Thus, t h e group t h a t was p r e v i o u s l y p o l i t i c a l l y m a r g i n a l i z e d became the new c e n t r e . The p a c t of Punto F i j o , i n s e e k i n g t o i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e • d e m o c r a t i c s t a b i l i t y , a v o i d e d c o n f l i c t s , between t h e two p o l i t i c a l p a r t i e s by impl e m e n t i n g a s e r i e s o f agreements which e s s e n t i a l l y d i v i d e d the s p o i l s of p o l i t i c a l power. E c o n o m i c a l l y , t h i s p e r i o d was c h a r a c t e r i z e d by a st e a d y move towards a complete dependence on o i l revenues. T e r r y K a r l has argued t h a t t h i s dependency on o i l revenues, w h i l e a l l o w i n g f o r an i n i t i a l s t a b i l i t y and a "democracy based on p o l i t i c a l p a c t m a k i n g " a l s o s e t the c o n d i t i o n f o r a "type of democracy... v u l n e r a b l e t o d e c a y " ( 3 3 ) . T h i s i s because the s t a b i l i t y o f the democracy i s dependent on the " c o n t i n u e d f l o w of p e t r o d o l l a r s " and the c o n t i n u a t i o n o f e x i s t i n g p o l i t i c a l arrangements. P o l i t i c a l p a r t i e s i n p e t r o - s t a t e s a r e i n c l i n e d t o a v o i d programmatic r o l e s i n f a v o r of " e x t r a c t i n g r e n t and p r o t e c t i n g e x i s t i n g p r i v i l e g e s " and t h i s " t y p e of r o u t i n e i s not c o n d u c i v e t o b r i n g i n g about needed c h a n g e " ( K a r l 34). With r e g a r d s t o p o e t i c p r o d u c t i o n , t h i s p e r i o d was a g a i n c h a r a c t e r i z e d by a p r o l i f e r a t i o n o f p o e t i c groups. These groups r e a c t e d t o the l i m i t e d a c c e s s o f the p r o l e t a r i a t t o the p o l i t i c a l p r o c e s s by d e v e l o p i n g a l e f t i s t , r e a c t i o n a r y , p r o t e s t a e s t h e t i c v i s i b l e i n t h e i r • d e c l a r a t i o n s o r m a n i f e s t o e s . These groups tended t o r e l y on a M a r x i s t i d e o l o g y as the " s o l u t i o n " t o p o l i t i c a l and economic i n e q u i t i e s . In t h i s sense th e s e groups c o n t i n u e d t o p r o j e c t a f a i t h i n t h e i d e o l o g y of M o d e r n i t y . The M o d e r n i s t o u t l o o k was based on t h e i d e a o f a g e n e r a l l y s t a b l e r e l a t i o n s h i p between s e l f and r e a l i t y , s u b j e c t and o b j e c t . The s e l f was c o n c e i v e d as an autonomous c o n s c i o u s n e s s a b l e t o u n d e r s t a n d the o b j e c t s , e v e n t s , and phenomena which made up i t s l i f e e x p e r i e n c e s . T h i s s e l f was a l s o a b l e t o i n t e r p r e t t h e s e l i f e e x p e r i e n c e s t h r o u g h an e s t a b l i s h e d t r u t h . The s u b j e c t was a l s o , t h e o r e t i c a l l y , a b l e t o a p p l y t h i s t r u t h t o a p l a n f o r t h e b e n e f i c i a l t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o f s o c i a l and economic r e a l i t i e s , and thus promote a p r o g r e s s i n t h e w e l l - b e i n g of V e n e z u e l a n s . The p r i n c i p l e b e h i n d t h i s p r o c e s s o f g r a d u a l improvement and p r o g r e s s was Reason. I n t h e i r e f f o r t t o oppose the b l a t a n t s e l f - i n t e r e s t o f the dominant p o l i t i c a l a c t o r s , w r i t e r s , and poets i n p a r t i c u l a r , c o n t i n u e d the t r a d i t i o n o f o l d s t y l e ' u n i v e r s a l ' i n t e l l e c t u a l s who c l i n g t o the b e l i e f t h a t t r u t h i s an u l t i m a t e good, t h a t ' r e a l i t y ' i s i n some sense t h e r e t o be grasped, and t h a t the p a t h t o e n l i g h t e n m e n t l e a d s through s t a g e s o f d i s c i p l i n e d r e f l e c t i v e s e l f - k n o w l e d g e . ( N o r r i s 259) These p o e t s o r i g i n a l l y p r e s e n t e d t h e i r v i e w p o i n t s from a p o l i t i c a l l y m a r g i n a l p o s i t i o n . T h e i r v e r s i o n o f " t r u t h " and " r e a s o n " was c o n s i d e r e d d e t r i m e n t a l t o the p o l i t i c a l s t a b i l i t y o f t h e new d e m o c r a t i c a l l i a n c e by the dominant p o l i t i c a l a c t o r s . O b v i o u s l y , t h e c o n t i n u e d s t a b i l i t y o f t h e d e m o c r a t i c system p r e v e n t e d a strong-arm r e a c t i o n , i n the s t y l e of the p r e v i o u s a u t o c r a t i c regimes, t o unwanted p o l i t i c a l a c t o r s , and i d e o l o g i e s by the new p o l i t i c a l e l i t e s . A " d e m o c r a t i c " s o l u t i o n was sought and a c c e s s t o p e t r o d o l l a r s a l l o w e d t h e dominant p a r t y i d e o l o g i e s t o s t i f l e t he " l e f t i s t " i d e o l o g i e s o f t h e s e w r i t e r s t h r o u g h t h e s p o n s o r s h i p , p r o m o t i o n and s u b s i d i z a t i o n of s o c i a l and c u l t u r a l programs. Many of the r a d i c a l and i n s u r r e c t i o n i s t i n s t i g a t o r s o f r e v o l u t i o n a r y r e f o r m were g i v e n i m p o r t a n t p o s t s i n the- d i r e c t i o n o f t h e s e c u l t u r a l p r o j e c t s . I n a d d i t i o n , p e t r o d o l l a r s f i n a n c e d the development o f l i t e r a r y t a l l e r e s which s u r r e p t i t i o u s l y promoted t h e i n t e r e s t s of the dominant c l a s s . Thus, by t h e end o f t h i s p e r i o d , i n t h e l a t e 1970s and e a r l y 1980s, many o f the members o f the s e p o e t i c groups had moved from t h e i r m a r g i n a l p o s i t i o n towards the c e n t r e i n terms o f t h e i r " a c c e p t a n c e " o f l i b e r a l d e m o c r a t i c i d e o l o g y . 2 3 The t h i r d p e r i o d o f p o l i t i c a l , economic, and a e s t h e t i c r e d i r e c t i o n i n V e n e z u e l a extends from t h e e a r l y 1980s t o the e l e c t i o n o f Hugo Chavez i n 1998. The o i l boom o f the 1970s t r a n s l a t e d i n t o a bu r g e o n i n g b u r e a u c r a c y and an unchecked d i s p e r s a l o f r e s o u r c e s . M a s s i v e l o a n s were a c q u i r e d t o f i n a n c e g i g a n t i c p u b l i c i n v e s t m e n t s and b a n k r o l l u n p r e cedented growth i n t h e p u b l i c s e c t o r . R i s i n g o i l p r i c e s f u e l e d a e u p h o r i a and spe n d i n g spree on the p a r t o f t h e s t a t e which p a i d l i t t l e a t t e n t i o n t o the p o s s i b i l i t y o f a d e c l i n e i n p r i c e s . Access t o o i l revenues and f o r e i g n l o a n s a l l o w e d the two dominant p a r t i e s , which c o n t i n u e d t o c o o p e r a t e i n t h e a c c e s s t o , and d i s p e r s a l o f , s t a t e funds i n a c c o r d a n c e w i t h t h e Punto F i j o p a c t , t o s u s t a i n a n a t i o n a l p o l i t i c a l consensus by t h r o w i n g money a t any f r i n g e , c l a s s - b a s e d , p o l i t i c a l movement. S p e c i a l - i n t e r e s t groups, such as t r a d e u n i o n s and b u s i n e s s a s s o c i a t i o n s , were encouraged t o s u s t a i n an a l l i a n c e w i t h the r u l i n g p a r t i e s by t y i n g t h e i r a c c e s s t o p e t r o l e u m revenue t o t h e i r adherence t o the c e n t r a l i z e d , s o c i a l r o l e of t h e s t a t e . In t h i s manner, s o c i a l i n t e r e s t s c o u l d r e a l l y o n l y be a r t i c u l a t e d t h rough t h e dominant p a r t i e s , and t h e p o s s i b i l i t y o f i d e o l o g i c a l debate was r e s t r i c t e d . The dominant p a r t y ' s a b i l i t y t o s u s t a i n s t a t e c o n t r o l o f s o c i a l p o l i c i e s was dependent on t h e c o n t i n u a t i o n o f h i g h l e v e l s o f o i l revenues. As l o n g as o i l revenues c o n t i n u e d t o f l o w i n t o the c o u n t r y , t h e r u l i n g e l i t e c o u l d "produce a s t a b l e and even c o o p e r a t i v e form of p o l i t i c s t h a t r e g u l a r i z e d c o m p e t i t i o n between i n t e r e s t s and p e r p e t u a t e d e l i t e s i n power" ( K a r l 3 6 ) . When o i l p r i c e s dropped a t t h e end o f the 1970s, the s i t u a t i o n which had . p e r p e t u a t e d a semblance of democracy i n the, c o u n t r y changed. O i l revenues and f o r e i g n l o a n s had p r e v i o u s l y a l l o w e d t h e s t a t e t o c o n t i n u e s o c i a l p r o j e c t s w i t h o u t d e v e l o p i n g a s o l i d f i s c a l base of d o m e s t i c income and b u s i n e s s t a x e s . T h i s s i t u a t i o n f o s t e r e d a h i g h l e v e l o f e x p e c t a t i o n t h a t the s t a t e would be r e s p o n s i b l e f o r p r o v i d i n g s e r v i c e s at no c o s t t o t h e c i t i z e n s . When o i l revenues dropped, the p o l i t i c a l e l i t e was u n w i l l i n g t o undermine the s t a b i l i t y and p o l i t i c a l advantage p r o v i d e d by t h e p e t r o l e u m boom, and t u r n e d t o e v e r - i n c r e a s i n g l o a n s t o f i n a n c e b u r e a u c r a t i c e x p a n s i o n , new s o c i a l p r o j e c t s , and t h e s e r v i c e o f an i n c r e a s i n g l y unmanageable debt. E v e n t u a l l y t h i s manner of a v o i d i n g an impending f i s c a l c r i s i s became i m p o s s i b l e t o s u s t a i n . By 1989, V e n e z u e l a ' s c o n t i n u e d p r a c t i c e o f l i v i n g beyond i t s means r e s u l t e d i n a breakdown of n e g o t i a t i o n s w i t h f o r e i g n banks t o r e f i n a n c e o l d l o a n s and o b t a i n new c r e d i t s . I n F e b r u a ry, 1989, t h e newly e l e c t e d government of C a r l o s Andres Perez was f o r c e d t o implement an a u s t e r i t y p l a n , El Gran V i r a j e , which e l i m i n a t e d most s u b s i d i e s and r e d u c e d p u b l i c s p e n d i n g . These measures t r i g g e r e d an e x p l o s i o n o f v i o l e n c e on F e b r u a r y 27, 1989, and t h e f o l l o w i n g y e a r s were c h a r a c t e r i z e d by c o n t i n u e d w i d e s p r e a d r i o t s , and s e v e r a l a ttempted coups. C l e a r l y , t h e r e was a w i d e s p r e a d d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t w i t h the l e g i t i m a c y and c a p a c i t y of an o u t w a r d l y d e m o c r a t i c , but i n w a r d l y e l i t i s t , c o r r u p t , and d y s f u n c t i o n a l p o l i t i c a l system. At t h e same ti m e , t h e c o l l a p s e o f the Communist b l o c and the f a i l u r e o f most s o c i a l i s t e x p e r i m e n t s i n L a t i n America l e f t a v o i d i n the l i s t o f i d e o l o g i c a l a l t e r n a t i v e s . D i s i l l u s i o n m e n t l e d t o apathy, and the r a t e of v o t e r a b s t e n t i o n r o s e t o n e a r l y f o r t y p e r c e n t i n 1993 (Buxton 59). A p a r t from t h e c l e a r c r i s i s i n t h e l e g i t i m a c y o f the p o l i t i c a l system, t h e r e was a growing a l i e n a t i o n among a f f e c t e d groups which seemed t o i n d i c a t e t h a t t h e r e was no " t o t a l i z i n g " s o l u t i o n t o t h e c o u n t r y ' s p o l i t i c a l problems. T h i s seems t o me t o be an i n d i c a t i o n o f an i n d i r e c t l a c k o f c o n f i d e n c e i n t h e r e l i a n c e on reason and the c a p a c i t y o f t h e mind as t h e o r e t i c a l l y f o s t e r e d by M o d e r n i t y . Lawrence Cahoone p o i n t s out t h a t a b e l i e f i n t r a n s c e n d e n t a l r e a s o n , a l e g a c y o f t h e E n l i g h t e n m e n t , i m p e l l e d p o l i t i c a l t h i n k e r s t o embrace man's c a p a c i t y f o r r e s p o n s i b l e p o l i t i c a l i n v o l v e m e n t . As a r e s u l t , "the n o t i o n t h a t e v e r y i n d i v i d u a l mind i s c a p a b l e o f p e r c e i v i n g b o t h r e a l i t y and u n i v e r s a l , ' s e l f - e v i d e n t ' m o r a l - p o l i t i c a l t r u t h s , and c a p a b l e of r a t i o n a l d i s c o u r s e , was w r i t t e n i n t o the American C o n s t i t u t i o n as w e l l as the C r i t i q u e of Pure Reason"(74). T h i s c a p a c i t y o f t h e mind was not l i m i t e d t o Western l i b e r a l i d e o l o g i e s , but i n c l u d e d M a r x i s t r e a s o n i n g f o r t h e e m a n c i p a t i o n of mankind. Thus, the c o l l a p s e o f t h e S o v i e t Union, as w e l l as o t h e r s o c i a l i s t p r o j e c t s i n C e n t r a l A merica, r e p r e s e n t s a f a i l u r e o f one o f M o d e r n i t y ' s most a m b i t i o u s p r o j e c t s of reason and p o l i t i c a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . T h i s f a i l u r e had f a r - r e a c h i n g p h i l o s o p h i c a l r e p e r c u s s i o n s because i t seemed t o c o n f i r m an a l r e a d y p o p u l a r n o t i o n t h a t a m o n o l i t h i c e x p l a n a t i o n o f t r u t h , r e a l i t y , and n a t u r e was coming t o an end. A l t h o u g h a l i e n a t i o n and a g e n e r a l d i s t r u s t i n i d e o l o g i c a l s o l u t i o n s i n V e n e z u e l a was postponed by t h e p o l i t i c a l e l i t e ' s e f f o r t t o m a i n t a i n the i l l u s i o n o f a l i b e r a l d e m o c r a t i c t r u t h , t h e r e was some a n t i c i p a t i n g s k e p t i c i s m which can be o b s e r v e d i n the p o e t i c p r o d u c t i o n of two l i t e r a r y groups, Trafico and Guaire. In t h e s e two groups t h e r e i s a n o t i c e a b l e l a c k o f o b v i o u s i d e o l o g i c a l r e f e r e n c e s i n t h e i r p o e t r y , and t h e m e t a p h y s i c a l , e r u d i t e language of p r e v i o u s g e n e r a t i o n s o f poets i s a v o i d e d . The Trafico group produced a m a n i f e s t o which, u n l i k e t h e p r e v i o u s l i t e r a r y m a n i f e s t o e s produced by p o e t i c groups i n V e n e z u e l a , d i d not. seem t o p r e s e n t t h e poet as an e n l i g h t e n e d i n t e r p r e t e r o f r e a l i t y . These f a c t o r s l e a d me t o propose t h a t t h e s e two groups may have i n i t i a t e d a change i n the way i d e o l o g y and r e a s o n were viewed i n V e n e z u e l a . W h i l e t h i s was an a e s t h e t i c change, i t was c u r i o u s l y i m i t a t e d i n t h e e l e c t o r a t e ' s v i e w p o i n t r e g a r d i n g the p o l i t i c a l and economic d i r e c t i o n of the c o u n t r y . These p o e t i c groups' a v e r s i o n t o c o r r o b o r a t i n g i d e o l o g i c a l " t r u t h s " .was a f o r e r u n n e r o f a growing d i s t r u s t , a l i e n a t i o n and l a c k o f c o n f i d e n c e on t h e p a r t o f Venezuelan s o c i e t y . In a sense, t h e s e two groups, l i k e p r e v i o u s g e n e r a t i o n s of p o e t i c groups i n V e n e z u e l a , moved from a m a r g i n a l p o s i t i o n towards t h e c e n t r e . These p o e t s o r i g i n a l l y l e f t a p o e t i c t a l l e r o f t h e type sponsored by the s t a t e . The new p o e t r y t h e y proposed i n t h e i r m a n i f e s t o , a r e t u r n t o the "language o f the t r i b e " , c o n t r a d i c t e d t r e n d s common i n p o e t r y a t the t i m e . I t soon became e v i d e n t , however, t h a t t h e s e poets had i n i t i a t e d an a e s t h e t i c p h i l o s o p h y which would move them towards t h e c e n t e r o f s o c i a l s u p p o r t . I n keeping w i t h t h e move away from M o d e r n i t y , t h i s s u p p o r t would not come from t h e p o l i t i c a l e l i t e , but from a p o p u l a r a c c e p t a n c e of t h e i r v i e w p o i n t among t h e a l i e n a t e d "common man". In t h i s b r i e f o u t l i n e o f the t h r e e phases of M o d e r n i t y i n contemporary V e n e z u e l a I have s u g g e s t e d t h a t p o e t i c groups i n each o f the s t a g e s have moved from a m a r g i n a l p o s i t i o n towards the c e n t e r i n terms o f t h e i r own p o s i t i o n s of power. I have a l s o s u g g e s t e d t h a t , i n each of t h e s t a g e s , t h e r e has been a c o r r e l a t i o n between the s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l environment and t h e i d e o l o g y o f t h e s e p o e t i c groups. Each o f t h e s e s u g g e s t i o n s i m p l i e s an i n h e r e n t , u n d e r l y i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p which p o s i t i o n s t h e s u b j e c t ' s i d e o l o g y and i d e n t i t y i n an h i s t o r i c a l c o n t e x t . CHAPTER 1 END NOTES 1 D e s c a r t e s i s a r g u a b l y t h e o r i g i n o f modern m e t a p h y s i c a l p h i l o s o p h y , the i m p e r i a l i s m o f Reason, and t h e t r a n s c e n d e n c y o f man. The famous C a r t e s i a n cogito ergo sum e s t a b l i s h e d the axiom o f a u n i v e r s e made up. of mind and m a t e r i a l i n which o n l y man, through r e a s o n , c o u l d connect the two. From D e s c a r t e s onward human reason became t h e f o u n d a t i o n f o r an u n d e r s t a n d i n g of t h e w o r l d . 2 T h i s statement i s , of c o u r s e d e b a t a b l e , but i n making i t I am f o l l o w i n g a l i n e of argument p r e s e n t e d by Robert B. Pippen i n which he a s s e r t s t h a t the " a n t i - E n l i g h t e n m e n t " c o h o r t o f German academic c o n s e r v a t i v e s , "Jacob e t a l " , upon t h i n k i n g t h a t they, would f i n d an a l l y i n Kant f o r the " u n k n o w a b i l i t y o f t h i n g s " , "were t o be s o r e l y d i s a p p o i n t e d " . A c c o r d i n g t o Pippen, Kant's work p r e s e n t s "an i n t e r n a l c r i t i q u e by reason of i t s e l f , s i m u l t a n e o u s l y a s s e r t i n g the a b s o l u t e a u t h o r i t y o f r a t i o n a l i t y " ( 4 4 ) . 3 0 c t a v i o Paz has o b s e r v e d t h a t modern l i t e r a t u r e i s d e f i n e d by a s e r i e s of i n t e r r u p t i o n s and r e n o v a t i o n s . G e n e r a t i o n s of thought and a e s t h e t i c s a r e r a d i c a l l y r e p l a c e d by s u c c e e d i n g g e n e r a t i o n s . Paz asks h i m s e l f "^puede l l a m a r s e t r a d i c i o n a a q u e l l o que rompe e l v i n c u l o e i n t e r r u m p e l a c o n t i n u i d a d ? " ( 3 3 3 ) . Each g e n e r a t i o n r e p l a c e s the o l d t h r o u g h a t r a d i t i o n of c o n s t a n t r u p t u r e . Of p a r t i c u l a r i n t e r e s t i s Paz's statement t h a t "Los f u t u r i s t a s , l o s ' d a d a i s t a s , l o s u l t r a i s t a s , l o s s u r r e a l i s t a s , todos s a b i a n que su n e g a c i o n d e l r o m a n t i c i s m o e r a un a c t o r o m a n t i c o que se i n s c r i b i a en l a t r a d i c i o n i n a u g u r a d a por e l r o m a n t i c i s m o : l a t r a d i c i o n de l a r u p t u r a " . ( 4 2 3 ) 4 There , i s a t r a d i t i o n , b e g i n n i n g w i t h Hegel, Kant, S c h i l l e r and o t h e r s t o d e s c r i b e a e s t h e t i c s as the p h i l o s o p h y o f a r t , and t o p o r t r a y t h e " b e a u t y " of a r t as a " p r o d u c t o f t h e v e r y a l i e n a t i o n o f a r t from s o c i a l l i f e " ( E a g l e t o n 2 1 ) . T h i s view of a e s t h e t i c s supposes not o n l y t h e d e s i r e o f the a u t h o r t o a c h i e v e such an end, but a l s o the a b i l i t y t o do so. S o c i a l c o n t e n t , however, i s u n a v o i d a b l e because a u t h o r s are a l s o p r o d u c t s of t h e i r environment. The system o f language i t s e l f b e t r a y s any hermeneutic t e n d e n c i e s because i t i s composed, of s i g n s r e f l e c t i n g a s o c i a l and c u l t u r a l background o f h i s t o r i c a l l y d e v e l o p e d codes of meaning (Segre 8 ) . Even i f the a u t h o r were a b l e t o l i m i t t h e c o n t a m i n a t i o n o f i n t e r t e x t u a l i t y i n the t e x t , the r e a d e r would u n r a v e l t h e s i g n and i n t e r p r e t i t as a component of h i s o r her c u l t u r e . Cesare Segre views t h e t e x t as a " s i g n diaphragm" i n o r d e r t o e x p l a i n t h i s p r o c e s s : On one s i d e o f i t l i e s the a d d r e s s e r ' s commitment t o t r a n s l a t i n g meanings i n t o l i t e r a r y s i g n s ; on t h e o t h e r , t h e a d d r e s s e e ' s commitment t o r e c o v e r i n g meanings wrapped i n s i g n s . . . . What i s more, i t g i v e s r i s e t o s t r a t e g i e s which can be p l a n n e d and improved, as a g a i n s t the a d d r e s s e r ' s p r o c e d u r e s , which a r e a s y s t e m a t i c a l and f a r from c l e a r . ( 8 ) A e s t h e t i c s t h e n , i s u n e q u i v o c a l l y l i n k e d t o s o c i a l environment. P o e t r y , t o be a r t , must be a e s t h e t i c and "the v e r y n a t u r e o f a r t are i t s t i e s w i t h s o c i a l l i f e , w i t h the i d e a s o f the age and w i t h p o l i t i c a l c o n f l i c t " (Barabash 11). 5The p u b l i c a t i o n of a l i t e r a r y m a n i f e s t o i n d i c a t e s a d e s i r e on t h e p a r t o f t h e w r i t e r t o a c h i e v e a degree of i n f l u e n c e ' over h i s a u d i e n c e . I t promotes a s p e c i a l i n t e r e s t and e s t a b l i s h e s t h e p o l e m i c o f the group or i n d i v i d u a l a u t h o r , p a i n t e r or p r o d u c e r . Beyond the exposure o f a e s t h e t i c o p i n i o n , the l i t e r a r y m a n i f e s t o a l s o s e r v e s as a form o f s e l f - p r o m o t i o n and s e l f - l e g i t i m a t i o n . The p r o c e s s o f d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n i s a s e l f - c o n s c i o u s e f f o r t t o a c h i e v e p e r s o n a l r e c o g n i t i o n , and the g o a l of a l l l i t e r a r y m a n i f e s t o e s i s t o e s t a b l i s h d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n . Of e q u a l importance i s t h e c u l t i v a t i o n of an a u d i e n c e r e c e p t i v e t o t h i s d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n . Indeed, t h e proponents of a p a r t i c u l a r l i t e r a r y m a n i f e s t o are e x p e c t e d t o have a s t r o n g d e v o t i o n t o i t s c o n t e n t and d i r e c t i o n . T h i s s t r e n g t h e n s i the impact o f t h e l i t e r a r y m a n i f e s t o and f u r t h e r s t h e i n f l u e n c e of t h e group. See Johanna E. V o n d e l i n g , "The M a n i f e s t P r o f e s s i o n a l : M a n i f e s t o s and M o d e r n i s t L e g i t i m a t i o n , " College L i t e r a t u r e 27.2 (2000): 127-46, f o r an i n - d e p t h d i s c u s s i o n o f t h i s p r o c e s s . 6 The o b j e c t i v e o f the l i t e r a r y m a n i f e s t o e s , beyond t h e i r a c t u a l c o n t e n t , was t h e i r p u b l i c r e c o g n i t i o n and, t h e r e f o r e , t h e l e g i t i m a t i o n o f t h e i r p r o d u c e r . Thus, c o n s i d e r a b l e thought was put i n t o the a e s t h e t i c v a l u e o f the document, and the m a n i f e s t o was o f t e n more i n t e r e s t i n g , and more i m p o r t a n t , t h a n t h e subsequent p o e t r y or n a r r a t i v e t h a t a t t e m p t e d t o f u l f i l l t h e a e s t h e t i c v a l u e s i t o u t l i n e d . L i t e r a r y m a n i f e s t o e s o f t e n "became an a r t form i n t h e m s e l v e s , a model f o r p o l e m i c a l p r o v o c a t i o n and t e n d e n t i o u s w r i t i n g " ( V e r a n i , "The V a n g u a r d i a " 117). 7 T h i s c o n n e c t i o n i s by a s s o c i a t i o n o n l y because t h e l i t e r a r y m a n i f e s t o , as opposed t o the p o l i t i c a l m a n i f e s t o , i s s i m p l y a s h o r t d e c l a r a t i o n o f a e s t h e t i c p r i n c i p l e s which r a r e l y , i f e v e r , i n t e n d s t o s e r i o u s l y r e s t r u c t u r e s o c i a l c o n d i t i o n s . I t i s , i n l a r g e measure, a form o f p u b l i c i t y . The l i t e r a r y m a n i f e s t o i s not i n t e n d e d t o i n v o k e l a s t i n g change but t o s i m p l y s t a t e " l o o k a t me." A l t h o u g h t h e l i t e r a r y m a n i f e s t o r e l i e s on t h e l e g i t i m a c y p r o v i d e d by t h e word m a n i f e s t o , t h e r e i s l i t t l e resemblance between the s t r u c t u r e of t h e p o l i t i c a l m a n i f e s t o , such as the Communist M a n i f e s t o , and the l a r g e l y a e s t h e t i c c o n t e n t o f the l i t e r a r y m a n i f e s t o . See Claude Abastado's " I n t r o d u c t i o n a 1'analyse des m a n i f e s t e s " f o r a c o n c i s e d i s c u s s i o n o f the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f the m a n i f e s t o . 8 B e f o r e e s t a b l i s h i n g a new g u i d e l i n e f o r t h e l i t e r a r y m a n i f e s t o r e a d e r , the o l d g u i d e l i n e s are c h a l l e n g e d as o b s o l e t e , i r r e l e v a n t o r t a r n i s h e d . The o l d o r d e r must be d i s c a r d e d b e f o r e the new o r d e r can ta k e i t s p l a c e . I n t h i s sense, the l i t e r a r y m a n i f e s t o c l a i m s t o o f f e r a complete " r u p t u r e " w i t h the p a s t . I t i n t e n d s t o i n i t i a t e a complete " r e v o l u t i o n " and r e - r o u t e the a e s t h e t i c s o f the p r e v i o u s g e n e r a t i o n . I n g e n e r a l i t aims t o e s t a b l i s h a new " t r u t h " t o h i s t o r y and l i t e r a t u r e . But t h e f a c t t h a t i t aims t o i n c l u d e a " t r u t h " undermines t h e f o r c e of i t s r u p t u r e . Thus, the avant-garde l i t e r a r y m a n i f e s t o o f t e n promulgates the v e r y t h i n g i t c r i t i c i z e s . 9 See f o r example, Steven Connor's Postmodernist Culture: An Introduction to Theories of the Contemporary: "In t r y i n g t o un d e r s t a n d our contemporary s e l v e s i n the moment o f t h e p r e s e n t , t h e r e a r e no s a f e l y - d e t a c h e d o b s e r v a t i o n - p o s t s , not i n ' s c i e n c e ' ' r e l i g i o n ' o r even ' h i s t o r y ' " ( 5 ) . R e f e r e n c e t o t h e "end o f h i s t o r y " i s a l s o common throu g h o u t t h e work of Harvey and L y o t a r d . 10 See F r e d e r i c Jameson, "Postmodernism and Consumer S o c i e t y " i n which he d i s c u s s e s " i n d i v i d u a l i s m and p e r s o n a l i d e n t i t y " ( 1 7 ) as a t h i n g of t h e p a s t . 1 1 See Tom Bottomore's i n t r o d u c t i o n t o L a r r a i n ' s Concept of Ideology. 12 Joe McCarney notes t h a t Marx i s " u s u a l l y acknowledged as, h i s t o r i c a l l y , t h e most i m p o r t a n t i n f l u e n c e i n the f i e l d [of i d e o l o g y ] , w i t h the main r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r i n t r o d u c i n g the n o t i o n i n t o g e n e r a l i n t e l l e c t u a l c u r r e n c y " and, McCarney a l s o n o t e s , " l a t e r w r i t e r s have f e l t o b l i g e d t o d e f i n e t h e i r p o s i t i o n i n r e l a t i o n t o what t h e y t a k e t o be h i s " ( T h e Real World of Ideology v i i ) . 13 Marx g i v e s a p o i g n a n t example of t h i s p r a c t i c e i n Capital Vol. 1 i n the r e a c t i o n of the owners of dye f a c t o r i e s t o ' a law r e s t r i c t i n g the hours of work t o 10 h o u r s . The owners ap p e a l e d the law by o s t e n s i b l y s e r v i n g t h e b e s t i n t e r e s t s of t h e workers t o whom " i n the e x i s t i n g c o n d i t i o n s o f the t r a d e (at the time o f the c o t t o n f a m i n e ) i t was g r e a t l y t o the advantages of t h e o p e r a t i v e s t o work 12 hours p e r day, and make wages when t h e y c o u l d " . As a r e s u l t o f t h i s a p p e a l the new law was d e f e a t e d "by t h e v e r y Workers i n whose name i t p r e t e n d e d t o speak" (409). 1 4 As H e r b e r t Grabes has noted, any comment on h i s t o r y i s p r o b l e m a t i c because "one and t h e same word denotes b o t h p a s t events and the w r i t t e n a c c o u n t s o f them; e v e n t s p l a c e d on t h e same o n t o l o g i c a l l e v e l as our p r e s e n t l i f e w o r l d and subsequent r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s and e x p l a n a t i o n s of such e v e n t s " ( 1 2 6 ) . Because our p a s t i s r e c r e a t e d i n d i s c o u r s e we can n o r m a l l y c o n s i d e r t h e p a s t t o be t h e s i g n i f i e r , not t h e r e a l event. Even our memory of t h e p a s t i s , of c o u r s e , viewed t h r o u g h our own p e r s o n a l w o r l d - v i e w and t h u s h i s t o r y i t s e l f , o u t s i d e of d i s c o u r s e , i s q u i t e u n a t t a i n a b l e . Thus, t h i s t h e s i s i t s e l f v i ews developments i n V e n e z u e l a n l i t e r a t u r e and p o l i t i c s from a b i a s e d p e r s p e c t i v e . The h y p o t h e s i s o f t h i s t h e s i s , f o r example, depends on a l e g a c y of d e f i n i t i o n s of " M o d e r n i t y " and " P o s t m o d e r n i t y " d e v e l o p e d i n a w e s t e r n academic s e t t i n g . 1 5 See L i o n e l Grossman, " H i s t o r y as Decipherment: Romantic. H i s t o r i o g r a p h y and t h e D i s c o v e r y o f the O t h e r , " New L i t e r a r y History 18.1 (1986)': 23-57 16 Huyssen uses the term modernism. N o r t h American Modernism i s t h e d e s c r i p t o r used f o r an a e s t h e t i c d i r e c t i o n which o r i g i n a t e d a t the b e g i n n i n g o f t h e t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y and m a n i f e s t e d a penchant f o r the new, a r e j e c t i o n o f o r " r u p t u r e " w i t h the p a s t , . a n d a c e l e b r a t i o n of i n n o v a t i o n , n o v e l t y and the f u t u r e . Avant-garde a r t and l i t e r a t u r e , w i t h t h e i r c l e a r and c o n s t a n t d i s t a n c i n g from p r e v i o u s a e s t h e t i c models are examples o f modernism. The term postmodernism was used as e a r l y as 1934 by F e d e r i c o de Onis i n h i s Antologia de la poesia espanola e hispanoamericana. I n t h i s a n t h o l o g y the term r e f e r s t o t h e p o e t r y produced a t t h e end o f t h e Modernismo movement, but p r i o r t o t h e b e g i n n i n g o f U l t r a i s m o . He r e f e r s t o t h i s "postmodern" p o e t r y as "un modernismo r e f r e n a d o " ( 6 2 6 ) . 1 7 See Andreas Huyssen, "Mapping the Postmodern," Feminism/Postmodernism, ed. L i n d a J . N i c h o l s o n (New York: R o u t l e d g e , 1990) 234-77. 1 8 For the s u p p o r t f o r t h i s statement see Douglas K e l l n e r "Postmodernism as S o c i a l Theory: Some C h a l l e n g e s and Problems," i n Theory, Culture, Society, V o l . 5 (London:. Sage, 1988) 239-71. 1 9 See K e l l n e r (240) . 2 0 An example of t h i s episteme can be found i n the 1999 movie, The Matrix. In i t , t he main c h a r a c t e r , Neo, d i s c o v e r s t h a t h i s p e r c e p t i o n o f r e a l i t y has always been f a l s e , a s e r i e s of images p r o j e c t e d i n t o h i s mind by a c e n t r a l computer which r e g u l a t e s and o r d e r s t h i s p e r c e p t i o n . H i s i d e n t i t y i s based on a s p a t i a l and t e m p o r a l l i e , and h i s movements w i t h i n t h a t r e a l i t y are bounded by t h e r u l e s and p h y s i c a l laws o f a " r e a l " w o r l d u n t i l he becomes c o n s c i o u s of t h e f a c t t h a t t h i s " w o r l d " i s f a l s e and i s t h e r e f o r e not bound by p h y s i c a l laws. I t i s a simulacrum. T h i s make-believe w o r l d which seems more r e a l t h a n r e a l i t y , i n t h i s case the r e a l i t y t h a t Neo i s a s l a v e t o a computer t h a t i n t e n d s t o use him as a source o f power, f i t s n i c e l y i n t o B a u d r i l l a r d ' s p i c t u r e o f the pure simulacrum. 2 1 I have used t h i s word here i n S p a n i s h , i n i t a l i c s , t o o f f s e t any c o n f u s i o n between i t and t h e l a r g e r c o n t e x t o f M o d e r n i t y . W h i l e modernismo conforms t o the t o t a l i z i n g t h e o r i e s o f M o d e r n i t y , i t i s a l s o much more s p e c i f i c i n terms of t h e time and space o f i t s e x i s t e n c e . When modernism was the dominant l i t e r a r y f o r c e i n L a t i n A m e r i c a , t h e c u l t u r a l e l i t e s u p p o r t e d Symbolism and Parnassiani.sm t o t h e p o i n t o f d i s p l a c i n g " S p a n i s h n e s s " and e n t h r o n i n g "Frenchness"(Schulman 350). Modernismo i s c h a r a c t e r i z e d by i t s f o c u s on s t r i c t a e s t h e t i c g u i d e l i n e s aimed a t m a x i m i z i n g t h e beauty and rhythm o f language. Because o f t h i s approach, and the apparent e s o t e r i c n a t u r e o f i t s p o e t r y , i t has t r a d i t i o n a l l y been c o n s i d e r e d somewhat i d e o l o g i c a l l y d i s p a s s i o n a t e . The swans, peacocks and p r e c i o u s gems of the p o e t r y , such as t h a t of the most famous of t h e m o d e r n i s t s , Ruben D a r i o , a re examples o f t h e r e g a l and s o p h i s t i c a t e d imagery t h a t can t y p i c a l l y be found. W h i l e D a r i o , and t h e movement he r e p r e s e n t s a re o f t e n c o n s i d e r e d a p o l i t i c a l , and l i m i t e d t o a c a r e f u l l y i s o l a t e d a e s t h e t i c space, t h e v e r y a p o l i t i c a l n a t u r e o f t h e p o e t i c space o f t h e m o d e r n i s t s may r e v e a l i t s o p p o s i t e . N e l s o n O s o r i o e x p l a i n s t h a t E l Modernismo en su momento mas renovador y t r a s c e n d e n t e , s i b i e n es c i e r t o que s u r g i o con un anverso • e x p l i c i t o de p r i n c e s a s , r e y e s , p a l a c i o s y j a r d i n e s de ensueho, mantuvo siempre su r e v e r s o en e l recha z o a l o s mercaderes z a f i o s y e n r i q u e c i d o s y a l pragmatismo de l o s s e c t o r e s que moldeaban una s o c i e d a d degradada. En e s t e s e n t i d o , l a p o e t i c a d e l Modernismo en su momento renovador mantiene una v i n c u l a c i o n con l a r e a l i d a d s o c i a l a t r a v e s de e s t a a c t i t u d de r e c h a z o . La r e t o r i z a c i o n vendra cuando e l "mundo d e l ensueno" d e j e de s e r f u n c i o n de e s t e c o n t a c t o c r i t i c o . (Manifiestos, XIII) The m o d e r n i s t w r i t e r t a k e s p a i n s t o i s o l a t e a e s t h e t i c v a l u e s from the s o c i a l r e a l i t y . The m o d e r n i s t n e g a t i o n o f r e a l i t y may be, however, a form of c r i t i c i s m o f t h a t r e a l i t y . When D a r i o d e c l a r e s i n Palabras liminares "mas he a q u i que v e r e i s en mis v e r s o s p r i n c e s a s , r e y e s , cosas i m p e r i a l e s . . . ; q u e q u e r e i s ! , yo d e t e s t o l a v i d a y e l tiempo en que me t o c o n a c e r , " he i n d i c a t e s t h a t h i s p o e t r y i s a s e a r c h f o r some k i n d of p e r s o n a l U t o p i a . H i s es c a p i s m from r e a l i t y t h r o u g h p o e t r y i s a commentary on the n a t u r e o f h i s p e r s o n a l a t t i t u d e towards the. s o c i a l r e a l i t i e s t h a t s u r r o u n d him. Stephen M. Har t s t a t e s t h a t the common denominator o f m o d e r n i s t a w r i t e r s was t h e i r d u a l r o l e o f a r t i s t and j o u r n a l i s t . Hart d e s c r i b e s t h e m o d e r n i s t a w r i t e r s as t h e " d i p l o m a t s o f the l i t e r a r y Word, u s i n g smooth words t o r e l a y on t r u t h s d i c t a t e d t o them from on h i g h " (76). The acc e s s of p o e t s t o newspaper columns and l i t e r a r y r e v i e w s t h r o u g h t h e i r c a p a c i t y as j o u r n a l i s t s a l l o w e d them t h e unique o p p o r t u n i t y t o promote t h e i r own s e l f - i n t e r e s t s . The p r i n t - c a p i t a l i s m o f the newspaper p r e s s gave t h e m o d e r n i s t a w r i t e r s , as B e n e d i c t Anderson s u g g e s t s , "the t e c h n i c a l means f o r ' r e - p r e s e n t i n g ' t h e k i n d of imagined community t h a t i s t h e n a t i o n " (30). A n g e l Rama a l s o s u g g e s t s t h a t t h e l i t e r a t u r e of t h e n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y was a f o u n d a t i o n f o r the n a t i o n a l i d e n t i t y o f the young L a t i n American n a t i o n s ( L a c r i t i c a 67). The m o d e r n i s t a w r i t e r s used t h e means a v a i l a b l e t o them f o r t h e i r agenda of - s e l f - • empowerment and l e g i t i m a t i o n i n the n a t i o n a l a r e n a . A l t h o u g h t h e i n s p i r a t i o n f o r the m o d e r n i s t a movement was found i n France among the P a r n a s s i a n s and the S y m b o l i s t s , t h i s d i d not negate the p r o p a g a t i o n o f a n a t i o n a l i s t i c agenda. We can see, however, a pro m o t i o n of E u r o c e n t r i s m t h a t c o n t i n u e s L a t i n A m e r i c a ' s . i m i t a t i o n of a f o r e i g n M o d e r n i t y . We need o n l y t o remember D a r i o ' s i d e n t i f i c a t i o n o f the n a t i o n a l urban environment w i t h the g r e a t c o s m o p o l i t a n c i t i e s o f Europe. When D a r i o d e c l a r e s "Y Leon es hoy a mi como Roma o P a r i s " he imposes on t h e l o c a l environment h i s i d e a of the c o s m o p o l i t a n (and European) U t o p i a . 2 2 R. Got t r e f e r s t o Chavez as a " s e r i o u s r e v o l u t i o n a r y " i n s e v e r a l i n s t a n c e s because o f h i s r a d i c a l approach t o p o l i t i c a l changes which upset t h e e l i t i s t and c o r r u p t s t r u c t u r e o f government and t h e b u r e a u c r a c y . 2 3 By acceptance I mean t h a t by a g r e e i n g t o , and even embracing (through t h e i r a c c e ptance o f an i n c r e a s e i n t h e i r s o c i a l s t a t u s t h r o u g h j o b s and programs c r e a t e d w i t h the p e t r o d o l l a r s c o n t r o l l e d by t h e s t a t e ) t h i s o b v i o u s p r o m o t i o n o f s e l f - i n t e r e s t by t h e r u l i n g c l a s s , t h e s e p o e t s i n f a c t became " c o n s c i o u s " promoters o f b o u r g e o i s i d e o l o g y and p o s s i b l y even de facto members o f the p o l i t i c a l e l i t e . Chapter 2 The Aesthetic Orientation of Venezuela's Poetic Groups: Modernity and Autocracy At t h e end o f t h e n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y , V e n e z u e l a , l i k e , many c o u n t r i e s i n L a t i n A m e r i c a , e x p e r i e n c e d a c o n f u s i n g a r r a y o f p o l i t i c a l , economic and c u l t u r a l t e n s i o n s i n the a f t e r m a t h o f independence. The r e p u b l i c a n model had been chosen i n t h e hopes o f a c q u i r i n g t h e l e g i t i m a c y and c o h e s i o n t h i s system had p r o v i d e d t o t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s and France. However, t h i s p o l i t i c a l model presupposes c e r t a i n economic c o n d i t i o n s i n c l u d i n g i n d u s t r i a l development, e n t r e p r e n e u r i a l a c c e s s t o c a p i t a l , and a stead y r e i n v e s t m e n t of s u r p l u s c a p i t a l . I n Ven e z u e l a t h e l a n d h o l d e r s who made up the p o l i t i c a l e l i t e had no economic m o t i v a t i o n t o f a c i l i t a t e t h e s e c o n d i t i o n s . The p o l i t i c a l system was a p p l i e d w i t h o u t t h e c o r r e s p o n d i n g economic p r e r e q u i s i t e s . P o l i t i c a l and economic p r a c t i c e was d e s i g n e d t o p r o t e c t t h e dominance o f a f e u d a l system which s e r v e d t h e i n t e r e s t s of t h e e l i t e . A l t h o u g h Simon B o l i v a r ' s v i s i o n o f u n i f i c a t i o n had. not m a t e r i a l i z e d i n t h e r e g i o n , t h e e f f o r t he made c o n t i n u e d t o i n f l u e n c e a n a t i o n a l d e s i r e f o r the maintenance o f the d i v e r s e r e g i o n s - o f V e n e z u e l a under a c e n t r a l i z e d l e a d e r s h i p . U n f o r t u n a t e l y , t h e r e was l i t t l e consensus c o n c e r n i n g who was the r i g h t f u l c o n t r o l l e r o f t h a t l e a d e r s h i p . The independence of the c o u n t r y l e d t o a p r o t r a c t e d c o n f l i c t between the l a n d e d o l i g a r c h y and t h e l i b e r a l opponents of t h a t group. The o l i g a r c h y dominated t h i s c o n f l i c t and e v e n t u a l l y e r a d i c a t e d most of i t s o p p o s i t i o n w i t h t h e r i s e t o power of t h e a u t h o r i t a r i a n p r e s i d e n t Juan V i c e n t e Gomez i n 1908. The c o n f l i c t i n the p o l i t i c a l a rena was a l s o p r e s e n t i n l i t e r a r y s p h e r e s . At t h e end of t h e n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y the l i t e r a r y group. Cosmopolis embodied what has been r e f e r r e d t o as " e l e s p i r i t u de c o n f r o n t a c i o n l i t e r a r i a que en ese entonces c a r a c t e r i z a b a a [ V e n e z u e l a ] " ( S a n t a e l l a 19). The l i t e r a r y c o n f r o n t a t i o n r e f e r r e d t o here i s t h e debate between the need f o r a n a t i o n a l l i t e r a t u r e , r e p r e s e n t i n g V e n e z u e l a ' s " i d i o s y n c r a s i e s " and s o c i a l r e a l i t i e s , and t h e a t t r a c t i o n of u n i v e r s a l i s m and c o s m o p o l i t a n i s m . T h i s group p u b l i s h e d , i n a t y p e of l i t e r a r y m a n i f e s t o , a c o n v e r s a t i o n between t h r e e members t h a t h i g h l i g h t e d t h i s debate. The debate i s r e s t r i c t e d t o a d i s c u s s i o n o f the m e r i t s o f Modernismo, and t h e need t o d e v elop a r e g i o n a l l i t e r a t u r e . There i s c l e a r l y an a d m i r a t i o n f o r f o r e i g n models w h i l e r e g i o n a l i s m i s p r e s e n t e d almost as an o b l i g a t i o n . The i n t e n t o f Cosmopolis i s c l e a r l y not t o r e v o l u t i o n i z e t h e l i t e r a r y s t a t u s quo. In t h e m a n i f e s t o , one of the members o f the group, L u i s U r b a n e j a s t a t e s "La e v o l u c i o n ha comenzado, a n t e s de n o s o t r o s unos buenos t r a b a j a d o r e s d e j a r o n l o s c i m i e n t o s ... l a l e y d e l p r o g r e s o es n u e s t r a c o m p l i c e " ( S a n t a e l l a 2 2 ) . L i k e D a r i o , M a r t i and o t h e r s b e f o r e them, t h i s g r o u p . b u i l t upon t h e p a s t and made an e x p l i c i t e f f o r t t o a f f i r m i t s b e l i e f i n Reason and p r o g r e s s . Both r e g i o n a l i s m and c o s m o p o l i t a n i s m a f f i r m t h e essence o f man's a b i l i t y t o b u i l d upon the p a s t and e v o l v e p o s i t i v e l y . There i s a c l e a r o p t i m i s m on t h e p a r t of t h e s e p o e t s which c o n f i r m s the s t e a d y march toward t h e i r i d e a o f U t o p i a , which i s a i d e d by t h e work o f the w r i t e r . The m a n i f e s t o s t a t e s i n t h i s r e g a r d t h a t , En e s t e p e r i o d i c o , como l o i n d i c a su nombre, t e n d r a n a c o g i d a t o d a s l a s e s c u e l a s l i t e r a r i a s , de to d o s l o s p a i s e s . E l c o s m o p o l i t i s m o es una de l a s formas mas hermosas de l a c i v i l i z a c i o n pues que e l l a reconoce que e l hombre rompiendo con p r e o c u p a c i o n e s y p r e j u i c i o s , reemplaza l a i d e a de P a t r i a por l a de Humanidad. (23) The debate between c o s m o p o l i t a n i s m and r e g i o n a l i s m i n t h i s l i t e r a r y m a n i f e s t o r e f l e c t e d a s i m i l a r debate i n n a t i o n a l p o l i t i c s w i t h r e s p e c t t o t h e i s s u e s o f r a c e , i m m i g r a t i o n and c u l t u r e . In t h i s l i t e r a r y m a n i f e s t o , Pedro D o m i n i c i , one o f the group's members, e x t o l s t h e b e n e f i t s of i n t e r n a t i o n a l i n f l u e n c e i n l i t e r a t u r e , but he c o m p l a i n s w i t h o b v i o u s p e s s i m i s m t h a t "pueden c o n t a r s e l a s personas que l e e n un drama de Ibsen o una e s t r o f a de P a u l V e r l a i n e " ( 2 3 ) . He r e f e r s s p e c i f i c a l l y t o the b e n e f i t o f a European t r a n s n a t i o n a l i n f l u e n c e . I n d o i n g so he r e v e a l s h i s own f e e l i n g s o f m a r g i n a l i t y w i t h r e s p e c t t o the European example. L i k e w i s e , h i s f a i l u r e t o mention o t h e r non-European i n f l u e n c e s i n a p o s i t i v e l i g h t p o s i t i o n s t h o s e i n f l u e n c e s i n t h e r e a l m of " o t h e r " as w e l l . The i m p l i c a t i o n i s t h a t the n a t i o n a l l i t e r a t u r e o f V e n e z u e l a , l i k e t h e l i t e r a t u r e • of o t h e r n a t i o n s , r e q u i r e s the i n p u t of a European p a t t e r n t o e v o l v e w i t h a e s t h e t i c s u c c e s s . T h i s i d e a echoes a dominant c u l t u r a l and e t h n i c b i a s i n t h e i n t e l l e c t u a l and p o l i t i c a l e l i t e . The p u b l i c debate on i m m i g r a t i o n and r a c e i n V e n e z u e l a at t h e end of t h e n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y r e v e a l s t h e European-c e n t e r e d c u l t u r a l a s p i r a t i o n s - o f t h e dominant c l a s s a t t h a t t i m e . The r u l i n g e l i t e hoped t h a t by s t i m u l a t i n g i m m i g r a t i o n from Europe, w h i l e p r e v e n t i n g i t from Guayana, Jamaica and the A n t i l l e s , V e n e z u e l a would b e n e f i t , as A r g e n t i n a and B r a z i l t h e o r e t i c a l l y had t h r o u g h s i m i l a r r a c i s t v i e w s , from a " w h i t e n i n g " o f the p o p u l a t i o n . T h i s was seen t o be a l e g i t i m a t e form of i m p r o v i n g the m o r a l c h a r a c t e r of t h e n a t i o n . T h i s a t t i t u d e , common th r o u g h o u t the l a s t h a l f o f the c e n t u r y f o l l o w i n g the e m a n c i p a t i o n of s l a v e s i n 1854, l e d t o t h e e v e n t u a l p r o h i b i t i o n by law, on J u l y 20, 1891, o f i m m i g r a t i o n by i n d i v i d u a l s o f A s i a n or b l a c k a n c e s t r y (Wright 62). T h i s t u r n of e v e n t s had i t s r o o t s i n the s t r o n g P o s i t i v i s m promoted by the i n t e l l e c t u a l c l a s s . The p o s i t i v i s t s c h o o l of thought had been i n t r o d u c e d i n the 1870s and i n t e l l e c t u a l c u r r e n t s soon a f t e r w a r d s embraced a b e l i e f i n e v o l u t i o n , s o c i a l d e t e r m i n i s m and s c i e n c e . The r a p i d a c c e p t a n c e of t h e s e . b e l i e f s were, a c c o r d i n g t o W r i g h t , t h e r e s u l t o f a l a c k o f s e r i o u s C h r i s t i a n i n s t i t u t i o n s w hich had checked t h e growth o f P o s i t i v i s m i n o t h e r a r e a s (53). The f a i t h i n i n t e g r a l s c i e n c e , which o r g a n i z e s " f a i t h and r e a s o n , r e l i g i o n and s c i e n c e " 1 , as t h e key t o s o c i a l r e o r g a n i z a t i o n was promoted by t h e s e s o c i a l s c i e n t i s t s . The p o s i t i v i s t s were a b l e t o e x e r t c o n s i d e r a b l e i n f l u e n c e because t h e i r views were c o n s i s t e n t w i t h the agenda of the r u l i n g c l a s s . As t h e c e n t u r y p r o g r e s s e d and t h e academies of m e d i c i n e , s c i e n c e and s o c i o l o g y d e v e l o p e d i n V e n e z u e l a , P o s i t i v i s m came t o dominate i n t e l l e c t u a l thought and " i n t h e i r e f f o r t s t o u n d e r s t a n d n a t i o n a l development, t h e p o s i t i v i s t s soon equated w h i t e r a c e w i t h p r o g r e s s " ( W r i g h t 5 3 ) . In the m a n i f e s t o o f Cosmopolis, U r b a n e j a e x p r e s s e s a d e s i r e t o promote a r e g i o n a l a e s t h e t i c by e x c l a i m i n g " d i a b l o s - a d m i t o e l programa siempre que v i b r e en e l l a not a c r i o l l a " ( 2 4 ) . He a c c e p t s the argument i n f a v o r of c o s m o p o l i t a n i s m , which C o l l , the t h i r d member of t h e group, p r e s e n t s as a u n i f i c a t i o n o f d i v e r s e l i t e r a t u r e s , as l o n g as i t stems from r e g i o n a l s o u r c e s . W h i l e t h i s d e c l a r a t i o n seems t o open the p o s s i b i l i t y o f p l u r a l i t y , i t was i n f a c t l i m i t e d o n l y t o an e l i t i s t view o f the " c r i o l l o " element. Urbaneja was not s u g g e s t i n g an a l t e r a t i o n o f t h e P o s i t i v i s t d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f the moment; he was me r e l y s u g g e s t i n g t h a t more l o c a l c o l o u r be added f o r a e s t h e t i c d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n . C o s m o p o l i t a n i s m was the main p r o p o s a l o f the m a n i f e s t o because i t i n c o r p o r a t e d t h a t which was c o n s i d e r e d s u p e r i o r ; t h e c u l t u r e o f t h e c e n t r e . G e r a r d A c h i n g remarks on t h i s c o n d i t i o n among t h e promoters of n a t i o n a l l i t e r a t u r e d u r i n g t h i s p e r i o d : [ w r i t e r s ] seem o b l i g e d t o " d e p a r t from" the n a t i o n a l community i n o r d e r t o d e f i n e the n a t i o n from o u t s i d e i t s b o r d e r s . T h i s a b i l i t y t o d e f i n e from w i t h o u t i s p r e c i s e l y what empowered t h e r e g i o n ' s r u l i n g c l a s s e s w i t h i n t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e c o u n t r i e s . ( 1 4 2 ) The group Cosmopolis a t t e m p t s t o embrace n a t i o n a l and t r a n s n a t i o n a l spaces s i m u l t a n e o u s l y by s u g g e s t i n g t h a t r e g i o n a l i s m p l a y an i n t r i c a t e p a r t i n u n i v e r s a l a r t , but i t i s c l e a r t h a t t h e n a t i o n a l space h o l d s t h e i n f e r i o r p o s i t i o n . T h i s was not j u s t an a e s t h e t i c b e l i e f : i t was a r e f l e c t i o n o f a n a t i o n a l c u l t u r a l s i t u a t i o n . An example can be found i n W r i g h t ' s t r a n s c r i p t i o n of t h e o p i n i o n o f the V e nezuelan M i n i s t e r o f Development, J a c i n t o Reyeno Pachano, when he s t a t e s t h a t " i n almost a l l of t h e c o u n t r i e s of t h e w o r l d , the f o r e i g n e r i s i n i n f e r i o r c o n d i t i o n t o t h e n a t i o n a l : i n V e n e z u e l a , as i n many s e c t i o n s of South A m e r i c a , under c e r t a i n r e s p e c t s , the n a t i o n a l i s i n f e r i o r t h e f o r e i g n e r " (61). Thus, J a v i e r L a s a r t e V a l c a r c e l ' s d e c l a r a t i o n t h a t "Cosmopolis abre l a i d e a de una modernidad heterogenea y d e m o c r a t i c a " ( 1 4 6 ) must be u n d e r s t o o d c o n d i t i o n a l l y . I t can o n l y be c o n s i d e r e d heterogeneous and d e m o c r a t i c w i t h i n the c o n f i n e s o f i t s h i s t o r i c a l c i r c u m s t a n c e . The i d e a of M o d e r n i t y opened by t h i s group was, as our q u o t a t i o n from Marx i n the p r e v i o u s c h a p t e r s u g g e s t s , an example o f i d e a s b e i n g " n o t h i n g more t h a n the i d e a l . e x p r e s s i o n o f t h e dominant m a t e r i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s , the dominant m a t e r i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s grasped as i d e a s " ( E a g l e t o n 2 4 ) . The debate on r e g i o n a l i s m and c o s m o p o l i t a n i s m i n t h i s group i s a r e f l e c t i o n o f the dominant p o l i t i c a l i d e o l o g y o f the t i m e . W h i l e o s t e n s i b l y d e b a t i n g a e s t h e t i c p r i n c i p l e s , t h e t h r e e members o f t h i s group r e v e a l t h e i r own c u l t u r a l l y d e t e r m i n e d p o s i t i o n as spokesmen f o r t h a t i d e o l o g y . An a d m i r a t i o n f o r f o r e i g n i n f l u e n c e s , as l o n g as t h e y were " w h i t e " , and a c e n t r a l i z e d view o f what c o n s t i t u t e d r e g i o n a l , i s r e v e a l e d by o b s e r v i n g the group's p o s i t i o n i n terms of c l a s s s t r u g g l e . From t h e moment o f p o l i t i c a l independence i n L a t i n American c o u n t r i e s , l i t e r a t u r e has been used t o r e i n f o r c e n a t i o n a l i s m , but i t has o f t e n been based on i m p o r t e d a e s t h e t i c s t a n d a r d s . 2 P o l i t i c a l independence gave new impetus t o w r i t e r s t o c r e a t e a l i t e r a t u r e which r e f l e c t e d the autonomy of t h e r e g i o n , b u t , p a r a d o x i c a l l y , t h i s autonomy was e x p r e s s e d i n kee p i n g w i t h p o p u l a r European t r e n d s . L i t e r a t u r e was " n a t i o n a l i z e d " and t r e a t e d as c u l t u r a l l y and r e g i o n a l l y s p e c i f i c i n o r d e r t o l e n d credence t o c o n c u r r e n t p o l i t i c a l and economic moves towards autonomy. L i k e the economic and p o l i t i c a l a c t i o n s , however, l i t e r a t u r e was unable t o escape European and N o r t h American s t a n d a r d s . These a r e a s were t h e p o l i t i c a l , economic and c u l t u r a l y a r d s t i c k s f o r L a t i n American competence and p o t e n t i a l . A n g e l Rama obs e r v e s t h a t the n a t i o n a l i z a t i o n o f l i t e r a t u r e d u r i n g t h e a f t e r m a t h o f p o l i t i c a l independence i s not p e c u l i a r t o L a t i n American c o u n t r i e s . C i t i n g examples from N o r t h America and A f r i c a , Rama e x p l a i n s t h a t d u r i n g the f o r m a t i o n o f new c o u n t r i e s , . " l a l i t e r a t u r a se fo r m u l a i n i c i a l m e n t e como una p a r t e , pequena aunque d i s t i n g u i d a , de l a c o n s t r u c c i o n de l a n a c i o n a l i d a d " ( L a C r i t i c a de la Cultura 67). But a n y t h i n g outs'ide t h e c e n t e r o f c u l t u r a l dominance was judged a c c o r d i n g t o i t s c o n f o r m i t y t o the a e s t h e t i c r u l e s of t h e c e n t r e . A n g e l Rama suggests t h a t a l l i n t e l l e c t u a l s i n t h e post-independence p e r i o d r e l i e d on European d o c t r i n e s t o c r e a t e a " n a t i o n a l c o n s c i e n c e " (67). A c c o r d i n g t o Rama, i t was p o s s i b l e t o d i s t i n g u i s h two groups o f i n t e l l e c t u a l s . On one hand t h e r e were t h o s e who "maximizaron l a p o s i b i l i d a d r enovadora y por l o t a n t o c o n f i a r o n en l a a p l i c a c i o n de programas europeos t a l como se h a b i a n formulado en l a s m e t r o p o l i s , " and on t h e o t h e r hand tho s e who " r e l a t i v i z a r o n o m i n i m i z a r o n esa p o s i b i l i d a d en a t e n c i o n a l a heterogenea c o m p o s i c i o n de l a c i u d a d a n i a y a sus d i v e r s o s n i v e l e s de e d u c a c i o n " ( 6 7 ) . Rama c o n s i d e r s the f i r s t group t o be " i d e a l i s t a s y u t o p i c o s " and t h e second group t o be " c a u t o s y e q u i l i b r a d o s " ( 6 7 ) . I n b oth cases the s u c c e s s of the p r o j e c t depended on adherence t o t h e n a t i o n a l hegemonic c e n t e r . N a t i o n a l l i t e r a t u r e was c o n s i d e r e d n a t i o n a l when i t promoted the i n t e r e s t s of t h e r u l i n g c l a s s . The m a n i f e s t o Charloteo does not t a k e an a d v e r s a r i a l p o s i t i o n towards the incumbent l i t e r a r y f o r c e s i n V e n e z u e l a , nor does i t attempt t o a d j u s t a e s t h e t i c s i n a manner t h a t would c r e a t e antagonism on t h e p a r t o f the r u l i n g c l a s s . The d i s c u s s i o n between the t h r e e a u t h o r s l e a d s t o t h e f e e l i n g t h a t t h e o p i n i o n s c o n t a i n e d i n the m a n i f e s t o conform t o the g e n e r a l c u l t u r a l o p i n i o n of t h e c e n t r e . F o r e i g n i n f l u e n c e i s admired as l o n g as i t i s European, and the n a t i o n a l i d e n t i t y i s c o n s i d e r e d i n f e r i o r but p r o g r e s s i n g toward a " c i v i l i z e d " i d e a l . The group m e r i t s a t t e n t i o n here not o n l y as the f o r e r u n n e r o f a l i t e r a r y t r a d i t i o n i n V e n e z u e l a , the f o r m a t i o n o f p o e t i c groups, but a l s o as an example of t h e i n t e l l e c t u a l e l i t e as l o u d s p e a k e r and promoter o f the hegemonic c e n t e r . When the n a t i o n a l l i t e r a t u r e does not s u p p o r t the s o l i d a r i t y of t h e dominant c l a s s , i t o f t e n meets w i t h r e s i s t a n c e from t h a t c l a s s . We can see an example of t h i s e f f e c t i n t h e emergence of V e n e z u e l a ' s f i r s t " r e v o l u t i o n a r y " p o e t i c group i n the t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y : Valvula. The group Valvula emerged i n Ven e z u e l a d u r i n g a p e r i o d o f h i g h l y c e n t r a l i z e d and a u t h o r i t a r i a n r u l e . From the b e g i n n i n g of the t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y t h e dominant p o l i t i c a l a c t o r s had made an e f f o r t t o c o n s o l i d a t e t h e i r power and d r i v e out t h e r e g i o n a l caciques. Between 1900 and 1935 t h e p o l i t i c a l s i t u a t i o n was c h a r a c t e r i z e d by the d i c t a t o r i a l r u l e o f two key f i g u r e s : C i p r i a n o C a s t r o from 1900 t o 1908 and the strong-arm l e a d e r Juan V i c e n t e Gomez from 1908 t o 1935. The move towards an e f f e c t i v e c e n t r a l i z e d government began w i t h C a s t r o ' s regime and was s o l i d i f i e d by the end o f Gomez's r u l e . Gomez t i r e l e s s l y undermined the power o f r e g i o n a l l e a d e r s and.through s u p p r e s s i o n and v i o l e n c e began t o d i s m a n t l e t h e i r i n f l u e n c e . T h i s was a i d e d by a r i s e i n p e t r o l e u m income, which d i l u t e d the r e l a t i v e w e a l t h o f t h e a g r i c u l t u r a l s e c t o r t h a t s u p p o r t e d some r e g i o n a l l e a d e r s . W h i l e t h i s c o n s o l i d a t e d the c e n t r a l i z e d a u t o c r a t i c power, i t a l s o f a c i l i t a t e d the p r o c e s s of d e m o c r a t i z a t i o n by d i m i n i s h i n g r u r a l r i g h t - w i n g o p p o s i t i o n t o p o l i t i c a l r e f o r m . 3 By the 1920s, Gomez's str o n g - a r m t a c t i c s had begun t o i n c i t e d i r e c t o p p o s i t i o n from i n t e l l e c t u a l s , s t u d e n t s , and o t h e r groups i m p a t i e n t f o r t h e a r r i v a l o f democracy. In 1928 t h e " F e d e r a c i o n de E s t u d i a n t e s de V e n e z u e l a " d e c i d e d t o c e l e b r a t e "Student Week" and t h e y chose the a n n i v e r s a r y of the B a t a l l a de La V i c t o r i a on t h e 12 of Febuary, 1928 t o i n i t i a t e t h e c e l e b r a t i o n . V a r i o u s e v e n t s were p l a n n e d , i n c l u d i n g marches, speeches, and s o c i a l a c t i v i t i e s . At t h e same t i m e as t h e s e events were b e i n g p l a n n e d , a group o f young Venezuelan w r i t e r s adopted t h e i d e a of a e s t h e t i c r e v o l u t i o n which was a l r e a d y i n f u l l swing i n Europe and the r e s t o f the A m e r i c a s . These w r i t e r s formed a l i t e r a r y group and produced the l i t e r a r y magazine, Valvula. A l t h o u g h o n l y one i s s u e o f Valvula was p u b l i s h e d , i t p r o v e d t o be the b i r t h p l a c e o f the " r e v o l u t i o n a r y " p o e t i c m a n i f e s t o which would become a t r a d i t i o n among the Venezuelan l i t e r a r y groups o f the t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y . As t h e f e s t i v i t i e s c e l e b r a t i n g s t u d e n t week p r o g r e s s e d , a number of events o c c u r r e d which s t i m u l a t e d a n e g a t i v e response from the incumbent government. In a speech a t the Panteon N a c i o n a l , J o v i t o V i l l a l b a a l l u d e d t o the need t o r e f o r m t h e p o l i t i c a l c o n d i t i o n o f t h e c o u n t r y . He i n c i t e d the u n i v e r s i t y s t u d e n t s t o l e a d t h e way i n r e o r g a n i z i n g V e n e z u e l a ' s " n a t i o n a l l i f e " because " o n l y i n the u n i v e r s i t y , where the t r u e V e n e z u e l a has been i n r e f u g e f o r y e a r s , can be heard a g a i n the r e b e l c r i e s o f freedom"(Martz, "Venezuela's G e n e r a t i o n " 18). Romulo B e t a n c o u r t a l s o made a speech c r i t i c i z i n g t h e p o l i t i c a l s i t u a t i o n o f t h e day. These speeches, a l o n g w i t h t h e r e c i t a l of i n c e n d i a r y , p o l i t i c a l l y m o t i v a t e d poems, alarmed the Gomez regime and s e v e r a l p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i s t s were, a r r e s t e d and i n c a r c e r a t e d . The s t u d e n t s were s e n t t o t h e C a s t i l l o de P u e r t o C a b e l l o , a l a r g e j a i l on the Venezuelan c o a s t . P u b l i c r e a c t i o n a g a i n s t the government was m a n i f e s t e d t h r o u g h p u b l i c p r o t e s t s , b u s i n e s s c l o s u r e s , s t r i k e s and d e m o n s t r a t i o n s . Gomez succumbed t o t h e p r e s s u r e of t h e p r o t e s t s , and most o f t h e s t u d e n t s were r e l e a s e d from j a i l a f t e r o n l y e l e v e n days. W h i l e i n j a i l , however, the s t u d e n t s had the o p p o r t u n i t y t o d e v e l o p a r a p p o r t w i t h many p o l i t i c a l d i s s i d e n t s i n c a r c e r a t e d by Gomez, and t h e y were m o t i v a t e d t o f i g h t a g a i n s t the p o l i t i c a l s t r o n g h o l d o f the d i c t a t o r . I n a d d i t i o n t o t h e s t u d e n t e f f o r t s t o oppose t h e government o f Gomez, t h e r e was an armed i n s u r r e c t i o n d u r i n g 1928. On A p r i l 20 t h' 1928 G e n e r a l Gabaldon i n i t i a t e d a coup which was u l t i m a t e l y c r u s h e d by Gomez. A l t h o u g h t h e f a i l u r e of t h e anti-Gomez movements of 1928. d i s c o u r a g e d s e d i t i o n among p o l i t i c a l d i s s i d e n t s , the r o o t s o f r e b e l l i o n were f i r m l y e n t r e n c h e d by the end o f t h i s w atershed y e a r . Juan B. Oropeza o b s e r v e s t h a t E l de 1928 c o n s t i t u y e , por m u l t i p l e s r a z o n e s , un ano c r u c i a l en l a v i d a de l a n a c i o n . Por p r i m e r a vez se r e v e l a , d u r a n t e l o s movidos sucesos que l o j a l o n a n , l a e x i s t e n c i a de una f u e r z a que h a s f a entonces h a b i a e s t a d o ausente en l a d i n a m i c a s o c i a l . ( C u a t r o Siglos 86j I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g t o compare the e s c a l a t i o n of p o l i t i c a l p r o t e s t i n the sequence of e v e n t s , w i t h the o b s e r v a t i o n o f F r a n c i s c o Laguado Jaime i n F e b r u a r y 1928 r e g a r d i n g the m a n i f e s t o of the l i t e r a r y group, Valvula. Laguado Jaime p o s t u l a t e s i n h i s a r t i c l e i n Cuba's El Pais, t h a t t h e l i t e r a r y r e b e l l i o n o f Valvula foreshadows p o l i t i c a l u n r e s t . S t r a n g e l y enough, h i s p r e d i c t i o n s i n F e b r u a r y 1928 seem t o c o r r e s p o n d w i t h r e m a r k a b l e p r e c i s i o n t o t h e e v e nts w h i c h u n f o l d t h r o u g h o u t the y e a r 4 . I t i s a l s o i n t e r e s t i n g t o note t h a t t h e l i t e r a r y r e b e l l i o n p r o p o s e d by t h i s group seeks new methods of a p p l y i n g the p r i n c i p l e o f Reason i n h e r i t e d from the E n l i g h t e n m e n t . Oropeza o b s e r v e s t h a t the new p o ets o p e r a t e d w i t h i n the s t r u c t u r e of M o d e r n i t y i n the hope t h a t t h e i r own v e r s i o n o f " t r u t h " would p r e v a i l i n s p i t e o f the c l i m a t e o f o p p o s i t i o n : Una nueva G e n e r a c i o n , n a c i d a d e l c l i m a de l a D i c t a d u r a , a l c a n z a l a edad de l a r a z o n y p l a n t e a una s e r i e de i n t e r r o g a n t e s p a r a l o s c u a l e s no hay r e s p u e s t a p o s i b l e en una V e n e z u e l a que aparece c u a l e s t u v i e r a rodeada por una m u r a l l a c h i n a , impermeable a l a s c o r r i e n t e s s o c i a l e s y p o l i t i c a s que estremecen e l mundo e n t e r o . Pero l a f u e r z a de e s t a s es t a l que sus embates se r e v e l a n capaces de f i l t r a r s e aun a t r a v e s de l a espesa c e n s u r a que se l a i n t e r p o n e , y un poco a t i e n t a s , l a c o n c i e n c i a de l a n a c i o n se pone en marcha h a c i a l a r e c u p e r a c i o n de su d e s t i n e {Cuatro Siglos 86) C u l t u r a l p r o d u c t i o n i n V e n e z u e l a was r e p r e s s e d i n the second decade o f the t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y . B e a t r i z Gonzalez a t t r i b u t e s t h i s d i r e c t l y t o the Gomez regime: Las c o n d i c i o n e s r e i n a n t e s en Ve n e z u e l a ( l a p r o l o n g a d a d i c t a d u r a de Juan V i c e n t e Gomez, que r e p r i m i o toda c l a s e de m a n i f e s t a c i o n e s t a n t o p o l i t i c o - s o c i a l e s como c u l t u r a l e s , ademas de mantener a l p a i s a l e t a r g a d o en un ambiente dominantemente r u r a l ) d e t e r m i n a r o n un d e s f a s e en e l p r o c e s o de r e n o v a c i o n l i t e r a r i o . ( 9 4 ) T h i s s i t u a t i o n has l e d some i n t e l l e c t u a l s , , such as Mariano P i c o n S a l a s , t o d e c l a r e t h a t t h e t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y d i d not' b e g i n u n t i l 1935, a f t e r t h e death o f Gomez.. A c c o r d i n g t o L e o n i d a s M o r a l e s Toro, Venezuelan p o e t i c movements were a t l e a s t twenty y e a r s b e h i n d the r e s t of \ L a t i n A m e r i c a 5 . In the second decade o f the. t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y , w h i l e p o ets o u t s i d e of V e n e z u e l a were b e g i n n i n g t o ta k e n o t i c e o f European vanguard movements, and adapt them t o t h e i r own r e g i o n , V e n e z u e l a n p o e t s . c o n t i n u e d t o embrace Modernismo. P o e t i c groups, such as t h e " g e n e r a c i o n d e l 18" which formed d u r i n g t h e f i r s t decade o f t h e Gomez regime, may have been c o n s c i o u s o f the need t o break from t h e i r p r e d e c e s s o r s b u t , as Jo s e Ramon Medina o b s e r v e s , "es o b v i o que en.su m a y o r i a l o s p o e t a s d e l 18 d e r i v a n d e l modernismo, se f o r j a r o n en e l y se n u t r i e r o n de sus i n f l u e n c i a s " ( 2 7 ) . A l t h o u g h the d e s i r e f o r i n n o v a t i o n was p r e s e n t , t h e p r o c e s s was impeded by a r e p r e s s i v e f o r c e which " h a r i a que l a c u l t u r a se manejara con mayor c a u t e l a " ( L a s a r t e 147). Thus, the c o n d i t i o n s o f M o d e r n i t y which had shaped the f o r m a t i o n of Venezuelan l i t e r a t u r e up t o t h i s p o i n t were r e i n f o r c e d by t h e p o l i t i c a l c l i m a t e . The e x i s t e n c e of a u t h o r i t a r i a n r u l e not o n l y l i m i t e d , t h r o u g h f e a r o f r e p r i s a l s , the a e s t h e t i c d i r e c t i o n o f new p o e t s , i t a l s o m a i n t a i n e d a b i p o l a r s t r u g g l e between the p o l i t i c a l e l i t e s at the c e n t e r and the i n t e l l e c t u a l e l i t e s a t the p e r i p h e r y of power. T h i s was not a c l a s s s t r u g g l e , but s i m p l y a s t r u g g l e f o r dominance w i t h i n d i f f e r e n t f a c t i o n s o f t h e same c l a s s . Both s i d e s used P o s i t i v i s m t o defend t h e i r own p o s i t i o n s . T r u l y m a r g i n a l i z e d s e c t o r s , such as the w o r k i n g c l a s s , had no v i s i b l e v o i c e i n n a t i o n a l l i t e r a t u r e . Even groups which evoked t h e w r a t h o f t h e p o l i t i c a l e l i t e , such as Valvula which was almost i m m e d i a t e l y shut down by the Gomez regime, i n f a c t p r o p a g a t e d an e l i t i s t v i s i o n o f t h e " t r u t h " based on c o n c e p t s o f i n d i v i d u a l s e l f - d e t e r m i n a t i o n which had i t s r o o t s i n the E n l i g h t e n m e n t . An example can be found i n the p r e s e n t a t i o n o f the s u b j e c t i n t h e p o e t r y o f A n t o n i o A r r a i z , one o f the f o u n d i n g members of Valvula. A n t o n i o A r r a i z p u b l i s h e d "Aspero" i n 1924 when the l i t e r a r y norm i n V e n e z u e l a was s t i l l Modernismo. The poem bre a k s c o m p l e t e l y from t h e p o e t i c norm, r e p r e s e n t e d by Venezuelan modernista w r i t e r s such as Andres E l o y B l a n c o . I t embraced a new k i n d o f a e s t h e t i c which d i d not shy away from the h a r s h n e s s of r e a l i t y . I t r e p r e s e n t e d the u n a t t r a c t i v e , d i s s o n a n t , i r r e v e r e n t and d i s o r d e r e d s i d e o f the w o r l d . In the p o e t r y of A n t o n i o A r r a i z we can observe the communicative f u n c t i o n o f i t s a e s t h e t i c c o m p o s i t i o n as a r e i n f o r c e m e n t o f i d e n t i t y development. In "America", f o r example, the r o o t s of c u l t u r a l i d e n t i t y a r e p r e s e n t e d i n an ode t o p r e h i s t o r i c A m erica, " s i n e s p a n o l e s y s i n c r i s t i a n i s m o " ( 5 ) . Here A r r a i z d e v e l o p s a n o s t a l g i a f o r p r e h i s t o r i c America which does not r o m a n t i c i z e t h e r e a l i t y o f n a t u r e : Hay un p r e c i s o momento En que a l g o f a t a l F l o t a en l a s e l v a ; A l g o i n q u i e t a n t e y s e c r e t o ; Es e l hambre,(8) A r r a i z does not r e s u r r e c t the p a s t , as d i d the Modernistas " t h r o u g h f l i g h t s of f a n c y as much as t h r o u g h h i s t o r i c a l f a c t " (Jrade 9 ) . In Aspero, t h e a e s t h e t i c s o f n a t u r e a re not overwhelmed by t h e p u r s u i t o f beauty. Nature here i s p r e s e n t e d as a c h a l l e n g e t o t h e comfort o f man: E l s o l me c a i a de p i a n o Quemandome l a nuca (...) y, b a j o e l s o l i n c l e m e n t e , caminaba. (8) The s u b j e c t f a c e s t h e c h a l l e n g e o f n a t u r e by r e s o r t i n g t o h i s own s e l f - d e t e r m i n a t i o n and r e s i l i e n c e . E x t e r n a l d i f f i c u l t i e s are overcome t h r o u g h a s u p e r i o r m e n t a l a t t i t u d e which f o c u s e s on a u n i v e r s a l t r u t h . The i d e n t i t y of t h e n a r r a t o r i s t i e d t o h i s need t o respond t o the i n e q u i t i e s o f h i s e x i s t e n c e . In " E l Hermano Muerto" the s u b j e c t ' s s t r u g g l e f o r power i s e v i d e n t : Lentamente Voy haciendome grande, Mas f u e r t e , mas l i s t o , Esperando que l l e g u e Lo que ha de l l e g a r . Llamamiento l e j a n o de mi r a z a , M i s i o n que reclama mi v i d a . (49) In t h i s poem the s u b j e c t demonstrates a b e l i e f i n c o n t i n u a l improvement and p r o g r e s s . The s u b j e c t i s p r e p a r i n g f o r a " r e v o l u t i o n " which w i l l r e l y on the power and s t r e n g t h o f the i n d i v i d u a l ' s e f f o r t . Success i s a f u n c t i o n o f the i n d i v i d u a l ' s s t r e n g t h . The f u n c t i o n o f h i s t o r y i s ob s e r v e d i n t he v e r s e " l l a m a m i e n t o l e j a n o de mi r a z a " . There i s an atmosphere o f e v o l u t i o n and memory which feeds t h e "es s e n c e " o f the s u b j e c t . The hope of t h e s u b j e c t f o r t h e c o n t e n t o f t h i s " e s s e n c e " i s r e v e a l e d i n the poem " E x a l t a c i o n " as a g o d - l i k e a b i l i t y t o f e e l : Y como un s e r extrahumano Como un d i o s , Como un d i o s eternamente s e d i e n t o Q u i e r o r e i r y c a n t a r y s u f r i r . (18) The n a r r a t o r ' s d e s i r e f o r the m a t e r i a l i z a t i o n of t h i s g o d - l i k e q u a l i t y r e v e a l s h i s s e a r c h f o r a u n i v e r s a l " t r u t h " . I n t h i s c o l l e c t i o n o f p o e t r y we can see a marked change i n s t y l e and a e s t h e t i c s when compared t o t h e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f Modernismo, but t h e r e i s a n o t a b l e adherence t o M o d e r n i t y ' s p r i n c i p l e s w i t h r e s p e c t t o the tr e a t m e n t o f s u b j e c t and h i s t o r y . The s e a r c h f o r p e r f e c t i o n i s abandoned i n f a v o r o f a s e a r c h f o r t h e t r u t h . I n "La Voz V a n i d o s a " t h e s u b j e c t i s r e p r e s e n t e d as bo t h i m p e r f e c t and p o w e r f u l : ^Quiero acaso s e r norma? 1 £,indiscutible norma p e r f e c t a ? Heme a q u i como soy: i m p e r f e c t o y p o t e n t e . (24) The i m p e r f e c t i o n o f the s u b j e c t does not t r a n s l a t e i n t o a d e n i a l of u n i v e r s a l t r u t h , but r a t h e r a K a n t i a n v e r s i o n o f En l i g h t e n m e n t w h i c h ' r e c o g n i z e s the r e s t r i c t i o n s and c o n d i t i o n o f human knowledge. The a e s t h e t i c p r e s e n t a t i o n i s a r e f l e c t i o n a l s o o f the s e n s o r y e x p e r i e n c e o f a s e l f -l e g i s l a t i n g and spontaneous s u b j e c t . The a e s t h e t i c c h o i c e was r e f l e c t i v e o f h a r s h s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l r e a l i t i e s and marks the s u b j e c t ' s a b i l i t y t o determine f o r h i m s e l f what i s t o count as an o b j e c t i v e c l a i m about n a t u r e , t r u t h , and r e a l i t y . A r r a i z ' s a e s t h e t i c c h o i c e r e f l e c t s t he r e p r e s s i v e t e n d e n c i e s o f the Gomez regime. A r r a i z ' s use o f t h i s a e s t h e t i c e n t r e n c h e s the i d e a t h a t t h e r o l e o f t h e poet i s t o i n t e r p r e t s o c i a l r e a l i t i e s and s e a r c h f o r a s o l u t i o n t o p o l i t i c a l and s o c i a l i n j u s t i c e . The p o e t r y of A r r a i z a s s i s t e d i n the move away from Modernismo i n V e n e z u e l a , but c o n t i n u e d t o de v e l o p the g o a l s o f M o d e r n i t y , which i n c l u d e d t h e i d e a o f the poet as an i n t e r p r e t e r and commentator o f h i s t o r y . With the end o f the Gomez d i c t a t o r s h i p i n 1935, t h e r e p r e s s e d s e c t o r s o f the i n t e l l e c t u a l e l i t e o f Ve n e z u e l a were f r e e t o e x p r e s s t h e i r o p i n i o n s . A l t h o u g h t h e d i c t a t o r s h i p had ended, the l e g a c y o f gomecismo had n o t . The o l i g a r c h y c o n t i n u e d t o m a i n t a i n i t s p o s i t i o n of power and many o f the m i l i t a r y l e a d e r s o f t h e p r e v i o u s regime c o n t i n u e d t o occupy t h e i r p o s t s . There was l i t t l e change i n the l e a d e r s h i p o f t h e c o u n t r y i n terms of c l a s s p o s i t i o n . There was, however, more o p p o r t u n i t y f o r d i s s e n t i n g groups t o o r g a n i z e t h e m s e l v e s and de v e l o p w i t h o u t f e a r o f r e p r i s a l from the dominant p o l i t i c a l a c t o r s . T h i s was t r u e , . a t l e a s t , o f d i s s e n t i n g groups which m a i n t a i n e d c e r t a i n s t a n d a r d s of adherence t o t h e i d e o l o g y of the r u l i n g c l a s s . The communist p a r t y was not i n c l u d e d i n t h i s group and t h e Gomez e r a anticommunist law, the Ley Lara, was u p h e l d and c o n t i n u e d t o p r o h i b i t a l l l e f t i s t p a r t i e s and o r g a n i z a t i o n s . M o d e r n i t y , as we d i s c u s s e d i n c h a p t e r one, i s o f t e n c h a r a c t e r i z e d by i t s f o c u s on t h e s e a r c h f o r an e m a n c i p a t i n g i d e o l o g y . D u r i n g t h e Gomez d i c t a t o r s h i p t h e r e p r e s s i o n of t h e r u l i n g e l i t e l e d i n t e l l e c t u a l s t o l o o k f o r s u p port i n t h e w o r k i n g c l a s s t h r o u g h the c r e a t i o n o f a c l a n d e s t i n e communist p a r t y , even though the w o r k i n g c l a s s was not o r g a n i z e d nor o v e r l y c l a s s - c o n s c i o u s . Gomez sought t o j u s t i f y h i s a u t o c r a t i c measures by e x a g g e r a t i n g the t h r e a t o f communism, and h i s own regime was s e l f - d e s c r i b e d as d e m o c r a t i c . 6 S i n c e democracy was not a v i a b l e p a t h t o freedom d u r i n g t h e d i c t a t o r s h i p , t h e i n t e l l e c t u a l e l i t e t h a t opposed Gomez r e s o r t e d t o Communism. T h i s was not an honest attempt t o r e v o l u t i o n i z e the p o l i t i c a l system i n o r d e r t o l i b e r a t e the p r o l e t a r i a t , but r a t h e r an o p p o r t u n i s t i c r e a c t i o n on the p a r t o f a s e c t o r o f the dominant c l a s s t o a c h i e v e i t s p o l i t i c a l g o a l s . Romulo B e t a n c o u r t , f o r example, f l i r t e d w i t h Communism b e f o r e the f a l l o f Gomez, but once the d i c t a t o r i a l r u l e seemed over h i s i d e o l o g i c a l o r i e n t a t i o n s w i t c h e d towards s u p p o r t o f l i b e r a l d e m o c r a t i c r e f o r m s . W i t h the death o f Juan V i c e n t e Gomez i n 1935 the avant-garde i m p u l s e t o r e n o v a t e a e s t h e t i c s t h a t was so p r e v a l e n t i n o t h e r c o u n t r i e s d u r i n g t h e 1920s and 30s began t o appear i n V e n e z u e l a . P r i o r t o t h e death o f Gomez, e f f o r t s t o develop any agenda c o n s i d e r e d r e m o t e l y p o l i t i c a l were s u p p r e s s e d by the Gomez regime. T h i s was a time o f both hope and a n x i e t y . W h i l e t h e r e was a d e s i r e and an a n t i c i p a t i o n of democracy, t h e r e was a l s o the f e a r t h a t a new a u t h o r i t a r i a n f o r c e would t a k e Gomez's p l a c e , j u s t as Gomez had r e p l a c e d C i p r i a n o C a s t r o twenty-seven y e a r s e a r l i e r . Some immediate measures were t a k e n which seemed t o address th e s e f e a r s ; Romulo G a l l e g o s was named M i n i s t e r of E d u c a t i o n and the new p r e s i d e n t , G e n e r a l E l e a z a r Lopez C o n t r e r a s , behaved w i t h apparent " b e n e v o l e n c i a y d i s c r e c i o n " ( P i c o n S a l a s 597). Mariano P i c o n S a l a s remembers t h i s t ime as a p e r i o d of i n t e n s e change both e x p e r i e n c e d and i n i t i a t e d by V e n e z u e l a n w r i t e r s and i n t e l l e c t u a l s . He s t a t e s , un grupo de v e n e z o l a n o s , e n t r e l o s que tambien q u i e r o i n c l u i r m e , nos pusimos a hacer e l b a l a n c e d esgarrado de n u e s t r o a t r a s o , y a donde nos l l e v o e l o f i c i o o l a f o r t u n a i n t r o d u j i m o s una n e c e s a r i a i d e a de r e f o r m a . No esperamos l a l e n t a e v o l u c i o n n a t u r a l , t a n g r a t a a l o s s o c i o l o g o s p o s i t i v i s t a s . Pensabamos que e l p a i s e r a ya s u f i c i e n t e m e n t e d e s p i e r t o p a r a que c o n s t i t u y e r a f i l o s o f i a p o l i t i c a a l g u n a e l e l e m e n t a l r u r a l i s m o de Juan V i c e n t e Gomez.(89) In t h i s environment c o n d u c i v e t o the i n t r o d u c t i o n of new i d e a s , a p o e t i c group arose which a t t e m p t e d t o r e n o v a t e l i t e r a r y a e s t h e t i c s and e n e r g i z e n a t i o n a l i n t e l l e c t u a l d i s c o u r s e . In 1938 the group Viernes would resume t h e e f f o r t , i n i t i a t e d by Valvula but i n t e r r u p t e d by a h o s t i l e government, t o d e v e l o p t h e g o a l s o f m o d e r n i t y i n Venezuelan l i t e r a t u r e . The group " n a c i o de un deseo de c r e a r " ( L i s c a n o , Panorama 204) and the members were committed t o p o e t i c r e n o v a t i o n . T h i s p o e t i c r e n o v a t i o n a l s o i n c l u d e d a c l e a r mandate c o n c e r n i n g , t h e s o c i a l r o l e o f t h e poet. A l t h o u g h t h e group m a i n t a i n e d a c e r t a i n h e t e r o g e n e i t y which p r e v e n t e d a s o l i d i d e o l o g i c a l s t a n c e , t h e r e was, n e v e r t h e l e s s , a common denominator' found i n t h e poe t ' s d e s i r e t o communicate o r d e s c r i b e h i s v i e w p o i n t on t h e p o l i t i c a l and s o c i a l r e a l i t y of V e n e z u e l a . The group's p r e o c c u p a t i o n w i t h the i n i q u i t i e s o f t h e i r environment l e d i t t o embrace t h e r e s p o n s i b i l i t y o f i n t e r p r e t i n g r e a l i t y f o r t h e b e n e f i t o f s o c i e t y . The i n i t i a l c o l l a b o r a t o r s o f the group were R a f a e l O l i v a r e s F i g e r o a , Angel M i g u e l Queremel, who d i e d s h o r t l y a f t e r t h e f o r m a t i o n of the group 7, Jose Ramon H e r e d i a , L u i s Fernando A l v a r e z , Pablo Rojas G u a r d i a , P a s c u a l Venegas F i l a r d o , Oscar Rojas Jimenez, O t t o De S o l a , Fernando C a b r i c e s , and V i c e n t e G e r b a s i . D u r i n g the l i f e of t h e group t h i s l i s t o f members would be i n c r e a s e d , and f o r e i g n w r i t e r s and a r t i s t s l i v i n g i n Venezuela would a l s o b e g i n a t t e n d i n g i t s F r i d a y n i g h t t e r t u l i a s . V i s i t o r s and members both c o l l a b o r a t e d on the magazine, which came t o e n j o y " p r e s t i g i o y s i m p a t i a " i n the e n t i r e c o n t i n e n t ( L i s c a n o , Panorama 206). The m a n i f e s t o o f Viernes f o c u s e s on t h e group's r o l e i n t h e p r e p a r a t i o n f o r t h e f u t u r e . Cohesion i s not sought because i t would r e s t r i c t the l i b e r t y of t h e group. A " u n i v e r s a l " a e s t h e t i c i s proposed f o r Venezuelan p o e t r y . The "gran r e p o s o " l i e s not i n r e p e a t i n g the r e s t r i c t i v e s t r u c t u r e of t h e p a s t , but i n t h e a c t of s h a r i n g a d i v e r s i t y o f i n f l u e n c e s . The m a n i f e s t o s t a t e s "estamos paladeando l a g e o g r a f i a d e l C o n t i n e n t e " t o emphasize the group's openness t o f o r e i g n a e s t h e t i c models, and t o encourage v a r i e t y i n t h e members' p o e t i c e f f o r t s . Of p a r t i c u l a r i n t e r e s t i s t h e p o e t i c p r o d u c t i o n o f one member, V i c e n t e G e r b a s i . The group Trafico i n the 1980s would l a t e r s p e c i f i c a l l y t a r g e t t h e i n t e r i o r , m e t a p h y s i c a l p o e t i c v o i c e o f t h e p o e t r y of G e r b a s i by p a r o d y i n g the l e i t m o t i v "venimos de l a noche y h a c i a l a noche vamos" from Mi padre, el inmigrante. The poem, p u b l i s h e d i n 1945, i s a t r i b u t e t o t h e memory o f the p o e t ' s f a t h e r and e x p l o r e s the s o l i t u d e , a n x i e t y and f a t a l i t y o f t h e i n d i v i d u a l i n an a l i e n and u n f o r g i v i n g environment. In Mi padre, el inmigrante, t h e theme o f l o n e l i n e s s i s p r e s e n t e d as a p r o t e s t a g a i n s t t h e an g u i s h caused by r e a l i t y . The c o m p l a i n t stems from t h e a p p r e h e n s i o n which accompanies t h e i n d i v i d u a l d u r i n g h i s e a r t h l y e x i s t e n c e , as we can see he r e : Y siempre e l hombre s o l o , b a j o e l s o l y l o s t r u e n o s , P e r s e g u i d o por voces y l a t i g o s y d i e n t e s . ( I l l ) The t r a g e d y t h a t d e f i n e s man and b u r i e s him i n h i s own s o l i t u d e , c a r r i e s him towards d e a t h . But man, i n an u n c o n s c i o u s r e j e c t i o n o f h i s d i s m a l r e a l i t y , provokes an u n c o n t a i n a b l e v i t a l i t y t h a t l e a d s t o h i s r e b e l l i o n and h i s i n s t i n c t f o r s u r v i v a l . T h i s i n s t i n c t causes the a n x i e t y and d e s i r e o f man t o uncover the e n i g m a t i c elements o f h i s e x i s t e n c e , as we can see i n the f o l l o w i n g v e r s e s : A q u i n i l a p a l a b r a n i e l g e s t o nos s o s t i e n e n , Y l o s huesos e n c u e n t r a n su t e n e b r o s o e s p e j o . A q u i s o l o e l m i s t e r i o puede encender su lumbre Y esc o g e r n u e s t r o f i n con b r i l l o s de azucenas.(XXVI) I n Mi Padre, el inmigrante, l o n e l i n e s s and d e a t h . a r e equated w i t h t h e n i g h t , and the n i g h t i s p r e s e n t e d as t h a t p e r i o d of u n c o n s c i o u s n e s s when t h e a n x i e t i e s of e x i s t e n c e are c o u p l e d w i t h the ephemeral p r e s e n c e o f t a n g i b l e o b j e c t s . G e r b a s i p r e s e n t s h i s p o e t i c v i s i o n t h r o u g h t h i s j u x t a p o s i t i o n o f two w o r l d s . Juan C a l z a d i l l a s t a t e s , i n t h i s r e s p e c t , t h a t E l p l a c e r d e l d e s c u b r i m i e n t o de l a p o e s i a , ensena G e r b a s i , es enteramente mundano y e s t a a s o c i a d o a l a r e a l i d a d de l a s c o s a s , en p r o c u r a de l a s c u a l e s , p a r a s a t i s f a c c i o n de l o s s e n t i d o s , se avanza por e l mundo; e l poema se da en l a s cos a s , casualmente, como r e s u l t a d o de d e s c u b r i r l a s . ( " E n t r e l a r i q u e z a " 14) Death, f o r G e r b a s i , i s a homecoming and a r e u n i o n , and perhaps the o n l y t r u t h . L i f e , on the o t h e r hand, i s i l l u s i o n a r y and e s o t e r i c . L i f e i m p l i e s a s t r u g g l e w i t h l o n e l i n e s s and s i l e n c e , and t h e d u r a t i o n o f l i f e i s not s u f f i c i e n t t o u n r a v e l i t s m y s t e r i e s . Death c r e a t e s o r d e r i n the chaos and i l l u m i n a t e s r e a l i t y , c l a r i f y i n g e a r t h l y e x p e r i e n c e s . G e r b a s i p r e s e r v e s i n Ve n e z u e l a a system of a r t i s t i c e x p r e s s i o n s i m i l a r t o t h a t of Neruda's e a r l y p o e t r y . L i k e Neruda, G e r b a s i views t h e w o r l d as a d i s o r d e r e d space t h a t can be redeemed th r o u g h the c l a s s i f i c a t i o n o f o b j e c t s as m e t a p h o r i c a l r e f e r e n c e s t o a h i d d e n c o n s c i o u s n e s s . 8 The r o l e o f the poet i s t o o r d e r t h i s space and make sense o f s o c i a l r e a l i t y t h r o u g h a s e a r c h f o r and i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f the " t r u t h " . G e r b a s i , l i k e t h e o t h e r members of the group Viernes, d e v e l o p e d h i s p o e t r y as an e x t e n s i o n o f t h i s r e f e r e n c e p o i n t and r e a f f i r m e d t h e e s t a b l i s h e d r o l e o f t h e poet as a " v i s i o n a r y " or i n t e r p r e t e r of r e a l i t y , i n k e e p i n g w i t h the g o a l s of M o d e r n i t y . A l s o , the s e a r c h f o r t r u t h was conducted from the p e r s p e c t i v e t h a t a u n i v e r s a l "answer" c o u l d be found t h r o u g h i n t e l l e c t u a l r e f l e c t i o n . T h i s was e s s e n t i a l l y a " s u r r e a l i s t " v i s i o n of r e a l i t y which, i n l a r g e measure, was a p p r o p r i a t e d from European models and adapted t o t h e Venezuelan environment. P o l i t i c a l and s o c i a l p r e s s u r e s had p r e v e n t e d European s u r r e a l i s m , and o t h e r avant-garde t e n d e n c i e s , from making an impact on V e n e z u e l a n a e s t h e t i c s , but now t h a t p o l i t i c a l r e f o r m seemed p o s s i b l e t h e s e i m p o r t e d a e s t h e t i c v a l u e s began t o be a p p l i e d by n a t i o n a l w r i t e r s and a r t i s t s . D u r ing t h i s p e r i o d o f r e l a t i v e t r a n q u i l i t y and a l i b e r a l p o l i t i c a l and s o c i a l environment, t h e p o e t i c s u b j e c t seems t o be de v e l o p e d a c c o r d i n g t o a v a r i e t y o f i n d i v i d u a l a e s t h e t i c d i r e c t i o n s . The group Viernes was di s b a n d e d because o f the heterogeneous n a t u r e o f i t s members. For some p o e t s , such as G e r b a s i and Ot t o De S o l a , t h e s u b j e c t i s de v e l o p e d i n r e f e r e n c e t o h i s r e a c t i o n t o n a t u r e and the e l ements. For o t h e r s , such as Juan Beroes and G u i l l e r m o Meneses the p o e t i c s u b j e c t i s c h a r a c t e r i z e d by a s e a r c h f o r an e s s e n t i a l c o n s c i o u s n e s s . T h i s s e a r c h i s c onducted t h r o u g h a r e t u r n t o " c l a s s i c a l " p o e t i c forms such as the sonnet, rhymed l y r i c , and a p r e c i s e c o n s t r u c t i o n . The a e s t h e t i c r e s o u r c e s of t h e s e p o e t s a r e v a r i e d , from n e o - c l a s s i c i s m and s u r r e a l i s m , but t h e i n d i v i d u a l s u b j e c t r e t a i n s c e r t a i n elements which u n i f y many of t h e p o e t s of t h i s p e r i o d . As Jose Ramon Medina has observed, Los p oetas que aparecen en V e n e z u e l a en l a decada d e l 40 se mueven d e n t r o de una c o r r i e n t e l i t e r a r i a plenamente d e f i n i d a , que busca ante todo l a r a z o n e s e n c i a l d e l hombre como p r i m e r p r o t a g o n i s t a de l a p o e s i a , dando a su l e n g u a j e un v i g o r de c l a r i d a d c l a s i c a . (227) We can see i n t h i s comment a s u p p o r t f o r the i d e a t h a t t h e s u b j e c t , d u r i n g t h i s p e r i o d o f a e s t h e t i c change, c o n t i n u e d t o adhere t o a c e n t r a l t r a i t w i t h i t s r o o t s i n t h e p r i n c i p l e s o f M o d e r n i t y . There c l e a r l y remains a c e n t r a l , m o r a l " e s s e n c e " t o man which p e r m i t s t h e i n d i v i d u a l t o d e f i n e and o b j e c t i f y h i s r e a l i t y from a p e r s o n a l p e r s p e c t i v e . Man i s a p r o t a g o n i s t i n t h e development of t r u t h , and t r u t h c o n t i n u e s t o r e f l e c t t h e C a r t e s i a n model of r a t i o n a l i t y . The s u b j e c t c o n t i n u e s t o r e t a i n t h e autonomous and a u t h o r i t a t i v e p o s i t i o n Bacon and D e s c a r t e s had g r a n t e d t o i t . M o d e r n i t y , as Gordon Globus p o i n t s o u t , " r e l i e s on r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s o f the w o r l d — m e n t a l and n e u r a l r e - p r e s e n t a t i o n s t h a t mediate between us and t h e w o r l d " ( 1 2 7 ) . The s u b j e c t i n t h i s p e r i o d o f V e n e z u e l a ' s p o e t i c h i s t o r y c o n t i n u e s t o r e p r e s e n t t h e w o r l d , whether th r o u g h t h e s u r r e a l i s t v i s i o n o f n a t u r e i n G e r b a s i or t h e r e i t e r a t i o n o f h i s t o r y t h r o u g h n e o - c l a s s i c i s m i n Ana E n r i q u e t a Teran, L u i s P a s t o r i , Juan Beroes and o t h e r s . Freedom from d i c t a t o r s h i p was s h o r t - l i v e d f o r V e n e z u e l a . I n s p i t e o f the d e m o c r a t i c r i g h t s and u n i v e r s a l s u f f r a g e i n t r o d u c e d d u r i n g t h e b r i e f and r e s t r i c t e d d e m o c r a t i c e x p e r i m e n t , the s o c i o - p o l i t i c a l e v o l u t i o n o f t h e c o u n t r y g r a v i t a t e d a g a i n towards a u t h o r i t a r i a n i s m . T h i s was l a r g e l y due t o the "greed o f the V e n e z u e l a n b o u r g e o i s i e " and the p e r s o n a l a m b i t i o n o f G e n e r a l Marcos Perez Jimenez ( H e l l i n g e r 65). On November 24, 1948 t h e f i r s t d e m o c r a t i c a l l y e l e c t e d government i n V e n e z u e l a ended i n a m i l i t a r y coup a f t e r o n l y n i n e months i n power. Perez Jimenez c o n s o l i d a t e d h i s power by e f f e c t i v e l y e l i m i n a t i n g t h e o p p o s i t i o n p a r t i e s which had formed d u r i n g t h e b r i e f d e m o c r a t i c p e r i o d . Leonardo R u i z P i n e d a , the l e a d e r o f t h e A c c i o n D e m o c r a t i c a p a r t y (AD) was a s s a s s i n a t e d and the V e nezuelan Communist P a r t y (PCV) was o u t l a w e d . Thousands o f p e o p l e were thrown i n j a i l as p o l i t i c a l p r i s o n e r s and t o r t u r e was a common p r a c t i c e o f the regime ( H e l l i n g e r 8 5 ) . H e l l i n g e r ' s comment on t h e "greed of the V e n e z u e l a n b o u r g e o i s i e " i s not a g e n e r a l comment on the c h a r a c t e r o f t h e Venezuelan p e o p l e , but r a t h e r an o b s e r v a t i o n of t h e e f f e c t o f a d i v e r s i t y of s o c i a l and economic changes. The " g r e e d " of which he speaks i s the r e s u l t of a m e t e o r i c r i s e i n the a v a i l a b i l i t y of p u b l i c funds, t h e mismanagement and c o r r u p t i o n which was f a c i l i t a t e d by t h e s e funds, and a r a d i c a l s h i f t i n t h e demographic and economic base of t h e dominant c l a s s . At t h e b e g i n n i n g of t h e c e n t u r y V e n e z u e l a was r u l e d by an a g r a r i a n , r u r a l o l i g a r c h y and t h e r e was p r a c t i c a l l y no m i d d l e - c l a s s . With th e d i s c o v e r y and e x p l o i t a t i o n o f o i l , V e n e z u e l a ' s s o c i a l and economic s t r u c t u r e r a p i d l y changed. S t a t e power became h i g h l y c e n t r a l i z e d , and i t c o n t r o l l e d t h e d i s p e r s a l of t h e new-found w e a l t h . The i mportance o f a g r i c u l t u r a l e x p o r t s , the t r a d i t i o n a l s o u r c e of p r o f i t f o r t h e 1 l a n d e d o l i g a r c h y , d e c l i n e d as o i l p r o d u c t i o n r o s e . The s t a t e and t h e m u l t i n a t i o n a l companies t h a t d i r e c t e d the o i l p r o d u c t i o n became the l a r g e s t s u p p l i e r s o f j o b s . T h i s f u e l l e d t h e c r e a t i o n of a new b o u r g e o i s s e c t o r t h a t was dependent on the d i s p e r s a l , e i t h e r d i r e c t l y o r i n d i r e c t l y , o f s t a t e p a t r o n a g e . The i n f l u x of c a p i t a l c r e a t e d an i n s t a n t consumer s o c i e t y . L o c a l m a n u f a c t u r i n g and i n d u s t r i a l development was not a b l e t o keep up w i t h demand, and f o r e i g n i m p o r t s i n c r e a s e d d r a m a t i c a l l y . The absence o f i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n and t h e dependence of the new b o u r g e o i s s e c t o r on s t a t e s u p p l i e d - f u n d s p r e v e n t e d the development o f autonomous c l a s s - b a s e d i n t e r e s t s . In Europe and N o r t h A m e r i c a , a l i b e r a l d e m o c r a t i c model de v e l o p e d from w i t h i n a p a t t e r n o f economic development i n which an autonomous b o u r g e o i s l e d t h e p r o c e s s o f i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n . In V e n e z u e l a the b o u r g e o i s i e depended on the s t a t e and conceded t o a u t h o r i t a r i a n i s m as l o n g as funds were a v a i l a b l e . The weakness of t h i s b o u r g e o i s s e c t o r t r a n s l a t e d i n t o a p a r a l l e l underdevelopment o f w o r k i n g -c l a s s c o n s c i o u s n e s s . Labour was u n a b le t o d e f i n e i t s e l f i n r e f e r e n c e t o a c a p i t a l i s t s e c t o r and t h i s l i m i t e d the c l a s s s t r u g g l e t o a vague d e s i r e f o r democracy. At t h e same t i m e , a u t o c r a t i c r e p r e s s i o n l i m i t e d the p o s s i b i l i t i e s f o r l a b o u r o r g a n i z a t i o n and c l a s s - b a s e d movements. The " g r e e d " r e f e r r e d t o by H e l l i n g e r was a c o n d i t i o n c r e a t e d by a weak r e n t i e r - b a s e d b o u r g e o i s s e c t o r and an undeveloped l a b o u r s e c t o r . G i v e n th e p o s s i b i l i t y of s t a b i l i t y t h r o u g h d i c t a t o r i a l r u l e , and t h e r e f o r e the maintenance of t h e " p r o f i t a b i l i t y " o f i t s q u a s i - c a p i t a l i s m , t h i s s e c t o r chose, c o n s c i o u s l y or u n c o n s c i o u s l y , t o s u p p o r t a r e t u r n t o a u t h o r i t a r i a n i s m f o l l o w i n g the u n s t a b l e and f r a c t u r e d democracy e x p e r i e n c e d p r i o r t o the i n s t a l l a t i o n of t h e Perez Jimenez d i c t a t o r s h i p . A l t h o u g h t h e r e were b r i e f p e r i o d s of r e s p i t e , the f i r s t h a l f of t h e t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y , up t o 1958, was e s s e n t i a l l y a p e r i o d o f d i c t a t o r s h i p and r e p r e s s i o n . C l a s s c o n s c i o u s n e s s d i d not d e v e l o p as i t had i n " F i r s t W o r ld" n a t i o n s because o f the u n d e r l y i n g p o l i t i c a l and economic d i f f e r e n c e s we have d i s c u s s e d . The a e s t h e t i c p r o d u c t i o n o f t h i s p e r i o d , i n s p i t e o f t h e r a d i c a l a e s t h e t i c changes b o t h d e c l a r e d i n m a n i f e s t o e s , and a p p l i e d i n p o e t r y , f o l l o w s a p a t t e r n which i m i t a t e s t h e h i s t o r i c a l c i r c u m s t a n c e of i t s c r e a t i o n . As the a e s t h e t i c o r i e n t a t i o n o f w r i t e r s moved from Modernismo t h r o u g h v a r i o u s t y p e s of European i n s p i r e d a v a nt-garde movements d u r i n g t h i s d i c t a t o r i a l p e r i o d , t h e r e i s an e v i d e n t r e l i a n c e on an i n d i v i d u a l i z e d and autonomous s u b j e c t . The s u b j e c t c o n f r o n t s h i s t o r y i n accordance w i t h a C a r t e s i a n and K a n t i a n o u t l o o k . In k e e p i n g w i t h t h i s o u t l o o k , the i n d i v i d u a l s u b j e c t i s deemed t o p o s s e s s t h e c a p a c i t y f o r m o d i f y i n g and t r a n s f o r m i n g r e a l i t y , e s p e c i a l l y s o c i o - e c o n o m i c r e a l i t y , and e f f e c t i n g p r o g r e s s i n human a f f a i r s . The l a c k o f a c l a s s - b a s e d s t r u c t u r e i n the Venezuelan s o c i o - e c o n o m i c environment r e s t r i c t s the use of a M a r x i s t - b a s e d model o f t h e s e a r c h f o r e n l i g h t e n m e n t i n l i t e r a t u r e . A c o l l e c t i v e i d e n t i t y i s not d e v e l o p e d as t h e base f o r the w r i t e r ' s s e a r c h f o r t r u t h because i t does not f i t t h e c o n d i t i o n s o f t h e c o u n t r y a t t h i s t i m e . M o d e r n i t y i n Venezuelan p o e t r y d u r i n g t h i s p e r i o d i s found i n t h e i n d i v i d u a l ' s c o n f r o n t a t i o n w i t h N a t u r e , as we o b s e r v e d i n the p o e t r y of V i c e n t e G e r b a s i and t h e i n d i v i d u a l ' s s e l f - . d e t e r m i n a t i o n and r e s i l i e n c e , as we o b s e r v e d i n A n t o n i o A r r a i z . The mechanics o f a e s t h e t i c p r o d u c t i o n changed throughout t h i s p e r i o d , but the a u t h o r i t a r i a n ( i n d i v i d u a l ) s t r u c t u r e of p o l i t i c a l dominance demanded a c o r r e s p o n d i n g p h i l o s o p h i c a l response i n the n a t u r e o f t h e s u b j e c t . T h i s was a m a t t e r o f s u p p l y i n g a l e g i t i m a t e response w i t h t h e i d e o l o g i c a l c h o i c e s a v a i l a b l e . C a r t e s i a n - b a s e d c o n c e p t s of reason and u n i v e r s a l t r u t h s s u p p l i e d the most adept means of a c h i e v i n g t h e g o a l o f harmony w i t h the environment f o r the p o e t s of t h i s p e r i o d i n modern V e n e z u e l a n h i s t o r y . CHAPTER 2 END NOTES 1 Winthrop R. Wright suggests t h a t t h e s e e a r l y P o s i t i v i s t s i n V e n e z u e l a were concerned w i t h " q u e s t i o n s r e l a t e d t o t h e f o r m a t i o n o f Ven e z u e l a n s o c i e t y and i t s s t r u c t u r e " and t h a t R a f a e l V i l l a n c e n c i o , one of the e a r l y P o s i t i v i s t s d e c l a r e d the dogma o f t h i s group t o be t h e " f o u n d a t i o n f o r s o c i a l r e o r g a n i z a t i o n ...(through) i n t e g r a l s c i e n c e , which harmonizes f a i t h and re a s o n , r e l i g i o n and s c i e n c e ; and which s e p a r a t e s , i n t h e s o c i a l , AUTHORITY from POWER, s u b o r d i n a t i n g the l a t t e r t o t h e former, u n d e r s t a n d i n g a u t h o r i t y w i t h o u t m a t e r i a l f o r c e whose i n f l u e n c e r e s t s s o l e l y upon WISDOM and VIRTUE" (52). 2 A n g e l Rama w r i t e s , f o r example, t h a t " l a norma d o c t r i n a l de todo e l s i g l o XIX a t r a v e s de sus s u c e s i v a s e s c u e l a s e s t i l i s t i c a s - n e o c l a s i c o , r o m a n t i c i s m o , r e a l i s m o -. . . j u s t i f i c a r a n -sus r e s p e c t i v o s r e c u r s o s a r t i s t i c o s en su pregonada c a p a c i d a d p a r a e x p r e s a r l a s p e c u l i a r i d a d e s d i f e r e n c i a l e s de l a America h i s p a n a , o l v i d a n d o astutamente l a p r o c e d e n c i a e x t r a n j e r a de esas p o e t i c a s p a r a poner en cambio e l acento so b r e su e f i c a c i a r e v e l a d o r a de l a s i n g u l a r i d a d n a c i o n a l o r e g i o n a l " (La c r i t i c a de la cultura 66) . 3 For a d i s c u s s i o n o f t h i s p r o c e s s of d e t e r i o r a t i o n i n the s t r u c t u r a l c o n d i t i o n s f a v o r a b l e t o the maintenance o f a u t h o r i t a r i a n c o n t r o l , r e f e r t o T e r r y K a r l ' s " P e t r o l e u m and P o l i t i c a l P a c t s . The T r a n s i t i o n t o Democracy i n V e n e z u e l a " i n Latin American Research Review 22 (1987): 63-94. F r a n c i s c o Laguado Jaime s t a t e s t h a t "La i d e a l i b e r t a d o r a de 1811... Renace en 1928 en l a s pa g i n a s b e l i c a s de ' V a l v u l a ' , l a r e v i s t a i c o n o c l a s t a de l a j o v e n V e n e z u e l a ..., p a r a c u r a r , e n a l t e c e r y e m b e l l e c e r l a t i e r r a enferma de pecados, enferma de m o l i c i e , enferma de b a r b a r i e y enferma de e s t a t i s m o candoroso y s e c u l a r ("Renovarse" 165). 5 L e o n i d a s M o r a l e s Toro w r i t e s " l a p o e s i a l a t i n o a m e r i c a n a r e a l i z a l a e s t r u c t u r a de o p c i o n e s de l a contemporaneidad en l a s decadas d e l 20 y d e l 30.... en r e l a c i o n con e s t a s f e c h a s , l a p o e s i a v e n e z o l a n a contemporanea, en l a c o n c e p c i o n que de l o contemporaneo venimos s u s t e n t a n d o , p r e s e n t a un n o t o r i o desfase: no aparece s i n o en l a decada d e l 40" (12) . 6 Laureano V a l l e n i l l a Lanz, one o f Gomez's s t a u n c h e s t s u p p o r t e r s , c o i n e d the phrase " c e s a r i s m o d e m o c r a t i c o " t o d e s c r i b e the p o l i t i c a l system. He c o n s i d e r e d Gomez's regime d e m o c r a t i c because, a l t h o u g h not f r e e l y e l e c t e d , the p o l i c i e s t h a t were f o l l o w e d were c o n s i s t e n t w i t h the w i l l o f the p e o p l e . See A r t u r o Sosa A., La f i l o s o f i a p o l i t i c a del gomecismo: Estudio del pensamiento de Laureano B a l l e n i l l a Lanz ( B a r q u i s i m e t o : C e n t r o G u m i l l a , 1974). 7 The second i s s u e of the magazine, Viernes, was d e d i c a t e d t o Queremel's memory. 8 "Neruda i s not concerned w i t h form but w i t h o b j e c t s . These are a c t u a l l y t h e c e n t r a l elements o f Residencia en la t i e r r a . The p o e t ' s agony i s not redeemed by a language t h a t s t r u g g l e s t o account f o r m u l t i p l i c i t y and chaos. The d i s a r r a y of t h e w o r l d i m p l i e s c r e a t i o n but a l s o the a g o n i c d i s s o l u t i o n o f t h e poet's " I ' " (Quiroga 328). Chapter 3 The Eff e c t s of Democracy on Aesthetic and Ideological Trends i n Venezuela The e v e r - i n c r e a s i n g r e p r e s s i o n i n i t i a t e d by the Perez Jimenez regime, which r e a c t e d v i o l e n t l y t o m i l d c r i t i c i s m from t h e C a t h o l i c Church and the few p o l i t i c a l p a r t i e s t h a t had not been f o r m a l l y banned, began t o "shake the c o n f i d e n c e of t h e b o u r g e o i s i e " ( H e l l i n g e r 92) by 1957. Some p o l i t i c i z e d groups, i n c l u d i n g the Church, t h a t had p r e v i o u s l y c o n s p i r e d t o r e p l a c e t h e d e m o c r a t i c a l l y e l e c t e d government of Romulo G a l l e g o s w i t h Perez Jimenez became d i s i l l u s i o n e d w i t h t h e i r c h o i c e . T h i s was, i n l a r g e measure, a r e s u l t o f t h e gap between t h e i r e x p e c t a t i o n s of a c c e s s i n g and c o n t r o l l i n g t he regime, and t h e r e a l i t y t h a t f o l l o w e d . F r u s t r a t e d w i t h the regime's c o r r u p t i o n , f a v o r i t i s m and r e p r e s s i o n , t h e s e groups l o o k e d t o form a new a l l i a n c e among the su p p r e s s e d p o l i t i c a l p a r t i e s , whose l e a d e r s had been e x i l e d , and d i s i l l u s i o n e d s e c t o r s o f t h e m i l i t a r y . The weakness o f the i l l - f a t e d democracy o f G a l l e g o s was a t t r i b u t e d by t h e s e groups t o t h e d i v i s i v e n a t u r e o f the m u l t i - p a r t y system which had been i n p l a c e p r i o r t o the regime of Perez Jimenez. To a v o i d t h i s m i s t a k e , the former p o l i t i c a l opponents who were c o n s p i r i n g t o r e p l a c e Perez Jimenez met s e c r e t l y , o f t e n i n New York, t o d e s i g n an agreement on n a t i o n a l u n i t y 1 . These n e g o t i a t i o n s r e s u l t e d i n the p a c t o f Punto F i j o . T h i s s e r i e s o f i n t e r - e l i t e agreements would prove t o be an e f f e c t i v e t o o l f o r t h e p r e v e n t i o n o f the p a r t y c o n f l i c t s t h a t had l i m i t e d d e m o c r a t i c development i n the p a s t . I t was a mechanism f o r l i m i t i n g the underhanded p o l i t i c a l p r a c t i c e s of each p a r t y i n o r d e r t o ensure a mutual s u r v i v a l . The v o l a t i l i t y o f p o t e n t i a l p o l i t i c a l outcomes was p r e v e n t e d t h r o u g h a n e g o t i a t e d compromise under which a c t o r s agree t o f o r e g o or u n d e r u t i l i z e t h e i r c a p a c i t y t o harm each o t h e r by e x t e n d i n g guarantees not t o t h r e a t e n each o t h e r ' s c o r p o r a t e autonomies o r v i t a l i n t e r e s t s . (O'Donnell 38) The Punto F i j o agreement was d e s i g n e d as a r e g i o n a l l y s p e c i f i c a c c o r d between t h e main p a r t i e s i n V e n e z u e l a d u r i n g the l a s t y e a r s o f the Perez Jimenez d i c t a t o r s h i p . I t was d e s i g n e d t o break t h e c y c l e o f v a c i l l a t i o n between d i c t a t o r s h i p and anarchy i n V e n e z u e l a by d e s i g n a t i n g ' c e r t a i n r u l e s and c o n c e s s i o n s f o r p o l i t i c a l p a r t i e s . The p a r t i e s t h a t s i g n e d the a c c o r d came t o an agreement c o n c e r n i n g c e r t a i n a r e a s which were t o be c o n s i d e r e d o f f -l i m i t s by t h e o t h e r p a r t i c i p a n t s 2 . The s e a r c h f o r consensus became the d r i v i n g f o r c e b e h i n d t h e new " d e m o c r a t i c " o r d e r f o l l o w i n g t h e end of t h e d i c t a t o r s h i p . I n s p i t e of t h e r e p u b l i c a n o r g a n i z a t i o n o f the s t a t e c o n s t i t u t i o n , a " s p o i l s system" was s e t up among the s i g n i n g p a r t i e s t o a l l o w f o r p a r t y c o n t r o l o f appointments i n the m i l i t a r y , j u d i c i a r y , b u r e a u c r a c y and o t h e r s t a t e b o d i e s . M u t u a l b e n e f i t s and power s h a r i n g a s s u r e d a s p i r i t of c o o p e r a t i o n among the p a r t i e s and reduced t h e p o s s i b l e g a i n s . f r o m d i s s e n t i o n . I n the name o f a b r o a d e r d e m o c r a t i c i n t e r e s t autonomous p o l i t i c a l o r g a n i z a t i o n s were v i r t u a l l y e x c l u d e d from the new system. S o c i a l i n t e r e s t s c o u l d o n l y be a r t i c u l a t e d t h r o u g h the p a r t i e s , and t h e p a r t i e s were l i m i t e d t o t h o s e t h a t were deemed " d e m o c r a t i c " . The communist p a r t y was not i n v i t e d t o the t a l k s l e a d i n g t o t h e Punto F i j o , and t h i s p a r t y ' s p o t e n t i a l t o weaken t h e new democracy was f o r e s t a l l e d t h r o u g h e l i t e c o n c u r r e n c e r e g a r d i n g methods of l i m i t i n g c l a s s d i s s e n t i o n . S u b s i d i z a t i o n and p r o t e c t i o n i s m was extended t o a l l s o c i a l groups t o p r e v e n t c l a s s c o n f l i c t s and appease l a b o r o r g a n i z a t i o n s . The Pact o f Punto F i j o s o l i d i f i e d t h e a l r e a d y c e n t r a l i z e d r o l e of t h e s t a t e by p r o v i d i n g f o r s t a t e c o n t r o l of new s o c i a l programs. These programs were t o be f i n a n c e d t h r o u g h o i l revenue, and n a t i o n a l s o c i a l development was t i e d t o o i l revenue. S i n c e d o m e s t i c p r i v a t e s e c t o r groups were p r o h i b i t e d from o i l e x p l o r a t i o n and p r o d u c t i o n a c t i v i t i e s , t he p r i v a t e s e c t o r became dependent on s t a t e p a t e r n a l i s m and i t s economic a c t i v i t y was p r i m a r i l y f o c u s e d on o b t a i n i n g f a v o r s from the s t a t e 3 . T h i s e n s u r e d a " d e m o c r a t i z a t i o n " c o n t r o l l e d by t h e e l i t e and p a r t y a c t i v i t y was l i m i t e d t o t h e r e l a t i v e l y c o n s e r v a t i v e e l i t e members o f the Punto F i j o p a c t . The w o r k i n g c l a s s and o t h e r m a r g i n a l groups were c o n t r o l l e d t h r o u g h d e m o c r a t i c r h e t o r i c and a generous a p p l i c a t i o n of p e t r o d o l l a r s . P o p u l i s t language and c o l l e c t i v i s t e l e c t o r a l messages from Accion Democratica, the dominant p a r t y , such as "AD i s the Venezuelan p e o p l e , " p r o v i d e d a c o n n e c t i o n between t h e p a r t y and the p e o p l e . The c e n t r a l i t y o f t h i s p a r t y w i t h i n s o c i a l c o n s c i o u s n e s s h e l p e d t h e e l i t e t o a v o i d t h e p l u r a l i s m a s s o c i a t e d w i t h t r u e democracy and t o m a i n t a i n i t s hegemonic p o s i t i o n . Many w r i t e r s and i n t e l l e c t u a l s who had e x p e r i e n c e d e x i l e o r imprisonment d u r i n g t h e Perez Jimenez d i c t a t o r s h i p embraced the new p o l i t i c a l s i t u a t i o n as a p o s i t i v e s t e p towards t r u e democracy. These w r i t e r s r e c o g n i z e d t h e s t a b i l i z i n g e f f e c t o f the c o n c e s s i o n a r y s t y l e o f p o l i t i c s and c l e a r l y adopted an a t t i t u d e of' "the end j u s t i f i e s t he means" 4. However, t h e e l i t e - c o n t r o l l e d , p o p u l i s t p o l i t i c a l s i t u a t i o n l e d some i n t e l l e c t u a l s and w r i t e r s t o l o o k f o r new ways t o a c h i e v e t r u e r e p r e s e n t a t i o n f o r the p e o p l e of Ve n e z u e l a . For t h e s e w r i t e r s , t h e p r e v i o u s g e n e r a t i o n ' s r e l i a n c e on the b o u r g e o i s v a l u e s o f i d e a l i s m , d i s c i p l i n e and achievement i n t h e i r s e a r c h f o r M o d e r n i t y was q u e s t i o n e d . The m i s s i o n and d e s t i n y o f t h e Ve n e z u e l a n s u b j e c t , e p i t o m i z e d by G a l l e g o s ' p r o t a g o n i s t Santos Luzardo i n Doha Barbara, was dependent on European o r N o r t h American c u l t u r a l models f o r t h e " c o n s t r u c t i v e " t r a n s f o r m a t i o n of Venezuelan s o c i e t y . The problem l a y i n the f a c t t h a t t h e s e v a l u e s o f work, o r d e r , and c i v i c duty were p r e c i s e l y the v a l u e s needed by the b o u r g e o i s i e t o i n c u l c a t e d i s c i p l i n e and p r o l o n g i t s p o s i t i o n o f power 5. These v a l u e s promoted a c o n t i n u a t i o n o f the h i e r a r c h i c a l r e l a t i o n s h i p between t h e c l a s s e s , w i t h t h e "burden" of l e a d e r s h i p f a l l i n g on the e l i t e c l a s s f o r the p r o g r e s s i v e improvement o f s o c i e t y . A d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t w i t h t h e r o l e o f i n d i v i d u a l i s t v a l u e s i n t h e maintenance o f t h e e l i t e power-base l e d t o the development o f a new l i t e r a r y group i n the p o s t - P e r e z Jimenez l i t e r a r y environment. T h i s group d i d not c h a l l e n g e t h e p r i n c i p l e s of M o d e r n i t y i t s e l f , b ut r a t h e r t h e i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c o r i e n t a t i o n o f t h e s e p r i n c i p l e s . M o d e r n i t y , as we d i s c u s s e d i n c h a p t e r one, i s o f t e n c h a r a c t e r i z e d by a c y c l e of a e s t h e t i c r u p t u r e and r e n o v a t i o n . T h i s c y c l e a d d r e s s e s changes i n the a e s t h e t i c d i r e c t i o n o f t h e a r t s , but does not rework t h e i d e a of U t o p i a o r p r o g r e s s . In f a c t , the changes i n a e s t h e t i c s a d v o c a t e d by some s u r r e a l i s t s and avant-garde groups r e i n f o r c e d t h e s o c i a l and economic r o l e o f t h e poet, who a t t i m e s became m i l i t a n t i n h i s s e a r c h f o r i d e o l o g i c a l " t r u t h " . T h i s s e a r c h was o f t e n l i m i t e d t o e s t a b l i s h e d b i n a r y " m e t a n a r r a t i v e s " such as s o c i a l i s m v e r s u s c a p i t a l i s m . In t h e group Sardio, the members advocated a r e -o r i e n t a t i o n of the a r t i s t towards a more c o l l e c t i v e v i s i o n . In the f i r s t i d e o l o g i c a l p r e s e n t a t i o n o f the s e i d e a s , t h e group f o c u s e s on the c o l l e c t i v e and s o c i a l d i m e n s i o n o f a r t and the a r t i s t . The a r t i s t i s urged t o t a k e a c r i t i c a l p o s i t i o n i n the dynamics o f s o c i a l development and p l a y t h e r o l e of b o t h a c t o r and s p e c t a t o r . The m a n i f e s t o o f t h e group, Testimonio, was p u b l i s h e d i n t h e f i r s t i s s u e o f t h e magazine Sardio i n May of 1958. The m a n i f e s t o b e g i n s by a f f i r m i n g t h e s o c i a l r o l e o f the a r t i s t : Ser a r t i s t a i m p l i c a t a n t o una v o l u n t a d de e s t i l o y un e j e r c i c i o d e l alma como una reciedumbre m o r a l y un compromiso ante l a v i d a . No se v i v e , n i se d e j a v i v i r , impunemente. Es menester quemarse un t a n t o en e l fuego d e v o r a n t e de l a h i s t o r i a . . . . q u i e n e s asuman p o s i c i o n en e l mundo d e . l a c u l t u r a han de s e r s e n s i b l e s tambien a l a s u r g e n t e s e s p e r a n z a s de su epoca. (Testimonio 59) The a r t i s t ' s r e s p o n s i b i l i t y t o promote a n a t i o n a l c u l t u r e i s not t o be c o n f u s e d , a c c o r d i n g t o t h e m a n i f e s t o , w i t h an i r r a t i o n a l f a s c i n a t i o n w i t h t r a d i t i o n a l i s m , nor s h o u l d i t e x c l u d e u n i v e r s a l i s m 6 . The m a n i f e s t o s t r e s s e s the f u n c t i o n o f the a r t i s t and the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y o f the w r i t e r t o be aware of t h e s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l , c o n d i t i o n s o f h i s or her environment. I t s t a t e s t h a t " s e r p o l i t i c o e q u i v a l e a t a n t o como s e r hombre" and i t d i r e c t s the group's members t o " a c e p t a r n u e s t r a o b l i g a n t e c o n d i c i o n de e s c r i t o r e s y a r t i s t a s " ( T e s t i m o n i o 60). In s p i t e of t h e i n t e n s e r h e t o r i c o f the dominant p a r t y ' s " d e m o c r a t i c " i d e o l o g y , and t h e d i s t r i b u t i o n o f funds t o promote t h i s r h e t o r i c , the n e g a t i v e s o c i a l r a m i f i c a t i o n s o f the c o n c e s s i o n a r y and e x c l u s i v e p o l i t i c a l system c o u l d be o b s e r v e d i n a e s t h e t i c developments. Juan L i s c a n o mentions i n Panorama de la l i t e r a t u r a venezolana actual t h a t Sardio was " v i n c u l a d a a una n o c i o n c l a r a de l a c r i s i s s o c i a l " (251) . A l t h o u g h L i s c a n o does not r e f e r t o any-s p e c i f i c a e s t h e t i c o r p o l i t i c a l agenda i n h i s d e s c r i p t i o n o f the group, he does make i t c l e a r t h a t the group c o n s i d e r e d i t s e l f t o be a m e d i a t o r between t h e p u b l i c , s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l f o r c e s t h a t would be h i d d e n w i t h o u t the i n t e r p r e t i v e e f f o r t s o f the l i t e r a r y e l i t e . L i k e w i s e , Jose Ramon Medina s t a t e s t h a t t h i s was una etapa de c r i s i s y p r o g r e s o en l a l i t e r a t u r a n a c i o n a l . Hay una e v i d e n t e y v i t a l i n t e r r e l a c i o n e n t r e l o l i t e r a r i o y l o p o l i t i c o . La t r a n s f o r m a c i o n d e m o c r a t i c a d e l p a i s , l a s c o n t r o v e r s i a s , l a s p o l e m i c a s y l o s hechos a n t a g o n i c o s que se producen de entonces a e s t a p a r t e en e l panorama de n u e s t r a r e a l i d a d p o l i t i c a han i n f l u i d o - - y conformado en c i e r t a medida--, e l pr o c e s o l i t e r a r i o . ( 2 6 9 ) The i n c i p i e n t q u e s t i o n i n g o f the new "democracy" i n Sardio was f u r t h e r d e v e l o p e d i n t h e more m i l i t a n t l i t e r a r y group El Techo de la Ballena. Faced w i t h an i n c r e a s i n g l y e f f e c t i v e dominant c l a s s , whose see m i n g l y e n d l e s s s u p p l y o f r e s o u r c e s c o n s t a n t l y r e a f f i r m e d the i l l u s i o n o f s o c i a l w e l l - b e i n g , the p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i t y o f m a r g i n a l groups became more a g g r e s s i v e and t h i s a g g r e s s i v e n e s s was d i r e c t l y r e f l e c t e d i n t h e n a t i o n a l l i t e r a t u r e . A c c o r d i n g t o A n g e l Rama, the a g g r e s s i o n o f the group El Techo de la Ballena " n a c i o o se p r e t e x t o en e l c l i m a g e n e r a l de v i o l e n c i a que domino l a v i d a v e n e z o l a n a e n t r e l o s anos 1960 y 1 9 6 4 " { A n t o l o g i a 1 3 ) . Among the members of El Techo de la Ballena were the l e f t i s t ex-members of Sardio and a number of w r i t e r s , p a i n t e r s and s c u l p t o r s t h a t j o i n e d t h e group f o l l o w i n g the a r t e x h i b i t i o n " E s p a c i o s V i v i e n t e s " i n 1961 i n C a r a c a s . The p o l e m i c a l e x h i b i t i o n p r e s e n t e d the group's r e - d i s c o v e r y o f S u r r e a l i s m and Dadaism. Juan C a l z a d i l l a , who was a l s o a member of El Techo de La Ballena, i d e n t i f i e s t h e a e s t h e t i c s of t h e p r o j e c t as La busqueda de un e s p i r i t u nuevo en l a s u b s t a n t i v i d a d de l a m a t e r i a l ; l a ^ d e s t r u c c i 6 n de: t oda imagen y t o d a forma y l a i n v e n c i o n de l o s e s p a c i o s t o p o l o g i c o s , que responden a una d i m e n s i o n d e l yo; e l i n t e r e s por e x p r e s a r e l dinamismo por l a c i v i l i z a c i o n y e l p r e s e n t e d e s i n t e g r a d o d e l hombre... (Rangel 12). These a r t i s t s conformed t o t h e now w e l l - i n g r a i n e d n o t i o n o f M o d e r n i t y i n V e n e z u e l a which h e l d t h a t the a r t i s t had a moral and e t h i c a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y t o comment on s o c i a l r e a l i t i e s . The a m b i t i o n and hope o f the poet was now, however, c o l l e c t i v e i n n a t u r e and was i n s p i r e d by a M a r x i s t - b a s e d i d e o l o g y . The example of Cuba', which appeared t o have s u c c e s s f u l l y c h a l l e n g e d t h e b i a s o f c a p i t a l i s t s o c i e t y , encouraged t h e s e poets t o t a k e a more r e v o l u t i o n a r y s t a n d . S o c i a l i s t i d e o l o g y became more e v i d e n t , not o n l y i n t h e combative language of the p o e t r y , but a l s o i n the e x p l o s i v e r h e t o r i c o f the m a n i f e s t o e s . In El Techo de la Ballena's M a n i f e s t o a r e a c t i o n a r y a e s t h e t i c i s e v i d e n t i n t h e v i o l e n t imagery of the e r u p t i n g v o l c a n o : Es n e c e s a r i o r e s t i t u i r e l magma l a m a t e r i a l en e b u l l i c i o n l a l u j u r i a de l a l a v a c o l o c a r una t e l a a l p i e de un v o l c a n r e s t i t u i r e l mundo l a l u j u r i a de l a l a v a . . . (Rayado 71) The e x p l o s i v e v o l c a n i c image conforms t o t h e i d e a o f r u p t u r e found i n many s u r r e a l i s t m a n i f e s t o e s 7 . The m a n i f e s t o l a t e r employs a s e r i e s o f a g g r e s s i v e metaphors, such as " e s t a l l i d o " , " impacto", " v i o l e n t a r s e " , which are then a s s o c i a t e d w i t h c r e a t i o n . A c c o r d i n g t o Juan L i s c a n o the r e f e r e n c e t o "magma" i n t h i s m a n i f e s t o i s a c l e a r " i n t e n c i o n r e v o l u c i o n a r i a . . . y se e x t i e n d e a l a r t e como a l a r e a l i d a d s o c i a l " ( P a n o r a m a 252). The m a n i f e s t o Para la r e s t i t u c i o n del magma s t r e s s e s t h e a c t i v e and s u b v e r s i v e v i g o r which i s r e q u i r e d o f the a r t i s t . The a g g r e s s i v e n a t u r e of t h e m a n i f e s t o i s w i t n e s s e d also- i n s e x u a l imagery: " e l t e c h o de l a b a l l e n a e s t a fundado en l a p l e n a l u c i d e z i n c o n t r o l a b l e d e l orgasmo"("Para l a r e s t i t u c i o n " 7 3 ) . The e x p l o s i v e v i t a l i t y of s e x u a l energy i s used as a metaphor f o r t h e a l l -consuming n i h i l i s t i c dynamics of anarchy proposed i n the m a n i f e s t o . For the p o e t s of El Techo de la Ballena, l i t e r a t u r e , and p o e t r y i n p a r t i c u l a r , was an i n s t r u m e n t o f s u b v e r s i o n . There was, f o r t h i s group, an i n t i m a t e c o n n e c t i o n between p o e t r y and t h e t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o f s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l r e a l i t i e s . The p o e t r y o f t h e group b o t h s u p p o r t e d and i n c i t e d the p o l i t i c a l v i o l e n c e o f l e f t i s t groups d u r i n g the 1960s. The group owed i t s i n c e p t i o n t o t h e i n s p i r a t i o n of the Cuban r e v o l u t i o n and encouraged a s i m i l a r v i o l e n t change i n t h e V e n e z u e l a n p o l i t i c a l s t r u c t u r e . The p r o b a b i l i t y o f such a change was, o f c o u r s e , n e g l i g i b l e i n the s t a b l e and p r o s p e r o u s V e n e z u e l a n p o l i t i c a l and economic environment. The dominant c l a s s o f V e n e z u e l a , u n l i k e t h e Cuban p o l i t i c a l e l i t e b e f o r e the r e v o l u t i o n , a c t i v e l y a n t i c i p a t e d and assuaged c l a s s c o n s c i o u s n e s s . Thus, t h e p o l i t i c a l v i o l e n c e o f t h e 1960s i n V e n e z u e l a was s u p p o r t e d m a i n l y by i n t e l l e c t u a l s and s t u d e n t s i n s p i r e d by s o c i a l i s t movements i n o t h e r c o u n t r i e s , not by the V e n e z u e l a n lower c l a s s . The p o e t s t h a t b e s t r e p r e s e n t the a e s t h e t i c s o f t h i s p o e t i c group are Juan C a l z a d i l l a and C a u p o l i c a n O v a l l e s . Of p a r t i c u l a r i m p o r t a n c e i s t h e i r development of urban-based a e s t h e t i c s o f r u p t u r e , a l i e n a t i o n , and v i o l e n c e . The chaos of t h e unprecedented growth o f Caracas was t h e s o u r c e o f w i d e s p r e a d m a r g i n a l i t y ( H e l l i n g e r 76). T h i s was due, i n p a r t , t o an e x p a n s i o n o f the p o p u l a t i o n , and a m i g r a t i o n from r u r a l a r e a s , which exceeded the growth i n i n f r a s t r u c t u r e and employment. The i n c r e a s i n g u r b a n i z a t i o n o f V e n e z u e l a l e d t h e s e p o e t s t o d e v e l o p an a p p r o p r i a t e a e s t h e t i c : E l l o s descubren a l l e c t o r e l caos y l a f e a l d a d de l a nueva C a r a c a s . . . Se p l a n t e a b a l a n e c e s i d a d de b u s c a r un nuevo l e n g u a j e y l o c r e a n , l l e n o de " f e i s m o s " , " v u l g a r i d a d e s " y " s u c i e d a d e s " ; todo l o a n t i p o e t i c o e l e v a d o a c a t e g o r i a e s t e t i c a , l a i r r e v e r e n c i a v e r b a l p a r a c a n t a r l o s " d e s g a r r o n e s d e l alma" y l a r e a l i d a d v u l g a r y c o t i d i a n a . ( V e r a 59) The r o l e of t h e s e a u t h o r s was s t i l l t h a t o f t h e v i s i o n a r y , but now t h i s i n c l u d e d an i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f the new s o c i a l r e a l i t i e s brought about by u r b a n i z a t i o n . U r b a n i z a t i o n i t s e l f would be a c a t a l y s t f o r the p o s t m o d e r n i z a t i o n o f a e s t h e t i c s , but i n i t i a l l y t h e s e poets m e r e l y adapted t o u r b a n i z a t i o n w i t h o u t m o d i f y i n g t h e g o a l s of M o d e r n i t y , which almost always i n c l u d e d the i d e a o f p r o g r e s s . D u r i n g th e 1950s and 1960s the revenues from o i l p r o d u c t i o n i n the c o u n t r y were used t o f i n a n c e a m b i t i o u s d i v e r s i f i c a t i o n p r o j e c t s i n i n d u s t r y and m a n u f a c t u r i n g . Government spending on t h e s e p r o j e c t s was c o n c e n t r a t e d i n C aracas and t h e p o p u l a t i o n s w e l l e d as r u r a l w o r k ers and i m migrants f l o c k e d t o t h e c i t y f o r j o b s . Economic p r o s p e r i t y f u e l e d by u n r e s t r a i n e d government s p e n d i n g h e l p e d d e v e l o p e d a l a r g e m i d d l e - c l a s s which "was c o n t e n t t o h e l p i t s e l f t o the sumptuous f i n a n c i a l banquet l a i d out f o r t h e m " ( H e l l i n g e r 88). The massive u r b a n i z a t i o n was accompanied by an i n c r e a s e i n b o u r g e o i s i n f l u e n c e and N o r t h American v a l u e s : V enezuelan's were out of s t e p w i t h much o f the r e s t of t h e c o n t i n e n t , which had a l r e a d y e n c o u n t e r e d . . . [ m o d e r n i t y ] and was now l o o k i n g a g a i n f o r i t s r o o t s . V e n e z u e l a was l i t e r a l l y b u l l d o z i n g i t s p a s t and r e p l a c i n g i t w i t h N o r t h American mass c u l t u r e — b a s e b a l l , p i z z a , • hamburger, c o m m e r c i a l s , s k y s c r a p e r s , movies, and o t h e r c u l t u r a l i m p o r t s . ( H e l l i n g e r 79) The r e a c t i o n by p o e t s such as Juan C a l z a d i l l a and C a u p o l i c a n O v a l l e s t o t h i s urban development, was t o r e v e a l an i d e o l o g i c a l s t a n c e on the "enfermedad u r b a n a " ( R a n g e l 15) and s o c i a l d i s p a r i t y o f the c i t y . The n e g a t i v e p r e s s u r e s o f urban l i f e a r e c a p t u r e d i n v e r s e by t h e s e poets and p r e s e n t e d as f o r m a t i v e elements i n t h e n a t i o n a l psyche. These p o e t s " r e s o l v i e r o n a h a c e r suyos todos l o s i n g r e d i e n t e s de e s t a r e a l i d a d t u m u l t u o s a a l a que se asomaban, s i n d e t e n e r s e en j e r a r q u i a s y c l a s i f i c a c i o n e s e s t e t i c a s " (Rama, Antologia 2 3 ) . The language t h e y employ t o p r e s e n t the t o t a l i t y o f the urban e x p e r i e n c e i n c l u d e s a common, p r o s a i c l e x i s which b o r d e r s on t h e v u l g a r . The mockery o f b o u r g e o i s s o c i e t y i s e v i d e n t i n poems such as C a u p o l i c a n O v a l l e s ' "^Duerme Usted, sehor P r e s i d e n t e ? " , which makes f u n not o n l y o f the p r e s i d e n t but a l l t h e w e l l - f e d , o v e r - p r i v i l e g e d r e c i p i e n t s o f economic p r o s p e r i t y . I n the poem, t h e urban environment i s p r e s e n t e d as u n d e s i r a b l e and as the n a t u r a l element o f d i r t y p o l i t i c i a n s and the e x p l o i t a t i v e w e a l t h y : como es e l e g i d o por v o l u n t a d de todos l o s m a y o r i t a r i o s duenos de inmensas r i q u e z a s . . . por su boca c o r r e n l a s aguas malas de todas l a s c i u d a d e s . ( 6 1 ) In t h e poem t h e p r e s i d e n t , i n s p i t e o f h i s ma l e v o l e n c e , i s a b l e t o s l e e p , and even s m i l e w h i l e he dreams. The p r e s i d e n t " v i v e gozando en su p a l a c i o " ( 6 2 ) w h i l e the p e o p l e s u f f e r . C o n t r a s t i n g s h a r p l y w i t h t h e image of dreams as death i n t h e p o e t r y o f G e r b a s i , O v a l l e s d e s c r i b e s t h e p r e s i d e n t as "Jo s e e l de l o s suefios, e l de l a s vacas s a g r a d a s " ( 6 4 ) . The a g g r e s s i v e n a t u r e o f the poem has l e a d A n g e l Rama t o d e s c r i b e i t as an " a c t o t e r r o r i s t a , t a l como puede c o n c e b i r s e en l a o r b i t a de l a p a l a b r a y l a ima g e n " { A n t o l o g i a 2 7 ) . In t h e case of- Juan C a l z a d i l l a , J u l i o M iranda has ob s e r v e d t h a t " l a urbe ha e n t r a d o a c u c h i l l o en su p o e s i a , t r a n s f o r m a n d o l a " ( S a l a s 2 0 9 ) 8 . A r e c u r r i n g theme i n C a l z a d i l l a ' s p o e t r y i s the n e g a t i v e a b s o r p t i o n o f i n d i v i d u a l i t y by the d e s o l a t e space of t h e c i t y . I n " P r i n c i p i o s de U r b a n i d a d " the poet has t o shout t o be heard, and h i s c r y i s "soy i n v i s i b l e " ( P r i n c i p i o s 43). In t h e d e a f e n i n g environment of t h e c i t y the i n d i v i d u a l ' s v o i c e s t r u g g l e s t o be heard. As a r e s u l t , v i o l e n c e , i n " E l a c t o p o e t i c o p u r o , " becomes a means of communication, as we can see here: Hay cosas que p o d r i a n d e c i r s e mejor s i uno t u v i e r a a l a mano un c u c h i l l o . { P r i n c i p i o s 29) The apparent c i v i l i t y o f the environment i s , i n f a c t , c o n d u c i v e t o p r i m a l i n s t i n c t s : f e a r , s u s p i c i o n and d i s t r u s t . R e a l i t y i s d e s c r i b e d as p e r v e r s e , and t h e p r e s s u r e o f t h i s r e a l i t y l e a d s t o v i o l e n c e . In "La c i u d a d l e va s o r b i e n d o l o s s e s o s " C a l z a d i l l a p r e s e n t s an i r o n i c v i s i o n of urban unhappiness i n which t h e c i t y i t s e l f blames t h e i n h a b i t a n t s f o r t h e i r d e s o l a t i o n : Y he a q u i l o que l a c i u d a d argumenta: -Bueno, y q u e . i P o r que no se va u s t e d a o t r a p a r t e ? Es u s t e d e l que e s t a d e m a s . { P r i n c i p i o s 35) Juan C a l z a d i l l a i n t r o d u c e s here a p o e t r y of the urban environment which f o c u s e s on the a l i e n a t i o n and chaos of the i n d i v i d u a l as a r e f l e c t i o n o f the m e t r o p o l i s . The h e l p l e s s n e s s of t h i s a l i e n a t e d and i s o l a t e d s u b j e c t r e f l e c t s a need f o r c o l l e c t i v e s u p p o r t . The s e l f -s u f f i c i e n c y and c o n f i d e n c e o f the i n d i v i d u a l s u b j e c t i s r e p l a c e d , i n t h i s s t a g e o f M o d e r n i t y i n V e n e z u e l a , w i t h an i n s e c u r i t y and p o w e r l e s s n e s s t h a t l e a d s t o a s e a r c h f o r s o l i d a r i t y . Ideology and the Subject In t h e l i t e r a r y groups Sardio, El Techo de la Ballena, and Tab la Redonda, t h e r e i s a c l e a r i d e o l o g i c a l agenda. For the w r i t e r s o f t h e s e groups th e s u b j e c t i s d e f i n e d i n terms of h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p s . As we mentioned i n c h a p t e r one, the s u b j e c t , a c c o r d i n g t o a M a r x i s t p e r s p e c t i v e , must be r e f e r e n c e d w i t h p o l i t i c a l power and t h e development of t h e s u b j e c t o c c u r s as a r e s u l t o f t h e c o n t i n u a l s t r u g g l e between l a b o r and c a p i t a l . From a M a r x i s t p o i n t o f view, s o c i a l p r a c t i c e s are d i s t o r t e d by t h e dominant c l a s s i n o r d e r t o p r e s e r v e and p r o t e c t t h e i r own i n t e r e s t s . In t h e 1960s, th e p o l i t i c a l l y a c t i v e p o ets o f the above mentioned groups, many of whom were M a r x i s t , sought t o use p o e t r y as a means o f e x p o s i n g t h e d i s t o r t i o n s o f t h e dominant c l a s s . Beyond a e s t h e t i c s , the v a l u e o f p o e t r y was seen t o be i t s a b i l i t y t o r e v e a l s o c i a l " t r u t h s " , which i n c l u d e d the d e c e p t i v e n a t u r e o f Venez u e l a ' s "democracy". The p o l i t i c a l system p r e v e n t e d the p a r t i c i p a t i o n of t h e wor k i n g c l a s s and c o n t i n u e d t o p r o t e c t , i n the o p i n i o n o f many of t h e s e i n s u r g e n t p o e t s , the same o l i g a r c h y of t h e d i c t a t o r i a l p e r i o d . A r t i s t s and i n t e l l e c t u a l s who f a v o r e d t h i s v i e w p o i n t o f t e n s u p p o r t e d armed r e v o l u t i o n a r y a c t i v i t i e s t h r o u g h the p r o d u c t i o n of a " l i t e r a t u r e of v i o l e n c e " . The s u b j e c t i n t h i s p o e t r y i s t h e a l i e n a t e d and i s o l a t e d v i c t i m of s o c i a l f o r c e s beyond h i s c o n t r o l as an i n d i v i d u a l . T h i s i s e v i d e n t i n the poem " E l Jugador" by Ramon Palomares, a member o f Sardio. I n the poem the p r o t a g o n i s t i s surrounded by mountains o f g o l d and s i l v e r , women, and p r e c i o u s stones which d i s a p p e a r i n t o dust and ash as the poem p r o g r e s s e s . The r i c h e s a r e but i l l u s i o n s and the speaker remains naked and a l o n e . There i s a tone o f s u b t e r f u g e and d e c e p t i o n i n t h e poem which m i r r o r s the d e c e p t i o n found i n the s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l t a c t i c s o f t h e r u l i n g c l a s s . The r i c h e s o f t h e p e t r o l e u m i n d u s t r y a re used a t t h i s t ime by the s t a t e t o buy an i l l u s i o n o f w e l l - b e i n g t h a t d i s g u i s e s the d i s c r e p a n c i e s of t h e p o l i t i c a l system. The p r o l e t a r i a t , l i k e the gambler i n the poem, w i l l e v e n t u a l l y become aware of the d e c e p t i o n : Y esos o j o s de e l v i e r o n una l u z y v o l v i e r o n en s i Y v o l v i e r o n a m i r a r s e como e r a e l Y t e n d i o l a mano sobre l o s m o n t o n c i t o s de c e n i z a ("El Jugador" 181) The poem s e r v e s as a s u b t l e commentary on t h e f a l l a c y o f a " d e m o c r a t i c " system which i s m a i n t a i n e d t h r o u g h b r i b e r y . The i n d i v i d u a l s u b j e c t sees a mound o f g o l d i n which he i s "en e l c e n t r o y en l o mas a l t o d e l monte" but he does not see t h e l a u g h t e r o f " a q u e l l o s d i e n t e s que c h i s p e a b a n " . The s o l i t a r y s u b j e c t i s over-exposed t o t h e m a n i p u l a t i o n o f unknown and unexpected f o r c e s . P o l i t i c a l d i s i l l u s i o n i s e v i d e n t i n the development o f the s u b j e c t i n much of- the p o e t r y o f t h i s p e r i o d . The e x c l u s i o n o f t h e Communist p a r t y from the Punto F i j o p a c t was e v i d e n c e o f t h e e x c l u s i v i t y of t h e dominant p o l i t i c a l p a r t i e s i n V e n e z u e l a . The concerned i n t e l l e c t u a l was thus f a c e d w i t h s u p p o r t i n g armed i n s u r r e c t i o n , as many d i d , o r r e s i g n i n g h i m s e l f t o the f u t i l i t y o f opp o s i n g an i n i q u i t o u s system. In the p o e t r y of R a f a e l Cadenas, the s u b j e c t d e v e l o p s i n a manner which suggests r e s i g n a t i o n and f u t i l i t y , but c o n t i n u e s t o s t r u g g l e . E l e n a Vera observes t h a t i n t h e p o e t r y o f R a f a e l Cadenas "hay siempre un p e r s o n a j e que se a u t o a n a l i z a en forma d r a m a t i c a , que l u c h a en c o n t r a de un tiempo y un e s p a c i o s o c i a l que l o usa, l o segrega y f i n a l m e n t e , l o d e r r o t a " ( 4 6 ) . T h i s t r a i t can be ob s e r v e d i n the poem " D e r r o t a " . In " D e r r o t a " , the speaker e x p r e s s e s h i s d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n w i t h b o t h h i m s e l f and r e v o l u t i o n a r y s o l u t i o n s t o s o c i e t a l problems, because both i n d i v i d u a l and c o l l e c t i v e e n t i t i e s are i n e f f e c t i v e and i n a d e q u a t e . The speaker e x p r e s s e s h i s s k e p t i c i s m o f r e v o l u t i o n a r y s o l u t i o n s by s t a t i n g "no soy de l a FALN y me desespero p o r todas e s t a s / cosas y por o t r a s cuya enumeracion s e r i a / i n t e r m i n a b l e " ("Derrota" 136). Disappointment i n the r e v o l u t i o n a r y model i s e v i d e n t as w e l l i n " F r a c a s o " i n which t h e speaker d e c l a r e s "Cuanto he tornado por v i c t o r i a es s o l o humo"(139). In t h i s poem t h e p o e t i c v o i c e speaks d i r e c t l y t o a p e r s o n i f i e d f a i l u r e : Por t i no conozco l a a n g u s t i a de r e p r e s e n t a r un p a p e l , mantenerme a l a f u e r z a en un e s c a l o n , t r e p a r con e s f u e r z o s p r o p i o s , r e f i i r por j e r a r q u i a s , i n f l a r m e h a s t a r e v e n t a r . Me has hecho humilde, s i l e n c i o s o y r e b e l d e . (140) F a i l u r e has become a c o n s t a n t companion of the speaker and has m o d i f i e d , as a r e s u l t , h i s s e l f - i m a g e . T h i s d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t extends from the p o e t i c v o i c e t o the poet h i m s e l f who withdraws "de todo p r o y e c t o s o c i a l y se i n s t a l a en una p o e s i a i n t e r i o r i z a n t e , e s c r i t a en un tiempo que parece i g n o r a r l a h i s t o r i a " ( V e r a 4 7 ) . T h i s change i s a l s o e v i d e n t i n o t h e r poets' who, a f t e r t h e death of Che Guevara and t h e subsequent f a i l u r e o f the r e v o l u t i o n a r y e f f o r t i n B o l i v i a , b e g i n t o abandon m i l i t a n t , r e v o l u t i o n a r y language, i n f a v o r o f an i n t r o s p e c t i v e , h e r m e t i c c o m p o s i t i o n . There was a c l e a r i n i t i a l r e s i s t a n c e from the v a r i o u s groups t o the s i g n s o f d i s i l l u s i o n which some poets began t o d i s p l a y . As t h e l o s s o f c o n f i d e n c e i n t h e need, as i t was s t i p u l a t e d i n most o f t h e group's m a n i f e s t o e s , t o connect r e v o l u t i o n a r y i d e o l o g y w i t h a e s t h e t i c p r o d u c t i o n became more common, groups l i k e Tabla Redonda fought t h i s tendency i n t h e i r e d i t o r i a l pages. I n Tabla Redonda, which was not as m i l i t a n t a group as El Techo de la Ballena, w r i t e r s who abandoned a r e v o l u t i o n a r y s t a n c e were condemned f o r c o w a r d l y abandoning t h e i r r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s 9 . In p a r t i c u l a r , t h e tendency towards i n d i v i d u a l i s m was denounced as a n e g a t i o n o f a s o c i a l r e a l i t y which r e q u i r e d the s o l i d a r i t y o f a r t i s t s . Freedom from an i n d i v i d u a l p e r s p e c t i v e was, f o r t h i s group, an i l l u s i o n c r e a t e d by the dominant c l a s s t o p r e s e r v e i t s hegemony. I n p a r t i c u l a r , the group negates t h e p o s s i b i l i t y o f a "freedom" which i s not c l a s s based. The magazine c r i t i c i z e s t h o s e w r i t e r s who have opt e d f o r " l a v i a p e r s o n a l , i n t e r i o r i s t a , t e n d i d a sobre e l t e r r e n o de una l i b e r t a d p e r s o n a l que p o d i a s e p a r a r s e de l a n e c e s i d a d h i s t o r i c a " ( T a b l a 3 3 ) . Poets who s p e c u l a t e on a " l i b e r t a d ' i n t e r i o r i n a ' " a r e , a c c o r d i n g t o t h i s group, r e l y i n g on an " i n d i v i d u a l i s m o negante d e l ve r d a d e r o i n d i v i d u o e x i s t e n t e en su r e a l i d a d v i t a l " ( T a b l a 4 15). In s p i t e o f the e f f o r t s made by t h e more " r e v o l u t i o n a r y " members o f the p o e t i c groups of the 1960s t o m a i n t a i n t h e i r m i l i t a n c y , t h e r e was a g r a d u a l s h i f t from t h i s " m a r g i n a l i z e d " and " a n t i - s o c i a l " p o s i t i o n of w r i t e r s ( w i t h r e s p e c t t o the dominant i d e o l o g y ) towards a more c e n t r a l i z e d and c o n f o r m i s t i d e o l o g y . T h i s was not j u s t the r e s u l t of a d i s a p p o i n t m e n t With t h e r e s u l t s o f the r e v o l u t i o n a r y s t r u g g l e , but a l s o o f a d i r e c t program o f i n t e r f e r e n c e and d i v i s i o n i n i t i a t e d by t h e dominant c l a s s and d i r e c t e d towards s u b v e r s i v e s o u r c e s o f a e s t h e t i c s . D u r i n g the 1970s the s t a t e began t o d i r e c t some of i t s immense r e s o u r c e s towards the s u p p o r t o f a r t and c u l t u r e . T h i s was p a r t l y a d e s i r e t o be i n c l u d e d among those F i r s t World n a t i o n s , such as France and England, t h a t were known f o r s u p p o r t i n g c u l t u r a l p r o j e c t s . In a d d i t i o n , however, th e s t a t e s p o n s o r s h i p o f " t a l l e r e s l i t e r a r i a s " such as C e l a r g and Fundarte, and t h e p r o m o t i o n of p o e t r y t h r o u g h t h e f o u n d i n g of La Casa de l a P o e s i a by the Consejo N a c i o n a l de l a C u l t u r a , undermined a n t i - e s t a b l i s h m e n t , l e f t i s t , c u l t u r a l p r o d u c t i o n . A l t h o u g h t h e s t a t e d i d not p l a c e r e s t r i c t i o n s on the i d e o l o g i c a l d i r e c t i o n o f a r t i s t s i n v o l v e d i n government-sponsored c u l t u r a l e v e n t s , t h e i n v o l v e m e n t o f the s t a t e c l e a r l y m a n i p u l a t e d the p r o d u c t i v e environment t o the advantage o f t h e e l i t e c l a s s . Ana T e r e s a T o r r e s has o b s e r v e d t h i s e f f e c t on the V enezuelan w r i t e r : E l e s p a c i o p a r a que e l c r e a d o r , e l e s c r i t o r en e s t e caso, exponga su c r e a c i o n no es o t r o que e l e s p a c i o s o c i a l y ese e s p a c i o e s t a copado por e l poder. En e l ha o c u r r i d o a l g o que p o d r i a l l a m a r s e e r o s i o n de l a p a l a b r a . . . . ( 6 3 ) The funds p r o v i d e d by the s t a t e f o r c u l t u r a l p r o d u c t i o n i n f l u e n c e d t h e type o f l i t e r a t u r e produced i n the c o u n t r y . The new, augmented r o l e o f the s t a t e i n l i t e r a r y p r o d u c t i o n l e d t o a reassessment of the i n t e l l e c t u a l c l a s s . The " e s t a t i z a c i o n " of t h e i n t e l l e c t u a l c l a s s , Ha terminado por moldear una m a t r i z de o p i n i o n segun l a c u a l e l e s c r i t o r , e l i n t e l e c t u a l en g e n e r a l , es un p a r a s i t o , l o que es permanentemente r e f r e n d a d o por l o s medios de c o m u n i c a c i o n que d e s t a c a n como su u n i c o p r o b l e m a t i c a l a s o l i c i t u d de s u b s i d i o s . . . ( T o r r e s 61) The " n e u t r a l i z a c i o n p o l i t i c a d e l movimiento i n t e l e c t u a l " ( T o r r e s 55) f o l l o w i n g the 1960s was f a c i l i t a t e d by the c r e a t i o n o f p r e s t i g i o u s appointments f o r r e v o l u t i o n a r y i n t e l l e c t u a l s . These i n d i v i d u a l s became u n i v e r s i t y p r o f e s s o r s , l e a d e r s o f p o e t i c workshops, heads o f c u l t u r a l a s s o c i a t i o n s , and o c c u p i e d o t h e r esteemed p o s t s . I n t h i s manner, t h e s e p r e v i o u s l y m a r g i n a l a c t o r s were i n c o r p o r a t e d i n t o the c e n t e r o f c u l t u r a l p r o d u c t i o n . By t h e mid 1970s many of t h e w r i t e r s t h a t had s u p p o r t e d r e v o l u t i o n a r y a c t i v i t y had become e s t a b l i s h e d l i t e r a r y f i g u r e s . T h i s was a p e r i o d o f a "boom t a l l e r i s t i c o " ( V a r d e r i 227) i n which a r t i s t s and w r i t e r s were g r a n t e d s t a t e f e l l o w s h i p s f o r t h e i r p a r t i c i p a t i o n as l e a d e r s i n the " t a l l e r e s " . The m a n i p u l a t i o n o f the i n t e l l e c t u a l had an u n d e n i a b l e e f f e c t on t h e development of t h e s u b j e c t and i d e o l o g y i n the l i t e r a t u r e of t h e 1970s. On one hand, the s u b j e c t appears u n f u l f i l l e d and absent as a r e s u l t of the d i s i l l u s i o n a s s o c i a t e d w i t h p o l i t i c a l f a i l u r e , and on t h e o t h e r hand t h e s u b j e c t r e j e c t s t h e c u l t u r e o f consumerism of which he i s a p r o d u c t . T h i s l e a d s t o a n a t i o n a l l i t e r a r y p r o d u c t i o n which "ha dejado de o f r e c e r senas de i d e n t i d a d y que, por c o n s i g u i e n t e , t r a n s c u r r e en e s c e n a r i o s a l e j a d o s y e v a s i v o s " ( T o r r e s 60). I n the 1970s the p o e t i c s u b j e c t seems t o i n i t i a t e a p h i l o s o p h i c a l u n c e r t a i n t y i n the " t r u t h " and " p r o g r e s s " o f c l a s s s t r u g g l e . As a r e s u l t , the a e s t h e t i c d i r e c t i o n o f p o e t r y t u r n s towards i n t r o s p e c t i o n , an "'ensimismamiento' en l a e s c r i t u r a que anul a b a t o d a p o s i b i l i d a d de empantanarse en l o s l o d a z a l e s de l a r e a l i d a d i n m e d i a t a , temerosos l o s a r t i s t a s de s e r r e c o n o c i d o s como m o r a l i z a d o r e s t r a s n o c h a d o s " ( C a s t i l l o Zapata, " U l t i m o ensayo" 78). The end o f the "compromiso i d e o l o g i c o " of t h e w r i t e r s o f t h e 1960s t r i g g e r e d an i d e n t i t y c r i s i s which r e s u l t e d i n a "busqueda de una nueva fundamentacion...de una renovada• p o e t i c a ' ( M i r a n d a ) . The a e s t h e t i c d i r e c t i o n of t h e poet o f the 1970s r e f l e c t s a d i s a p p o i n t m e n t w i t h t h e f a i l u r e of t h e "am p l i o s c a n t o s t o t a l i z a d o r e s " o f the 1960s by r e t u r n i n g t o an " i n d a g a c i o n mas o menos s i s t e m a t i c a sobre e l i n s t r u m e n t o de su i n m e d i a t a eompetencia: e l l e n g u a j e p o e t i c o " ( L a s a r t e 277). T h i s had the e f f e c t o f c r e a t i n g a s t y l e o f w r i t i n g which, as was the case f o r A l f r e d o S i l v a E s t r a d a and o t h e r s , was c l a s s i f i e d as m e t a p h y s i c a l , p h i l o s o p h i c a l and " d i f i c i l de comprender"(Vera 5 8 ) . The t r a n s c e n d e n t a l t e n d e n c i e s o f t h i s p o e t r y r e f l e c t s a r e t u r n t o an i n d i v i d u a l , s u b j e c t i v e e x p l a n a t i o n of r e a l i t y 1 0 . The i n i t i a l r e a c t i o n o f w r i t e r s , f a c e d w i t h the d i s a p p o i n t m e n t of t h e c o l l e c t i v e model o f reason was t o d i s t a n c e themselves from a M a r x i s t o r i e n t e d s e a r c h f o r t r u t h . But t h i s a l s o i m p l i e d a breakdown o f M o d e r n i t y ' s i m p l i e d promise of c o n t r o l and p r o g r e s s . In V e n e z u e l a , t h e r e was a g l a r i n g d i s c r e p a n c y between M o d e r n i t y ' s c l a i m s and the e f f e c t s a c h i e v e d . I n s t e a d of wo r k i n g t o a c h i e v e c o n t r o l o v e r t h e i r n a t u r a l and human environment, the a p p l i c a t i o n o f M a r x i s t i d e o l o g y and an " a e s t h e t i c compromise" by t h e a r t i s t r e s u l t e d i n an i n c r e a s e d v u l n e r a b i l i t y t o t h e m a c h i n a t i o n s o f t h e e l i t e t o m a i n t a i n hegemony. The " r e v o l u t i o n a r y " and " m a r g i n a l " a r t i s t of t h e 1960s became t h e v e n e r a t e d and c e n t r a l i z e d c u l t u r a l o f f i c i a l o f the 1970s through t h e e f f o r t s o f t h e s t a t e , and t h e r e f o r e o f the e l i t e . A e s t h e t i c p r o d u c t i o n u n d e r s t a n d a b l y became e r u d i t e and h e r m e t i c as t h e a r t i s t t r i e d , i n v a i n , t o r e c u p e r a t e a n o t i o n o f re a s o n i n an environment o f c o n f u s i o n and an e v e r - i n c r e a s i n g v u l n e r a b i l i t y t o t h e f o r c e o f t h e i n t a n g i b l e , t h e unexpected, and t h e c o n t i n g e n t . For t h e f i r s t t i m e i n t h e l i t e r a r y h i s t o r y o f V e n e z u e l a t h e i n t e l l e c t u a l seemed t o f a c e , as B r i t t o G a r c i a n o t e s , "una e x i s t e n c i a n a c i o n a l e i n d i v i d u a l s i n p r o y e c t o " ( 3 8 ) . The r e l i a n c e on r e a s o n and t r u t h as t h e backbone of p h i l o s o p h y i s u n s e t t l e d and, i n a d d i t i o n , " l o s a p a r a t o s c u l t u r a l e s o f i c i a l e s d e s a l i e n t a n t a l e s m a n i f e s t a c i o n e s l i t e r a r i a s y s u b s i d i a n , a l i e n t a n , premian, e d i t a n y d i f u n d e n una p r o d u c c i o n d e s i d e o l o g i z a d a " ( B r i t t o 38) . ' • In t h e l a t e 1970s, i t appears on t h e s u r f a c e , t h a t t h e e l i t e - c o n t r o l l e d "democracy" o f V e n e z u e l a has s o l i d i f i e d . The i n t e l l e c t u a l e l i t e has j o i n e d the w o r k i n g c l a s s i n succumbing t o t h e i n f l u e n c e o f the abundance o f p e t r o d o l l a r s . The c r e a t i v e environment i s one i n which " e l Estado paga l a l i t e r a t u r a , y tambien l a r e p a r t e , l a o r g a n i z a , l a convoca" ( T o r r e s 61). T h i s s i t u a t i o n i n the c r e a t i v e environment i s i n d i c a t i v e o f t h e r o l e o f the s t a t e i n a l l a s p e c t s o f V e n e z u e l a n s o c i e t y . In V e n e z u e l a the s t a t e i s r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the d i s t r i b u t i o n of w e a l t h from p e t r o l e u m income t o groups and i n d i v i d u a l s t h r o u g h a v a r i e t y o f mechanisms. Because the p e t r o l e u m i n d u s t r y i s an e x t e r n a l economic s e c t o r , owned by t h e s t a t e , and not an i n t e r n a l s o u r c e o f income, such as t a x e s or p u b l i c f e e s , i t has not been n e c e s s a r y t o t a k e from one s e c t o r i n o r d e r t o s u p p l y a n o t h e r . The s t a t e i s a b l e t o d i s t r i b u t e w e a l t h r a t h e r t h a n r e d i s t r i b u t e i t , and. a l l n a t i o n a l s e c t o r s a r e t h e r e f o r e b e n e f i c i a r i e s of t h e s t a t e . S i n c e the i n c e p t i o n o f "democracy" i n V e n e z u e l a t h e r e has been a s y s t e m a t i c i n c r e a s e i n t h e d i s t r i b u t i o n of r e s o u r c e s t hrough government budget a l l o c a t i o n s and the development of t h e b u r e a u c r a c y . Through p u b l i c s p e n d i n g , the s t a t e c r e a t e d s o c i a l consensus and l e g i t i m a t e d the s o c i a l o r d e r . T h i s had the e f f e c t o f c r e a t i n g " c o l l u s i o n between groups or c l a s s e s t h a t , a c c o r d i n g t o a M a r x i s t p e r s p e c t i v e , s h o u l d be c o n s i d e r e d a n t a g o n i s t i c " ( C r i s p 142). Thus, "democracy" was m a i n t a i n e d and c l a s s s t r u g g l e was r e p r e s s e d as l o n g as r e s o u r c e s were p l e n t i f u l and c o n s t a n t l y i n c r e a s i n g . When o i l p r i c e s dropped i n t h e l a t e 1970s, t h e s t a t e u n d e r s t a n d a b l y f a c e d a c r i s i s of l e g i t i m a c y . The s t a t e was u n w i l l i n g t o address the c r i s e s t h r o u g h p o l i t i c a l change, which would have meant a r e d u c t i o n o f e l i t e c o n t r o l . I n s t e a d , i t t u r n e d t o an i n c r e a s e i n f o r e i g n l o a n s t o m a i n t a i n t h e s t a t u s quo. A l t h o u g h t h e t r u e e f f e c t of t h i s p o l i c y was not f e l t u n t i l t h e end o f t h e 1980s, when th e s t a t e was f o r c e d by t h e IMF t o implement an a u s t e r i t y program as a c o n d i t i o n t o o b t a i n i n g new l o a n s , t h e r e was an i n i t i a l l o s s of c o n f i d e n c e i n the p o l i t i c a l , economic and s o c i a l r o l e of the s t a t e among the i n t e l l e c t u a l c l a s s . . T h i s l a c k o f c o n f i d e n c e was not m a n i f e s t e d , as i t had been i n e a r l i e r epochs, t h r o u g h l e f t i s t " r e v o l u t i o n a r y " r h e t o r i c nor o t h e r " i d e o l o g i c a l " s o l u t i o n s . R a t h e r , i t tended t o i n d i c a t e a d e c l i n e i n t h e c o n f i d e n c e o f t h e s e systems t h e m s e l v e s . The d i s i l l u s i o n o f p a s t e x p e r i e n c e s , combined w i t h a r e c o g n i t i o n o f t h e new r e a l i t y p r o j e c t e d by Western l a t e c a p i t a l i s m l e d some i n t e l l e c t u a l groups t o withdraw from o f f e r i n g a t o t a l i z i n g s o l u t i o n t o p o l i t i c a l , economic, or s o c i a l problems. W r i t e r s and p o e t s who had t r a d i t i o n a l l y embraced t h e r o l e of s o c i a l commentator now showed s i g n s o f u n c e r t a i n t y towards the p r o j e c t s o f re a s o n and p o l i t i c a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y which were c e n t r a l t o t h e age o f M o d e r n i t y . T h i s s t a g e i n t h e development of a e s t h e t i c s among p o e t i c groups can be c l a s s i f i e d as a c r i s i s o f M o d e r n i t y . CHAPTER 3 END NOTES 'A c c o r d i n g t o Rusdow i n " T r a n s i t i o n s t o Democracy. Towards a Dynamic model," the f o r m a t i o n o f some k i n d of n a t i o n a l agreement on u n i t y i s n e c e s s a r y f o r the t r a n s i t i o n from a regime t o a democracy. I f t h i s c o n d i t i o n does not e x i s t the more p o w e r f u l group w i l l u t i l i z e the e x i s t i n g s t r u c t u r e t o implement a new regime, or the s p l i n t e r e d p a r t y system w i l l weaken e f f o r t s t o a c h i e v e the d e m o c r a t i c m a j o r i t y r e q u i r e d f o r e f f e c t i v e p o l i c y i m p l e m e n t a t i o n . 2An example o f t h e s e c o n c e s s i o n s was the a s s u r a n c e by Accion Democratica (AD) t h a t i t would not a t t a c k t h e i d e o l o g i e s o f the p edagogic s t a t e or the c a t h o l i c e d u c a t i o n f a v o r e d by t h e P a r t i d o S o c i a l C r i s t i a n o de V e n e z u e l a / Comite de O r g a n i z a c i o n P o l ' i t i c a E l e c t o r a l I n d e p e n d i e n t e . (COPEI). 3 See R. B r i c e h o Leon, Los efectos perversos del petroleo. C a r a c a s : C a p r i l e s , 1990. f o r a d i s c u s s i o n o f the p r i v a t e s e c t o r ' s r e l i a n c e on s t a t e f a v o r s f o r s u r v i v a l . O i l revenue was d i s t r i b u t e d t h rough th e p a r t i e s t o t h e i r c o n s t i t u e n t s and t o o r g a n i z a t i o n s . Any o r g a n i z a t i o n which d i d not a s s o c i a t e w i t h the p a r t i e s were not a b l e t o access r e s o u r c e s . 4 T h i s a t t i t u d e can be o b s e r v e d , f o r example, i n the poet Andres E l o y B l a n c o who was a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the AD p a r t y . 5 For an account of the r o l e o f t h e w r i t e r i n p r omoting and m a i n t a i n i n g t h e c l a s s o r d e r o f power and s u b m i s s i o n i n V e n e z u e l a see Carmelo V i l d a , Proceso de la cultura en Venezuela, I I I ; C a r a c a s : C e n t r o G u m i l l a , 1984; a l s o H a r r i s o n S a b i n Howard, Romulo Gallegos y la revolucion burguesa en Venezuela, C a r a c a s : Monte A v i l a , 1977. 6 The m a n i f e s t o s t a t e s , i n t h i s r e s p e c t , t h a t A s i como condenamos c u a l q u i e r e s t e t i c i s m o , condenamos tambien c u a l q u i e r n a c i o n a l i s m o exacerbado y a r r o g a n t e . Respetamos en e l f o l k l o r e y en n u e s t r a s mejores t r a d i c i o n e s e l alma e s c l a r e c i d a d e l p u e b l o , pero nos p a r ece que c i e r t o s a r t i s t a s han i n s u r g i d o en una s u e r t e de depredadores i r r e v e r e n t e s de ese p a t r i m o n i o . (Testimonio 61) In t h i s manner the group d e c l a r e s i t s b e l i e f i n a l o c a l h e r i t a g e but n e i t h e r l i m i t s o u t s i d e i n f l u e n c e s nor a c c e p t s any l o c a l l y based a r t i s t i c c r e a t i o n , e s p e c i a l l y i f t h a t l o c a l c r e a t i o n s u p p o r t s a compromised p o l i t i c a l c i r c u m s t a n c e as a s u b s t i t u t e f o r a u t h e n t i c p r o g r e s s . The group thus r e j e c t s a "democracy" which m e r e l y o s c i l l a t e s between v e r s i o n s o f t h e e l i t e . 7 See, f o r example, Aime C e s a i r e , " I n the Guis e o f a L i t e r a r y M a n i f e s t o " i n which t h e v i o l e n t images ("words t h a t are t i d a l waves and e r y s i p e l a e and p a l u d i s m s , and l a v a e , and b r u s h f i r e s , and f l e s h aflame, and towns t o r c h e d . . . " ) a r e used t o convey t h e r e v o l u t i o n a r y i d e o l o g y o f s u r r e a l i s m ( q t d . I n Caws 486). 8 The poet v i s u a l l y r e p r e s e n t s t h e v i o l e n c e o f the urban • environment as w e l l . I n the poem " E l A s e s i n o " C a l z a d i l l a a g g r e s s i v e l y a d d r e s s e s the f a t a l i t y of h i s e x i s t e n c e by f o c u s i n g on t h e l a c k o f c o n t r o l over h i s own i d e n t i t y . I n t h i s poem, t h e d e s c r i p t i o n of Mir a n d a t h a t " l a urbe ha; e n t r a d o a c u c h i l l o " i s v i s u a l l y e v i d e n t i n the placement o f th e words i n t h e form o f a k n i f e : Me hacen c u l p a b l e como s i yo h u b i e r a e l e g i d o s e r e l que soy y como s i por haber e l e g i d o s e r e l que soy f u e r a c u l p a b l e de haber hecho l o que he hecho. pr e t e n d e n i g n o r a r que todo e s t o fue desde e l comienzo una c o a r t a d a de l a p r o v i d e n c i a (37) 9 The exodus o f w r i t e r s from M a r x i s t - b a s e d i d e o l o g y i s c r i t i c i z e d i n the t h i r d i s s u e o f Tabla Redonda: E l grueso de n u e s t r o s n o v e l i s t a s , e n s a y i s t a s o poetas se ha f o r j a d o en l a l u c h a o en l a i l u s i o n de l a l u c h a r e v o l u c i o n a r i a . A l poco camino.. . . l o s mas de e l l o s se c a n s a r o n o d e d u j e r o n que e l o f i c i o de l a s l e t r a s e r a n e c e s a r i a m e n t e d e s l i n d a b l e de l a d e d i c a c i o n p o l i t i c a . . . [ l o que obedecia] a un rotundo y cobarde abandono de r e s p o n s a b i l i d a d . (3) 10 A c c o r d i n g t o E l e n a V e r a , t h i s tendency i s e x p r e s s e d i n s e v e r a l ways: a. -- A t r a v e s d e l l i r i s m o s u b j e t i v i s t a . P o e s i a de a b s o l u t a i n t i m i d a d y por l o t a n t o de a b s t r a c c i o n c r e c i e n t e . b. -- Por medio d e l Ontologismo. P o e s i a m e t a f i s i c a que, en n u e s t r o p a i s , o s c i l a e n t r e e l i n t e l e c t u a l i s m o puro y l a f o r z a d a r e f l e x i o n f i l o s o f i c a sobre e l p a i s a j e , expresados ambos en un l e n g u a j e muy c o n t e n i d o . c. -- A t r a v e s d e l Telurismo magicista, que i n t e n t a a n c l a r l a p o e s i a en l o s m i t o s , en l a s costumbres y en l a s c r e e n c i a s d e l l u g a r n a t i v e Se e x p r e s a en un l e n g u a j e c o l o q u i a l . Chapter 4 The C r i s i s of Modernity i n Venezuela: Aesthetic and Soc i a l Developments i n the Post-Boom Years The worldwide o i l c r i s i s o f the e a r l y 1970s had r a p i d l y t u r n e d V e n e z u e l a i n t o a w e a l t h y c o u n t r y and an i n s t a n t m i d d l e c l a s s was c r e a t e d t h r o u g h the income from t h i s one i n d u s t r y . T h i s was not a m i d d l e c l a s s c r e a t e d t h r o u g h a p r o c e s s o f c a p i t a l i z a t i o n and e x p a n s i o n o f i n d u s t r y . I t was t h e r e s u l t o f a sudden i n c r e a s e i n w e a l t h owing t o an economic w i n d f a l l . With t h e i n s t a n t w e a l t h came a d e s i r e t o i m i t a t e t h e consumer h a b i t s o f N o r t h American c a p i t a l i s t economies. The o p t i m i s m i n V e n e z u e l a d u r i n g t h e 1970s was buoyed by a e u p h o r i c e x p e c t a t i o n t h a t t h e economic p r o s p e r i t y o f the o i l boom would c o n t i n u e i n d e f i n i t e l y . Undoubtedly, the newly found w e a l t h o f the n a t i o n undermined t h e s o c i a l i s t l e a n i n g s of t h e p o e t i c groups o f t h e 1960s. T h i s , as we have d i s c u s s e d , was p a r t l y due t o s y s t e m a t i c c o n c e s s i o n s by the e l i t e towards c e r t a i n m a r g i n a l i z e d groups i n an e f f o r t t o c e n t r a l i z e t h e i r i d e o l o g y . U n d e r l y i n g t h e s u r f a c e changes i n the economy was a l a t e n t f e u d a l s t r u c t u r e which became e v i d e n t w i t h the f a l t e r i n g economy as t h e o i l boom ended. In t h e l a t e 1970s A n t o n i a P a l a c i o s began t o d i r e c t a l i t e r a r y workshop c a l l e d Calicanto which f o l l o w e d the s t a n d a r d p a t t e r n s o f l i t e r a r y p r o d u c t i o n i n V e n e z u e l a a t the t i m e . L i k e t h e d i r e c t o r s o f many of the s e s t a t e sponsored t a l l e r e s , P a l a c i o s tended t o promote t h e a e s t h e t h i c s and i d e o l o g y o f t h e newly c e n t r a l i z e d , " t h e o r e t i c a l l y r e v o l u t i o n a r y " i n t e l l e c t u a l s . A d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t w i t h the p r o g r e s s o f l e f t i s t i d e o l o g y had caused many of t h e s e i n t e l l e c t u a l s t o r e v e r t t o an h e r m e t i c and e x c l u s i v e a e s t h e t i c s e n s i b i l i t y . T h i s a t t i t u d e was t h e n passed on t o the s t u d e n t s o f t h e s e t a l l e r e s 1 . The d i r e c t i o n of t h e l i t e r a r y t a l l e r e s conformed, i n t h e o r y , t o an i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d a e s t h e t i c t h a t a t t e m p t e d t o e x p l a i n t h e " r e a l i d a d i n m e d i a t a en que e s t a sume'rgido e l p o e t a " ( V e r a 96). T h i s r e a l i t y , however, was u n d e r g o i n g r a p i d changes i n s t r u c t u r e which r e s i s t e d any attempt t o d e f i n e and c a t e g o r i z e i t i n terms o f t r a d i t i o n a l b i n a r y e x p l a n a t i o n s . T h i s perhaps a c c o u n t s f o r the i n c r e a s i n g t r a n s c e n d e n t a l i s m and a b s t r a c t i o n i n p o e t r y as t h e decade p r o g r e s s e d . As the poet became p r o g r e s s i v e l y more d i s o r i e n t e d and u n c e r t a i n o f t h e a r t i s t ' s r o l e i n d e c i p h e r i n g " t r u t h " and d e f i n i n g man's " p r o g r e s s i o n , " p o e t i c d i s c o u r s e became more ambiguous and c o n t r a d i c t o r y . By t h e 1980s a number o f young p o e t s from Calicanto, i n c l u d i n g Armando Rojas G u a r d i a , Yolanda P a n t i n , M i g u e l Marquez, A l b e r t o Marquez, R a f a e l C a s t i l l o Z a p ata, and I g o r B a r r e t o began t o e x p r e s s a d e s i r e t o " s a l i r de l a c a r c e l d e l poema ... o n t o l o g i c o , e l m a g i c i s t a , p a r a a c e r c a r s e a l a voz de l a comunidad" ( A r r a i z , La L i t e r a t u r a 2 0 ) . They c a l l e d t h e i r group Trafi-co i n r e f e r e n c e t o t h e i r urban environment, w i t h i t s smog, t r a f f i c and n o i s e . A s e p a r a t e group, Guaire, was formed by a group o f s t u d e n t s from t h e U n i v e r s i d a d C a t o l i c a Andres B e l l o w i t h a s i m i l a r a e s t h e t i c agenda. Guaire was named a f t e r the p o l l u t e d , c e m e n t - l i n e d r i v e r which winds t h r o u g h t h e m i d d l e o f C a r a c a s . Both Trafico and Guaire d e v e l o p e d i n response t o a growing p r e o c c u p a t i o n w i t h r e s p e c t t o t h e i r .place i n h i s t o r y , and t h e i r r o l e as p o e t s . Economic and p o l i t i c a l u n c e r t a i n t i e s l e d the.two groups t o q u e s t i o n t h e v a l i d i t y of. t h e p o e t ' s a b i l i t y t o u n d e r s t a n d any r e a l i t y beyond h i s o r her immediate environment. Thus, t h e two groups i n i t i a t e d , i n V e n e z u e l a a change which went beyond a e s t h e t i c s t o a d d r e s s the p r i n c i p a l s o f M o d e r n i t y i t s e l f . The two groups o b s e r v e d t h e i r s u r r o u n d i n g s , t h e c i t y o f Ca r a c a s , but r e s e r v e d t h e i r commentaries o r judgments on the i d e o l o g i c a l f o r c e s b e h i n d t h e s e s u r r o u n d i n g s . T h e i r r o l e as po e t s was no l o n g e r t o f i x s o c i e t y ' s i l l s , as t h e y c o n s i d e r e d such a t a s k beyond the a b i l i t i e s o f the p o e t 2 . These poets began t o g i v e p r e f e r e n c e t o a language l e s s c o n n o t a t i v e and m e t a p h o r i c a l . P r i m a r i l y , t h e y sought t o reduce the o b s c u r i t y o f the d e n o t a t i v e poem, which was r e s e r v e d o n l y f o r an e l i t i s t a u d i e n c e 3 . The new poets were f o r c e d t o seek new forms o f e x p r e s s i o n t o d i f f e r e n t i a t e t h e m s e l v e s from a s u r r e a l i s t t r a d i t i o n which f o c u s e d on the m e t a p h y s i c a l n a t u r e of s y m b o l i c r e p r e s e n t a t i o n . They d i s a g r e e d w i t h M a l l a r m e ' s c r e a t i v e p r o c e d u r e , which b e l a b o r e d s i m p l e s t a t e m e n t s t o o b s c u r i t y w i t h " p e r i p h r a s e s , p r i v a t e a l l u s i o n s , s y s t e m a t i c i n a c c u r a c i e s o f v o c a b u l a r y , ( a n d ) . . . c o n t o r t e d s y n t a x " ( R i f f a t e r r e 200) i n an e f f o r t t o p r e s e n t the poem as a mystery. Both groups were i n t e r e s t e d i n d e v e l o p i n g a p o e t i c d i s c o u r s e which i n c o r p o r a t e d everyday e x p e r i e n c e s and a v o i d e d t h e e l i t i s t , e n i g m a t i c v e r s e o f the v e n e r a t e d p o e t s . U t o p i c o r m y s t i c e n v i r o n m e n t s , t y p i c a l o f the i n t r o s p e c t i v e p o e t s o f t h e p r e v i o u s decade, were shunned and r e p l a c e d w i t h images o f the m e t r o p o l i s . For bo t h Trafico and Guaire p o e t r y "se t r a t a b a , pues, de r e n d i r l e homenaje a l a s f a l t o , a l t r a f i c o , a l a c o n g e s t i o n de l a s dos o l e a d a s d e l dia', a l o s e n d r i a g o s de l a r u t i n a , a l a c u l t u r a o f i c i n e s c a , a l a c l a s e media, a l b a r r i o , l a casa y e l a u t o m o v i l " ( M o n d o l f i v i i ) . . The group Trafico chose t o announce i t s i n t e n t i o n s by u t i l i z i n g what was now a t r a d i t i o n i n V e n e z u e l a f o r new p o e t i c groups: t h e m a n i f e s t o . The m a n i f e s t o o f Trafico was p u b l i s h e d by t h e Magazine Zona Franca i n J u l y 1981. U n l i k e p r e v i o u s p o e t i c groups, Trafico d i d not use the m a n i f e s t o as a l a u n c h pad f o r t h e i r own l i t e r a r y magazine. Zona Franca was the o b v i o u s c h o i c e f o r t h e young p o e t s , who were more i n t e r e s t e d i n p r e s e n t i n g the a e s t h e t i c s o f everyday l i f e , t h a n i n p r o m o t i n g a s p e c i f i c p o l i t i c a l o r i e n t a t i o n . Zona Franca was, from i t s i n a u g u r a l i s s u e i n 1964, a l i t e r a r y magazine t h a t a v o i d e d o b v i o u s i d e o l o g i c a l commentary but was always open t o new, vanguard p o e t r y . 4 The m a n i f e s t o e x p r e s s e s i t s break w i t h t h e p a s t and i t s a e s t h e t i c v i s i o n f o r t h e f u t u r e i n i t s f i r s t s e n t e n c e : "venimos de l a noche y h a c i a l a c a l l e vamos", c r e a t i v e l y r e w o r d i n g V i c e n t e G e r b a s i ' s l e i t m o t i f "Venimos de l a noche y h a c i a l a noche vamos" i n h i s well-known poem, Mi padre, el inmigrante. The p o e t r y o f G e r b a s i , w i t h i t s m y s t i c a l , t r a n s c e n d e n t a l tones and obscure metaphors, was the t y p e of p o e t r y t h e group r e j e c t e d . The i r o n i c r e f e r e n c e t o G e r b a s i e s t a b l i s h e s f o u r i m p o r t a n t c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f Trafico. F i r s t , as a l r e a d y mentioned, i t i d e n t i f i e s the v e n e r a t e d , e s t a b l i s h e d p o e t r y which i s t o be r e j e c t e d . Second, i t e s t a b l i s h e s t h e background o f t h e group w i t h "venimos de l a noche" i n r e f e r e n c e t o t h e i r l i t e r a r y f o r m a t i o n i n t h e wake of M o d e r n i t y , w i t h i t s c o n f i n i n g b i n a r y o p p o s i t i o n s . T h i r d , i t s e t s the p r i m a r y a e s t h e t i c g o a l o f the group w i t h " h a c i a l a c a l l e vamos" which c o r r e s p o n d s t o t h e environment o f the group's f o c u s , t h e m e t r o p o l i s , and the au d i e n c e , the "everyman" o f the c i t y . F o u r t h , i t i d e n t i f i e s the c o o p e r a t i v e , c o l l e c t i v e n a t u r e o f the m a n i f e s t o p r o d u c e r by u s i n g t h e t h i r d p e r s o n p l u r a l "venimos" and "vamos". I n the case o f Trafico, t h i s c o o p e r a t i o n was l i m i t e d t o an agreement c o n c e r n i n g t h e l i m i t a t i o n s o f t h e poet, and d i d not i n c l u d e the s p e c i f i c " u t o p i c agendas" t h a t we have o b s e r v e d i n t h e p r e v i o u s l i t e r a r y groups i n V e n e z u e l a . The b u l k o f t h e m a n i f e s t o i s an e x p a n s i o n and e x p l a n a t i o n o f t h e f o u r p o i n t s t h a t can be obser v e d i n t h i s f i r s t s e n t e n c e . The r a i s o n d ' e t r e o f t h e t y p i c a l m a n i f e s t o i s p r i m a r i l y t o " r u p t u r e " i t s c o n n e c t i o n w i t h p a s t l i t e r a r y t r a d i t i o n s . I n t h i s r e s p e c t , the m a n i f e s t o o f Trafico, s i m p l y t i t l e d , Manifiesto, conforms t o t h e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the vanguard l i t e r a r y m a n i f e s t o . I t s t a t e s : Queremos oponer a l o s e s t e r e o t i p o s de l a p o e s i a nocturna,. e x t r a v i a d a en su o f i c i o chamanico de convocar a l o s fantasmas de l a p s i q u e o de l a n z a r h a s t a l a nausea e l g o l p e de dados d e l l e n g u a j e . . . ( M a n i f i e s t o 109) •This statement i n the m a n i f e s t o , however, goes beyond the a e s t h e t i c r u p t u r e seen i n p r e v i o u s Venezuelan l i t e r a r y m a n i f e s t o e s because i t q u e s t i o n s t h e r o l e o f the poet. M o d e r n i t y g r a v i t a t e s towards a b e l i e f i n an " a b s o l u t e t r u t h " ( M a d s e n 122). T y p i c a l l y , t h e m a n i f e s t o e s produced i n V e n e z u e l a p r i o r t o Trafico proposed a e s t h e t i c changes but c o n t i n u e d t o promote th e c o n v e n t i o n a l r o l e o f the poet as a c o n d u i t of t h i s " a b s o l u t e t r u t h " . With Trafico, t h i s p r e c e p t of M o d e r n i t y i s d e n i e d and the members d i s t a n c e themselves from t r a d i t i o n a l , b i p o l a r , i d e o l o g i c a l developments between th e poet and s o c i e t y . The m a n i f e s t o c l e a r l y l i m i t s t h e i d e o l o g i c a l r o l e o f t h e poet t h a t was so p r e v a l e n t d u r i n g the f i r s t two s t a g e s o f M o d e r n i t y i n V e n e z u e l a t h a t we have d i s c u s s e d . The m a n i f e s t o of Trafico r e j e c t s the p o e t ' s " o f i c i o chamanico" which o b l i g a t e s him o r her t o o f f e r a s o l u t i o n t o s o c i e t y ' s i l l s , e i t h e r t h r o u g h p o l i t i c a l r e f o r m o r p s y c h o l o g i c a l a n a l y s i s . The p o e t , a c c o r d i n g t o the m a n i f e s t o , i s not a shaman w i t h t h e a b i l i t y t o i n f l u e n c e the s p i r i t s and demons which c o n t r o l mankind; he i s merely an o b s e r v e r . The i d e a o f the poet as a "pequeno d i o s " , t o borrow from V i c e n t e Huidobro, i s seen by t h e s e young poets as an u n r e a l i s t i c e x p e c t a t i o n . Trafico r e j e c t s t h e god-l i k e , s u p e r i o r a t t i t u d e o f the poet who r o l e s t h e d i c e of words j u s t as the shaman r o l e s h i s c l a i r v o y a n t bones t o con f u s e and m y s t i f y t h e r e a d e r who, i n awe o f h i s powers, a c c e p t s h i s v e r d i c t 5 . For the poets o f Trafico, a c c o r d i n g t o t h e i r m a n i f e s t o , the duty o f the poet i s not t o o b f u s c a t e the p o e t i c s e l f from the r e a d e r , nor h i d e i n a t e x t u a l , un-r e f e r e n c e d and m y s t i c a l p o e t i c environment. The r e a d e r of p o e t r y i s not p a t r o n i z e d nor s u b j e c t e d t o a h i e r a r c h y i n which the poet i s bestowed w i t h a v i s i o n and c a p a c i t y f o r i n s i g h t beyond t h a t o f t h e r e a d e r . To t h i s end, t h e m a n i f e s t o o f Trafico s u g g e s t s e l i m i n a t i n g m y s t i c a l , t r a n s c e n d e n t a l and o n t o l o g i c a l language, which m e r e l y promotes a d i s t a n c i n g between t h e poet and the r e a d e r . The m a n i f e s t o promotes a r e t u r n t o t h e "language of t h e t r i b e " and t h e d e m y s t i f i c a t i o n o f p o e t i c space 6. The r e j e c t i o n o f t h e p a s t i n a l i t e r a r y m a n i f e s t o has the motive o f r e p l a c i n g i t w i t h a new and improved a e s t h e t i c . I n the case o f the m a n i f e s t o o f Trafico, t h e p h r a s e , " h a c i a l a c a l l e vamos" i n d i c a t e s the a e s t h e t i c d i r e c t i o n o f t h e group. J u s t as " l a noche" i s a l e i t m o t i f i n the n o c t u r n a l , m y s t i c p o e t r y of V i c e n t e G e r b a s i , " l a c a l l e " s e r v e s a s i m i l a r r o l e i n t h e m a n i f e s t o of Trafico. The poets o f Trafico base t h e i r new a e s t h e t i c on t h e i r p h y s i c a l s u r r o u n d i n g s . The a s p e c t s of t h e c i t y o f Caracas chosen by t h e poets o f Trafico o f f e r t h e p o e t s an environment f a r removed from t h e e s o t e r i c ambience o f the p a s t g e n e r a t i o n . Even the c h o i c e of the group's name i s meant t o d i s t a n c e the group from p a s t p o e t i c environments. The Manifiesto s t a t e s , "Con Trafico s a l i m o s d e l e sencialismo...menos mal que n a d i e puede c a l i f i c a r de «esencial» e l t r a f i c o " { M a n i f i e s t o 109). The m a n i f e s t o e x p l a i n s t h a t the r a d i c a l change i n s e t t i n g i s n e c e s s a r y t o comply w i t h t h e i r r e a l o b j e c t i v e s : iQue buscamos?: p o e s i a . Y a q u i e s t a e l d i l e m a : inmersos en un ambito c u l t u r a l donde e l p o e t a , l o p o e t i c o , l a p o e s i a y e l p o e t i z a r t i e n e n una c a r a c t e r i z a c i o n determinada, y por l o t a n t o n o r m a t i v a , l o que proponemos, no estando i d e n t i f i c a d o s con l o s parametros de l a e s t e t i c a imperante es--desde e l punto de v i s t a de n u e s t r o c o n t e x t o h i s t o r i c o i n m ediato--una nueva manera de entender l a p o e s i a . { M a n i f i e s t o 109) The c i t y , w i t h i t s crowds, movement, and c o n s t a n t change, i s t h e i d e a l backdrop f o r a r a d i c a l change i n t h e way p o e t r y i s viewed, a c c o r d i n g t o Trafico. The urban environment a l s o widens the p o t e n t i a l a udience o f the group. The urban l o c a t i o n of Trafico i s not l i m i t e d t o c e r t a i n s e c t o r s o f t h e c i t y , as the e l i t i s t p o e t r y o f t h e p a s t may have been, but r a t h e r i n c l u d e s t h e b a r r i o s as w e l l as t h e u n i v e r s i t i e s . The v o c a b u l a r y o f t h e p o e t r y expounded i n t he m a n i f e s t o i n c l u d e s s l a n g , everyday language, and l o c a l i d i o m s 7 . The group e s t a b l i s h e s i t s l e g i t i m a c y by i d e n t i f y i n g i t s e l f w i t h i t s a u d i e n c e . The m a n i f e s t o s t r e s s e s t h e u n p r e t e n t i o u s n e s s o f the members by f i r s t e x p r e s s i n g an a n t i - a r i s t o c r a t i c s e n t i m e n t . The language o f the e l i t e i s denounced i n the f i r s t p a r a g r a p h of the m a n i f e s t o w i t h t h e d e c l a r a t i o n t h a t "ningun a r i s t o c r a t i c o g o i p e de dados d e l ve r b o podra a b o l i r jamas e l sabor sanguineo de todas l a s p a l a b r a s de l a t r i b u " . The language of t h e t r i b e i s the common, everyday speech t h a t i s the f o u n d a t i o n o f communication. The r e j e c t i o n o f the e l i t i s t use o f language i s r e i t e r a t e d i n t h e l a t e r p a r t o f the m a n i f e s t o . S p e c i f i c a l l y , t he m a n i f e s t o p o i n t s out the d i s p a r i t y between t h e p u b l i c d e c l a r a t i o n s of the p r e v i o u s g e n e r a t i o n s o f p o e t s and t h e i r c h o i c e o f language f o r p o e t i c e x p r e s s i o n : Poeta's que en sus a c t i t u d e s p u b l i c a s mostraban un f r a n c o compromiso e t i c o con l a e x i g e n c i a d e l cambio s o c i a l , e l i g i e r o n , s i n embargo, p a r a l a voz de sus poemas l a s modulaciones mas e s e n c i a l i s t a s de l a l i r i c a de l a m o d e r n i d a d . { M a n i f i e s t o 114) The m a n i f e s t o o f Trafico a l s o d e c l a r e s the group's i n t e n t t o c o r r e l a t e i t s s o c i a l p o s i t i o n w i t h i t s use of language. The v o i c e o f t h e i r p o e t r y w i l l r e f l e c t who th e y r e a l l y a r e : " h i j o s de una c l a s e media cuyos paradigmas v i v i m o s m i t a d como c o m p l i c e s y m i t a d como r e n e g a d o s " { M a n i f i e s t o 115). The group thus e s t a b l i s h e s a bond w i t h t h e r e a d e r o f m a n i f e s t o , and t a r g e t s t h e w i d e s t a u d i e n c e o f any Vene z u e l a n group of t h e t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y . T h i s i n c l u d e s the e n t i r e urban m i d d l e and lower c l a s s e s and o f f e r s a p o e t i c d i s c o u r s e which i s not o n l y easy t o u n d e r s t a n d but i s a l s o based on the o b j e c t s and images o f t h e i r d a i l y l i v e s . A l t h o u g h t h e p o t e n t i a l a u d i e n c e o f the p o e t r y i s wide, t h e group does not i n t e n d t o r e p r e s e n t a segment o f the p o p u l a t i o n , o r even o f t h e c i t y i t s e l f , but s i m p l y t h e s t r e e t where t h e y l i v e 8 . The Manifiesto o f Trafico i s a t y p i c a l "vanguard" m a n i f e s t o i n . t h a t i t r e j e c t s the p a s t , p r e s e n t s an a l t e r n a t i v e , and a g g r e s s i v e l y defends t h e new p o s i t i o n o f the m a n i f e s t o p r o d u c e r s . I t i s the l a s t i n a l o n g l i n e o f d e c l a r e d l i t e r a r y programs i n t w e n t i e t h - c e n t u r y V e n e z u e l a . Trafico " c o n c l u y e p o r e l momento un c i c l o c o m plicado de d i s c u s i o n e s en t o r n o a l o s problemas que e n c i e r r a hoy l a p o e s i a " ( S a n t a e l l a 108). However, t h i s m a n i f e s t o a l s o a p p a r e n t l y i n i t i a t e s a change i n t h e i d e o l o g i c a l n a r c i s s i s m t h a t was p r e s e n t i n a l l the p o e t i c groups b e f o r e Trafico. I d e o l o g i c a l or m o r a l i z i n g o b j e c t i v e s a r e c l e a r l y r e s i s t e d i n t he group's m a n i f e s t o . The p o e t s , i n the m a n i f e s t o , a l s o downplay t h e importance o f t h e i r own r o l e by c l a s s i f y i n g t h e m s e l v e s as " p a s a j e r o s t r a n s i t o r i o s , d i u r n o s , p o e t a s " { M a n i f i e s t o 110). Trafico does not i n i t i a t e t he e l i m i n a t i o n o f i d e o l o g y i n V e n e z u e l a n p o e t r y , but r a t h e r i t s r e - d i r e c t i o n . T h i s r e -d i r e c t i o n i n i d e o l o g y , i n s p i t e o f t h e a p p a r e n t l y non-i d e o l o g i c a l d i r e c t i v e of t h e group's m a n i f e s t o , i s i n many ways more complex t h a n the p r e c e d i n g " o b v i o u s " i d e o l o g y o f Venez u e l a n p o e t i c groups. P r e v i o u s groups i n V e n e z u e l a , as we have d i s c u s s e d , adhered t o the r e l a t i v e l y -s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d , b i p o l a r " m e t a n a r r a t i v e s " of M o d e r n i t y . By denying t h e p r e s e n c e of i d e o l o g y , t h e s e new p o e t s fragment the concept o f s e l f t o f o r m u l a t e what c r i t i c s may a l s o c a l l an i d e o l o g y made up of a s e r i e s of p e r i p h e r a l i d e n t i t i e s . Where i d e n t i t y c o u l d once be r e s t r i c t e d t o c l a s s and n a t i o n a l i s m , the new, f r a c t u r e d c o n s t r u c t i o n o f s e l f i n v o l v e s emergent c a t e g o r i e s such as gender, e t h n i c i t y , s e x u a l i t y , and o t h e r p r o c e s s e s of d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n . The s o c i a l c h a r a c t e r o f i d e n t i t y i s a d d r e s s e d by t h e p o e t s ' attempt t o d e f i n e and i d e n t i f y t h e m s e l v e s w i t h shared q u a l i t i e s o r c a t e g o r i e s . By f o r m i n g a group, th e i n d i v i d u a l p o e t s r e f e r e n c e themselves t o o t h e r s , and f u r t h e r m o r e , t h e y i d e n t i f y c u l t u r a l a f f i l i a t i o n s , c e n t e r e d on the urban space, which can be d e s c r i b e d as a "Postmodern" i d e n t i t y . In t h e p e r i o d o f M o d e r n i t y , t h e s u b j e c t was c o n s i d e r e d t o be i n t e g r a t e d , c e n t e r e d and coherent ( L a r r a i n 86). P o s t m o d e r n i t y , as we have mentioned, i n i t i a t e d a p r o c e s s of f r a g m e n t a t i o n and f r a c t u r i n g o f t h e s u b j e c t . T h i s p r o c e s s would o b v i o u s l y h i n d e r t h e f o r m a t i o n , and c o n t i n u i t y , o f a group d i s c o u r s e . Without t h e r a t i o n a l i s m and c o n t i n u i t y p r o v i d e d by t h e p r o j e c t of M o d e r n i t y , the i n d i v i d u a l s u b j e c t l o s e s c o n n e c t i o n w i t h o t h e r s u b j e c t s . T h e r e f o r e , t h e attempt by b o t h Trafico and Guaire t o a c h i e v e a c e r t a i n l e v e l o f a e s t h e t i c c o n t i n u i t y i s somewhat c o n t r a d i c t o r y t o the f o r c e s of P o s t m o d e r n i t y . Perhaps i t i s f o r t h i s r e a s o n t h a t t h e m a n i f e s t o c l e a r l y i d e n t i f i e s the members as "poets of t r a n s i t i o n " . The c o n s t r u c t i o n of s e l f i n v o l v e s by n e c e s s i t y t h e e x i s t e n c e of o t h e r s . We i n t e r n a l i z e t h e o p i n i o n s of o t h e r s , and i n d o i n g so a c q u i r e d i s t i n c t i v e n e s s and s p e c i f i c i t y i n r e l a t i o n t o t h o s e o t h e r s . How we e v a l u a t e o u r s e l v e s i s dependent upon comparison. The s u b j e c t d e f i n e s h i m s e l f or h e r s e l f i n terms of how o t h e r s , who a r e s i g n i f i c a n t t o t h e s u b j e c t , c r e a t e , m a i n t a i n and promote t h e s e s e l f -e x p e c t a t i o n s . I n a group s e t t i n g t h e p r e s s u r e t o conform t o a group a e s t h e t i c i s c o u n t e r a c t e d by a d e s i r e t o d i f f e r e n t i a t e o n e s e l f . T h i s i s e s p e c i a l l y t r u e when, as i n the case of t h e s e p o e t s , t h e r e i s a l a c k o f a c l e a r l y d e f i n e d , u n i f y i n g , i d e o l o g y . In t h e body of work of t h e s e p o e t s , however, a consensus can be found i n t h e development of p o e t i c space. In d i s c u s s i n g t h i s theme we must r e f e r back t o our t h e o r e t i c a l d i s c u s s i o n , ' i n c h a p t e r one, o f t h e " m u t a t i o n of space"(Jameson 21) i n h e r e n t t o P o s t m o d e r n i t y . Space, i n t h e e r a of M o d e r n i t y , was d e f i n e d i n terms of t h e i n d i v i d u a l s ' r e l a t i o n w i t h e x t e r n a l " o t h e r s " . There was a s o c i a l o r d e r t o space, which B a u d r i l l a r d m e t a p h o r i c a l l y r e f e r r e d t o as a " m a s k " ( S i m u l a t i o n s 5 ) . I n t i m a t e , p e r s o n a l space and e x t e r n a l space were connected t h r o u g h u n i v e r s a l i z i n g t h e o r i e s . H i s t o r y was a s e r i e s o f p r o g r e s s i v e s t a g e s which c r e a t e d a space o f c o n t i n u i t y . Postmodern d i s c o u r s e , on the o t h e r hand, d e v e l o p s t h e i d e a o f d i s c o n t i n u i t y and seg m e n t a t i o n o r , as F o u c a u l t would say, "the space of a d i s p e r s i o n " ( T h e Archeology of Knowledge 10). I t i s w i t h i n t h i s development o f space t h a t we can observe , i n t h e p o e t r y o f the members o f Trafico and Guaire, a commonality of i n t e r e s t . Poetic Space i n Trafico and Guaire I n t h e space o f M o d e r n i t y , as we have seen i n our d i s c u s s i o n of t h e l i t e r a r y groups p r i o r t o Trafico and Guaire, i d e n t i t y was a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the metaconcepts o f c l a s s s t r u g g l e and n a t i o n a l i s m . The i n d i v i d u a l s u b j e c t d e f i n e d h i m s e l f l a r g e l y i n terms o f a b i p o l a r i d e o l o g i c a l p o s i t i o n . As the g o a l s of M o d e r n i t y imploded w i t h a f r a c t u r i n g of t h e s e b i p o l a r models i n the r e a l w o r l d , c u l m i n a t i n g w i t h t h e f a l l o f the B e r l i n w a l l , the s o u r c e s of i d e n t i t y markers became more d i v e r s e . On a l o c a l l e v e l , t h e r e were i n d i c a t i o n s i n t h e e a r l y 1980s of an i n s t i t u t i o n a l d e t e r i o r a t i o n i n V e n e z u e l a which r e s u l t e d i n p u b l i c d i s t r u s t and resentment towards r u l i n g e l i t e s . The e x c e s s i v e c o n t r o l of t h e p a r t i e s i n t h e p o l i t i c a l system p l a c e d o b s t a c l e s t o p a r t i c i p a t i o n and c o n c e n t r a t e d power i n a s m a l l n u c l e u s of p o l i t i c a l a c t o r s . These c e n t r a l i z e d f i g u r e s were o f t e n t r e a t e d w i t h i m p u n i t y by t h e j u d i c i a r y when t h e y were i m p l i c a t e d i n cases o f c o r r u p t i o n . Thus, both t h e j u d i c i a r y and the e x e c u t i v e branches of government s u f f e r e d a l o s s i n l e g i t i m a c y . T h i s l e d t o a r i s e o f . " a l t e r n a t i v e s o c i a l movements t o t h e t r a d i t i o n a l p a r t i e s " and "reduced e l e c t o r a l p a r t i c i p a t i o n " (Agiiero 218). C o n f i d e n c e i n t h e c e n t r a l i z e d r o l e o f the s t a t e was eroded,- and i t was r e p l a c e d w i t h a g r e a t e r f o c u s on the i n d i v i d u a l and "the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n of the s i m p l e n e i g h b o r i n t o a s o c i a l a c t o r w i t h i n the community"(Salamanca 206). As the new p o e t s d i s t a n c e d t hemselves from t r a d i t i o n a l , i d e o l o g i c a l , s o u r c e s o f i d e n t i t y t h e y sought c l o s e r frames of r e f e r e n c e . T h i s l e d them t o f o c u s on c o r p o r e a l spaces as the s t a r t i n g p o i n t of d e c e n t r a l i z a t i o n . As an i n t r i n s i c a l l y s p a t i a l b e i n g , man i s b o t h a p r o d u c e r and a p r o d u c t o f t h i s c o n s t a n t s p a t i a l t r a n s f o r m a t i o n . The p r o c e s s of p r o d u c i n g s p a t i a l i t y b e g i n s w i t h t h e body, w i t h the c o n s t r u c t i o n and performance o f the s e l f . As a d i s t i n c t l y s p a t i a l e n t i t y , man i s i n v o l v e d i n t i m a t e l y w i t h h i s s u r r o u n d i n g s . The a c t i o n s and t h o u g h t s of man shape t h e spaces around him, and a t the same time the s o c i a l l y produced spaces i n which man l i v e s shapes t h o s e a c t i o n s and t h o u g h t s . The r e l a t i o n s h i p between t h e body, space and t e m p o r a l d i m e n s i o n i s a complex, i n t e r w o v e n s t r u c t u r e . The b e g i n n i n g o f t h i s s t r u c t u r e i s , however, man's immediate space, h i s body, and t h i s human geography then extends t o spaces f u r t h e r o u t ; rooms, b u i l d i n g s , c i t i e s , c o u n t r i e s and u l t i m a t e l y , the e a r t h . As i n d i v i d u a l s , we i n d i v i d u a l l y i n f l u e n c e and a r e i n f l u e n c e d by t h e s e spaces, and t h e s e spaces a re p r o d u c t s of c o l l e c t i v e human a c t i o n and i n t e n t i o n , and a r e , of c o u r s e , a b l e t o be m o d i f i e d . T h i s s i t u a t i o n i n f u s e s a l l s p a t i a l i t y w i t h t h e p o t e n t i a l f o r t e n s i o n and c o n f l i c t , as w e l l as e n c l o s u r e and o p p r e s s i o n . We can see i n the p o e t s of Trafico and Guaire, t h a t an u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f i n d i v i d u a l i d e n t i t y i s approached t h r o u g h the i n d i v i d u a l ' s c o n n e c t i o n between the body, and t h e l a r g e r s o c i a l space o f the urban environment. In t h e p o e t r y o f Yolanda P a n t i n , f o r example, f e m i n i n e i d e n t i t y i s o f t e n p r e s e n t e d as a f u n c t i o n o f the woman's i d e n t i f i c a t i o n w i t h her body. In t h e p o e t r y o f Armando Rojas G u a r d i a , t h e body i s t h e source of a m a r g i n a l i z i n g , homosexual d e s i r e which i s a t odds w i t h h i s s p i r i t u a l needs. A c o n n e c t i o n between the/ body and a q u e s t i o n i n g o f i d e n t i t y can a l s o be found i n o t h e r members o f t h e s e p o e t i c groups. S e l f - i m a g e and t h e body a r e i n t i m a t e l y c o n n e c t e d i n the f e m i n i n e / f e m i n i s t p e r s p e c t i v e o f Yolanda P a n t i n . We can see an example of t h i s i n the poem "Two S e r i o u s Women" from Correo del corazon which p r e s e n t s the i d e n t i t y c r i s i s of the woman as she observes her own image i n the m i r r o r - l i k e s u r f a c e of t h e water. I n t h i s poem the image o f t h e body i n the m i r r o r l e a d s the woman t o tho u g h t s o f s u i c i d e and, by i n f e r e n c e , s e l f - l o a t h i n g : se i n t e r n o por u l t i m a vez en e l mar de Mar d e l p l a t a que a esa hora de l a noche e r a un es p e j o . ( 1 2 ) I n a n other u n t i t l e d poem by P a n t i n the s e l f - d e p r e c i a t i o n o f th e woman's body i s seen by t h e p r o t a g o n i s t as she obs e r v e s her own image i n a window: cuando un cuerpo f r e n t e a e l l a apoyado en e l v i d r i o o s c u r o de l a ventana e s t a mirando e l d i b u j o de l a t a z a en su mano.(Correo 15) The woman's body i s t h e n d e s c r i b e d as " l a n g u i d o / como una p o s t a l d e s c o l o r i d a " and -"levemente obsceno" from the p e r s p e c t i v e o f the woman h e r s e l f . The n e g a t i v e s e l f -judgment o f the woman reminds us of t h e s o c i e t y - d r i v e n c o n n e c t i o n between p h y s i c a l p r e s e n c e and s e l f - w o r t h . The m i r r o r i s a c o n s t a n t reminder o f the c o r r e l a t i o n between image and s e l f . I n a d d i t i o n , t h e m i r r o r i t s e l f i s a f e m i n i s t image which h i g h l i g h t s women as p r o d u c t s o f a s o c i e t y t h a t v a l u e s them p r i m a r i l y f o r t h e i r s e x u a l and r e p r o d u c t i v e f u n c t i o n s . P o s t m o d e r n i s t t r e a t m e n t o f t h e body i d e n t i f i e s d e s i r e and the e r o t i c as t h e "pangrammatical p l a y o f d i s c o u r s e " t h a t c o n n e c t s "body s t u d i e s and p o s t m o d e r n i s t m o d a l i t i e s o f language"(Raschke 35) . Raschke o b s e r v e s t h a t d e s i r e i s t h e m a n i f e s t a t i o n of t h e body e r o t i c which has not been consummated, the "polymorphous p e r v e r s e " body t h a t "does not y e t know i t s c a r n a l i t y " ( 3 6 ) . D e s i r e l e a d s t o s e x u a l i t y , which d e s i g n a t e s t h e i n t e r c o n n e c t i v i t y o f b o d i e s . An example o f t h i s postmodern t r e a t m e n t o f t h e body can be found i n P a n t i n ' s poem, "Pequefia muerte". Here we can see t h e m a n i f e s t a t i o n of d e s i r e and i t s r e l a t i o n w i t h the space o f the body as P a n t i n e x p l o r e s the theme of s e x u a l l o v e . The poem's c o n s t r u c t i o n i n fragments and c u m u l a t i v e syntax i n d i c a t e s a r u s h o f emotions which r e i n f o r c e s the p a s s i v e r o l e o f the l o v e r who responds t o the male t o u c h : Cuando una mano a c e r c a una e s p a l d a cuyo dueno v i r i l ensimismado des h o j a l a ma g n o l i a de mi alma e l cuerpo es una o l a una tormenta {Correo 34) T h i s poem p r e s e n t s a d e c i d e d l y f e m i n i n e p e r s p e c t i v e on s e x u a l l o v e and d e s i r e . The man i s p r e s e n t e d as a s e l f -absorbed e n t i t y a b s e n t m i n d e d l y a l t e r i n g t he s o u l o f the woman w i t h o u t e s t a b l i s h i n g an e m o t i o n a l c o n n e c t i o n w i t h her. H i s advances a r e r e l e n t l e s s , l i k e t he pounding o f t h e s u r f on.the shore, but r a t h e r than d e s c r i b i n g t h i s a c t i o n w i t h terms o f p l e a s u r e , the p o e t i c v o i c e d e s c r i b e s the s i t u a t i o n w i t h words o f d i s t r e s s , such as "t o r m e n t a " and " a g o n i c a /y f e b r i l " . The fragmented form o f the poem i n d i c a t e s t h e spontaneous communication ,of t h e w r i t e r ' s t h oughts d u r i n g the s e x u a l a c t . These t h o u g h t s i n d i c a t e a sense of v u l n e r a b i l i t y and d o m i n a t i o n on the p a r t of t h e woman, who f e e l s t h a t her l o v e r i s i n t r u s i v e and d i s t a n t : en e l ra'yo de a p i c e b r a v i o como suda mi o r i l l a por t u espuma s a l o b r e m o r t a l (34) The r e l a t i o n s h i p i s viewed as a s t r u g g l e between the i n d i v i d u a l s r a t h e r than a u n i f i c a t i o n o f b o d i e s . There i s an o b v i o u s i n e q u a l i t y between the two l o v e r s , and t h e i r power s t r u g g l e i s e v i d e n t i n t h e c h o i c e o f d i s c o u r s e . The pounding s u r f and t h e tormented shore d e p i c t e d i n the poem demonstrate the l a c k of harmony i n the u n i o n . In a s i m i l a r way t h a t Yolanda P a n t i n uses the f e m i n i n e p e r s p e c t i v e on s e x u a l i t y and t h e body space, Armando Rojas G u a r d i a uses d e s i r e and s e x u a l l o v e t o i n t r o d u c e the geography of the body. In t h e case of Rojas G u a r d i a , t h e f r a c t u r e d , m a r g i n a l i z e d s u b j e c t s t r u g g l e s w i t h t h e i n c o m p a t i b i l i t y between homosexual d e s i r e and r e l i g i o u s needs. H i s poems o f t e n o s c i l l a t e between the c o r p o r e a l , s e x u a l needs of the s u b j e c t and h i s s p i r i t u a l l o n g i n g s . The immediate needs o f the body are p r e s e n t e d i n more u r g e n t , consuming, t e n s i o n . In the poem."La noche d e l deseo" from Yo que supe de la v i e j a herida, Rojas G u a r d i a p a i n t s a r a t h e r g r a p h i c p i c t u r e of the homosexual s u b j e c t ' s d e s i r e f o r an i n t i m a t e i n t e r c o n n e c t i v i t y o f b o d i e s ; E s t a t a r d e , a l h u n d i r mi r o s t r o a v i d o en a q u e l l a f l o r a t i b i a que b r o t a en l a j u n t u r a de t u s muslos, m i e n t r a s una l u n a o b l i c u a (Noche cruda d e l l e n g u a j e ) i l u m i n a b a mi p r e s e n c i a en l a s u l t i m a s r e g i o n e s de l o s cuerpos - n u e s t r o s c u e r p o s - (50) Rojas G u a r d i a f o c u s e s on t h e c o l l e c t i v e , s h a r e d space which permeates even " l a s u l t i m a s r e g i o n e s de l o s c u e r p o s " . The r e p e t i t i o n of " n u e s t r o s c u e r p o s " emphasizes a d e s i r e f o r t h i s u n i t y . D e s i r e , however, i s moderated by a p r o c e s s o f s e l f - q u e s t i o n i n g : i,no es hora de que a t i e n d a l a s raz o n e s d e l humedo lamento que me o f r e c e s cuando o t o r g o c a l o r a t u s r i n c o n e s Here the space of the body i s a g a i n r e f e r e n c e d a g a i n s t p h y s i c a l l o v e . There i s a c o n s t a n t sense of r e j e c t i o n o r f r i c t i o n i n the u n i o n of t h e b o d i e s . The s e x u a l g r a t i f i c a t i o n does not seem t o r e s u l t i n a development o f a p e r s o n a l i d e n t i t y . The i n t e r r o g a t i v e s found i n the v e r s e s q u e s t i o n t h e v a l i d i t y o f t h e u n i o n . L i k e w i s e t h e r e f e r e n c e s t o God i n d i c a t e t h a t the speaker i s not s p i r i t u a l l y f u l f i l l e d b u t, r a t h e r , remains i s o l a t e d and l o n e l y . C o r p o r e a l r e f e r e n t s a r e found i n the p o e t r y o f o t h e r members o f Trafico i n t h e i r s e a r c h f o r i d e n t i t y . R e m i n i s c e n t of Roja's G u a r d i a s ' s e a r c h f o r s p i r i t u a l i d e n t i t y i s I g o r B a r r e t o ' s p e t i t i o n i n " O r a c i o n " : Y s i mi cuerpo no ha de s e r mas p o s e i d o por su amor Sefior dame t u C i e n c i a p a r a m o r i r . (Soy el muchacho mas hermoso de esta cuidad 43) L i k e w i s e , M i g u e l Marquez r e f e r s t o the body i n a semi-d i v i n e s e t t i n g : Cuerpo mio, i d o en d i r e c c i o n a l ponto y l a ro c a s no busques a o d i s e o en l a d i v i n a c r e t a , no l o s i g a s . (La casa, el paso 13) In the p o e t r y of R a f a e l A r r a i z Lucca, a member o f the group Guaire, t h e body space b e g i n s w i t h t h e e x p l o r a t i o n of the body o f a woman. The woman's body i s seen i n " E l c a r t o g r a f o " as a t e r r i t o r y which must be d i s c o v e r e d . The speaker i n t h e poem i s an e x p l o r e r w i t h the duty and d e s i r e t o examine t h e u n c h a r t e r e d t e r r i t o r y o f t h e body. The speaker e x p l o r e s the geography o f t h e woman's body, i n t e r p r e t i n g t h e female c o r p o r e a l a r c h i t e c t u r e w i t h an e r o t i c d i s c o u r s e t h a t r e v e a l s a c u l t u r a l o b j e c t i f i c a t i o n of i t : Yo soy e l c a r t o g r a f o de t u cuerpo e l e s p e l e o l o g o f r e n e t i c o de t u s e n t r a d a s Tengo en l a b i t a c o r a todo e l t r a z a d o de t u s c o s t a s a m o r o s a s . ( A n t o l o g i a 5) Here t h e f e m i n i n e form i s seen as t e r r i t o r y t o be e x p l o r e d and conquered. The speaker "maps" the body o f the woman, t r a c i n g t he o u t l i n e s of her form. The speaker as " c a r t o g r a f o " i s s i g n i f i c a n t • i n t he development of sp a c e 9 . The woman i n t h e poem i s an o b j e c t o f d e s i r e , and, l i k e l a n d , can be t a k e n and p o s s e s s e d by the e x p l o r e r . The man obse r v e s the woman as the " s p e c t a t o r - o w n e r " ( B e r g e r 56) 1 0. The p o e t i c v o i c e o f the poem r e i n f o r c e s t h e i d e a , e x p r e s s e d by M a r i n a Warner, t h a t The female form metamorphoses from one s i g n t o an o t h e r , and t h i s f l u x o f s i g n s , each s u c c e e d i n g g e n e r a t i o n ' s v a r i a t i o n on the a n c i e n t t o p i c , i s a c c e p t e d as a sequence o f st a t e m e n t s of t h e t r u t h . The body i s s t i l l t he map on which we mark our meanings; i t i s c h i e f among metaphors used t o see and p r e s e n t o u r s e l v e s . . . ( 3 3 1 ) E r o t i c l o v e and death a re b o t h themes which a re found t h r o u g h o u t A r r a i z Lucca's books B a l i z a j e and Terrenos, and bot h themes a r e p r e s e n t e d as an e x t e n s i o n o f the geography o f t h e body. The immediate geography of the body i s . p l a c e d i n t h e microcosm o f the house i n an expanding c i r c l e o f space which extends t h e n t o the s t r e e t , and t o the c i t y . A r r a i z Lucca acknowledges t h i s c o n n e c t i o n between s o c i e t y and t h e body by u s i n g the body as a s t a r t i n g p o i n t i n h i s development o f a p o e t i c space. The image o f t h e body i s at the f o r e f r o n t o f the c u m u l a t i v e development o f l a r g e r s paces. The geography o f the body i s the o r i g i n of human geography. I t extends from the body t o rooms and t o b u i l d i n g s and n a t i o n s and the e a r t h . The space we occupy b e g i n s w i t h our b o d i e s , and i t i s t h e source o f a l l our s e n s i b i l i t i e s . A c c o r d i n g t o N i e t z s c h e , " the e n l i g h t e n e d man says:. I am body e n t i r e l y , and n o t h i n g b e s i d e ; and s o u l i s o n l y a word f o r something i n t h e b o d y " ( 6 1 ) . The body i s the raw m a t e r i a l o f t h e s p a t i a l c o n s t r u c t i o n t h a t f o l l o w s . The i n t e r c o n n e c t i v i t y of b o d i e s l e a d s us t o s e x u a l i t y and the d i s c o u r s e o f t h e body e r o t i c . A c c o r d i n g t o F o u c a u l t , a l s o , the e t h i c s o f s e x u a l i t y i s "governed by r e l a t i o n s o f f o r c e -the f o r c e a g a i n s t which one must s t r u g g l e and over [the body] which t h e s u b j e c t i s e x p e c t e d t o e s t a b l i s h h i s domination"(The Care of the Self 67). T h i s f o c u s on the space o f t h e body among the p o e t s o f Trafico and Guaire r e i n f o r c e s t h e group's break from the p r i n c i p l e s o f M o d e r n i t y . We have seen t h a t , f o r t h e s e p o e t s , the body i s the f i r s t c o n n e c t i o n between i d e n t i t y and space. These are i n t i m a t e , p e r s o n a l c o n n e c t i o n s which o r i e n t a t e the s u b j e c t ' s s e x u a l autonomy, o f t e n from a m a r g i n a l i z e d p o s i t i o n . These c o n n e c t i o n s a r e not u n i f o r m and r a t i o n a l b u t , r a t h e r , r e f l e c t a growing u n c e r t a i n t y and d i v i s i o n i n t h e development of a s e l f - i m a g e 1 1 . For Yolanda P a n t i n , t h i s b e g i n s w i t h the m a r g i n a l i z e d p o s i t i o n o f women who "no i n s p i r a n p i e d a d " and " t i e n e n i n f i n i d a d de miedos" {Correo 60). For Armando Rojas G u a r d i a t h i s i s a p r o d u c t of a s e x u a l o r i e n t a t i o n which consumes him and r e p l a c e s any p o s s i b l e i d e o l o g i c a l o r i e n t a t i o n w i t h a f o c u s on c o r p o r e a l p l e a s u r e : Lo.que n a d i e sabe es que e s t a t a r d e , a b s o r t o con t u o l o r , soy cuerpo a l f i n n i t i d a m e n t e t r a n s c u r r i e n d o , v i v i e n d o en b a l d e y s i n d o c t r i n a . (Yo que supe de la v i e j a herida 36) The i d e o l o g i c a l m o t i v e s of M o d e r n i t y are r e p l a c e d i n the p o e t r y o f Rojas G u a r d i a w i t h a more p e r s o n a l debate between p l e a s u r e and s i n , and between d e s i r e and g u i l t . As we can see i n "La o b s c e n i d a d de l a memoria", t h e s e i s s u e s a r e at the f o r e f r o n t o f the p o e t ' s c o n c e r n s : e r a n e c e s a r i o tambien a r r e p e n t i r s e d e - l a o b s c e n i d a d de l a memoria cuya v e r g i i e n z a i r o n i c a s u p l i c a l a a b s o l u c i o n de un nuevo cuerpo (Yo que supe de la v i e j a herida 33) In o t h e r members o f the s e p o e t i c groups, the body space i n c r e a s e s the p o s s i b l e p e r s p e c t i v e s and d i s o r d e r s by expanding t h e re a l m o f " o t h e r n e s s " beyond the l i m i t e d c a t e g o r i e s found i n M o d e r n i t y . Reason i s no l o n g e r t h e b a s i s of a c o n s t r u c t i o n of i d e n t i t y b u t , r a t h e r , d e s i r e , s e x u a l i t y , and o t h e r " c l o s e r " , d e c e n t r a l i z e d frames o f r e f e r e n c e . T h i s d e c e n t r a l i z a t i o n can l e a d t o an improvement i n communicative a b i l i t i e s because t h e r e i s a more i n t i m a t e c o n n e c t i o n between t h e s e m a r g i n a l i z e d s u b j e c t s . An example of t h i s e f f e c t can be found i n M i g u e l Marquez's poem "Sobre l a s aguas" which d e s c r i b e s a " s p i r i t " o f communication t h a t can e x i s t between i n d i v i d u a l s : A s i como e l enamorado, torpemente c o n f u n d i d o , i d o • m i e n t r a s l a m i r a , h a b l a de c u a l q u i e r cosa y e l l a e n t i e n d e ; a s i d i c e n que pasa e n t r e dos s e r e s , a v e c e s , un e s p i r i t u , un v i e n t o . (Soneto 49) T h i s poem r e f l e c t s t he new g o a l , o r p r o j e c t , of P o s t m o d e r n i t y ; t o de v e l o p a d i s c o u r s e a l o n g d e l i n e a t e d , u n c e n t e r e d , and m a r g i n a l i z e d r o u t e s . U n d e r s t a n d i n g would t h e n not be based on a t o t a l i z i n g concept or i d e o l o g y , but on an i n t i m a t e " s p i r i t " of communication. Marquez's i n c l u s i o n o f t h e l i n e " d i c e n que pasa", however, r e f l e c t s a d i s t a n c e between the d e s i r e f o r t h i s t y p e o f communication, and i t s r e a l i t y . T h i s l i n e s u g g e s t s t h a t the f r a c t u r i n g o f " m e t a n a r r a t i v e s " p r o v i d e s f o r t h i s p o s s i b i l i t y , but t h a t t h e n a r r a t o r i s unsure o f i t s e x i s t e n c e . He p r e s e n t s here a hope f o r i n t i m a t e d i s c o u r s e r a t h e r than an a f f i r m a t i o n o f i t s e x i s t e n c e . Quotidian Urban Space Postmodernity' i s c l o s e l y l i n k e d t o t h e s p a t i a l e x p e r i e n c e o f urban l i v i n g . The c i t y not o n l y p r o v i d e s t h e p h y s i c a l space of t h e postmodern s u b j e c t , but t h e d e f i n i t i o n o f t h a t same s u b j e c t . A l t h o u g h , a c c o r d i n g t o Jameson (17), the postmodern s u b j e c t has not kept up w i t h t h e development o f t h e space he has b u i l t , c i t i e s n e v e r t h e l e s s p r o v i d e t h e d e f i n i t i o n of t h e s u b j e c t . We a r e not c o n f i n e d t o m e r e l y i n h a b i t i n g c i t i e s , we a l s o a re i n h a b i t e d by them. C i t i e s p r o v i d e a frame of r e f e r e n c e f o r i n d i v i d u a l i d e n t i t y , and are a l s o a p r o d u c t o f t h a t i d e n t i t y . We make c i t i e s , and t h e y make us. Da v i d Harvey's i n t r o d u c t i o n t o h i s s t u d y The Condition of Postmodernity i s i n d i c a t i v e o f the c e n t r a l i t y o f t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p t o P o s t m o d e r n i t y . Harvey b e g i n s h i s st u d y w i t h a d i s c u s s i o n o f Jonathan Raban's Soft city, which i d e n t i f i e s t h e c i t y as "the s o f t c i t y of i l l u s i o n , myth, a s p i r a t i o n , n i g h t m a r e " which i s "as r e a l , maybe more r e a l , t h a n the h a r d c i t y one can l o c a t e i n maps and s t a t i s t i c s , i n monographs on urban s o c i o l o g y and demography and a r c h i t e c t u r e " ( H a r v e y 5 ) . Harvey does not p a r t i c u l a r l y s u p p o r t Raban's o b s e r v a t i o n s i n h i s i n t r o d u c t i o n , but he c e r t a i n l y concedes t h a t urban space and P o s t m o d e r n i t y are i n t i m a t e l y c o nnected. In p a r t i c u l a r , the p r o c e s s of u r b a n i z a t i o n has e f f e c t e d a change i n what the c i t y r e p r e s e n t s . Whereas the c i t y of M o d e r n i t y i s "something t o be shaped f o r s o c i a l purposes and t h e r e f o r e always s u b s e r v i e n t t o the c o n s t r u c t i o n o f a s o c i a l p r o j e c t " ( H a r v e y 66), the postmodern c i t y "forms a m a t e r i a l base upon which a range o f p o s s i b l e s e n s a t i o n s and s o c i a l p r a c t i c e s can be thought about, e v a l u a t e d , and a c h i e v e d " ( H a r v e y 67). The urban environment p l a y s a c r u c i a l r o l e i n the f o r m a t i o n o f the " l o c a l languages o f i d e n t i t y " ( C h a m b e r s 53). Chambers views t h e c i t y as a metaphor, "a myth, a t a l e , a t e l l i n g . . . t h e m e t r o p o l i s i s a l l e g o r y " ( 1 1 2 ) . The c i t y i s , a "space o f t r a n s f o r m a t i o n " and " t o i n h a b i t a c i t y i s t o be immersed i n a common e x p e r i e n c e " (112) . Chambers a l s o n o t e s t h a t the postmodern c i t y can no l o n g e r be d i s c u s s e d and ob s e r v e d as a s i m p l e e x t e n s i o n o f t h e i n d u s t r i a l c a p i t a l i s t c i t y , w i t h i t s f i x e d r e f e r e n t s , and e a s i l y i d e n t i f i a b l e e p i s t e m o l o g i e s . The c i t y i s as much an imagined space as a " r e a l " space, and t h e p e r c e p t i o n of t h e c i t y i s t i e d t o s e l f - p e r c e p t i o n 1 2 . In A r r a i z Lucca's c o l l e c t i o n o f p o e t r y , Almacen, the urban s p a t i a l d i m e n s i o n i s de v e l o p e d , and the c o n s t a n t change i n t h e b u i l t environment r e f l e c t s the s p a t i o -t e m p o r a l element o f urban l i v i n g . I n t h e p o e t r y o f Almacen we can see the p o e t ' s type o f c o n n e c t i o n w i t h h i s urban environment. In the poem " u r b a n i z a c i o n " the speaker comments on the a c t u a l p r o d u c t i o n o f c i t y space: E s t a n o r g a n i z a n d o e l mundo mas a l i a de mi v e n t a n a : c a l l e s y a c e r a s sembradas, h i l e r a s de p o s t e s p a r a l a l u z , e l l a b e r i n t o de tubos p a r a e l d e s t i n o de l a s aguas (Almacen 27) Here the n a r r a t o r comments on the p h y s i c a l b u i l d u p o f t h e c i t y . He ends h i s o b s e r v a t i o n w i t h a tenuous r e f e r e n c e t o an imagined d e c l i n e f o l l o w i n g the c o m p l e t i o n o f the c o n s t r u c t i o n : Tanto me gustan e s t o s comienzos que q u i s i e r a d e j a r l o s a s i : (Almacen 27) The n a r r a t o r i m p l i e s t h a t t h e o r g a n i z a t i o n o f t h e w o r l d t h a t he i s o b s e r v i n g s t a r t s w e l l but ends p o o r l y . There i s a p e s s i m i s t i c tone p r e s e n t here which c o n f i r m s an o b s e r v a t i o n , i n an o t h e r poem i n the same c o l l e c t i o n , t h a t " E s t o s son l o s afio s / mas t r i s t e s de l a h i s t o r i a " (Almacen 10). The poet c o n s i s t e n t l y , and at t i m e s humorously, i n d i c a t e s t h a t the urban space has a d e b i l i t a t i n g e f f e c t on i d e n t i t y and p e r s o n a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s . T h i s i s a c h i e v e d t h r o u g h the p o e t ' s use o f o b j e c t s and r i t u a l s , a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the c i t y , i n a manner which conveys a sense of t e d i u m and d e s p e r a t i o n . "Aventura en C a r a c a s " f o r example,, r e v e a l s t h e f u t i l i t y of t h e p r o t a g o n i s t i n h i s everyday, monotonous, s e a r c h f o r d e s t i n y . H i s r e p e t i t i v e a c t i o n s i n the urban s e t t i n g l e a d t o a r e s i g n e d complacency and a muted hope t h a t "manana/ s e r a o t r o d i a " . T h i s everyday tedium i s customary among t h o s e who share h i s environment: Almuerza con o t r o s que aseguran, como e l , que l a f e l i c i d a d a s a l t a de i m p r o v i s o y s o l o se t r a t a de e s p e r a r l a {Almacen 16) A r r a i z Lucca's f o c u s on the p e s s i m i s m and simulacrum of u r b a n i t y i n Almacen becomes more c r y p t i c and dark i n t h e p u b l i c a t i o n t h a t f o l l o w s . I n Pesadumbre en Bridgetown t h e speaker t r a v e l s t h r o u g h a k i n d o f urban h e l l t h a t combines the dark symbols o f a t o r t u r e d s o u l , "muertos", " c u e r v o s " " c e n i z a s " and "un p e r r o que seguramente es n e g r o " w i t h t h e elements of u r b a n i t y . The poem i s a d i s c u s s i o n o f the q u e s t i o n "^que va a p a s a r con todo e s t o ? " , made by a f e l l o w t r a v e l e r , " v i e j o y sanguineo", who s u f f e r s t h e same f e a r and d a r k n e s s f e l t by the p o e t i c s p e a k e r . The c i t y , t h e c o u n t r y and the w o r l d , are r e p r e s e n t e d by an o l d man who, o b s e r v i n g h i m s e l f , r e c o g n i z e s h i s own, imminent, m o r t a l i t y : Se observa en e l espej'o y se e n c u e n t r a demasiado l i v i d o . Regresa a l a cama y ya l o s r u i d o s de su cuerpo e s t a n por l l e v a r l o a l c o l a p s o . {Antologia 87) The.dying body of the man m i r r o r s t h e d e c l i n e o f c u l t u r a l r e f e r e n c e s , or a t l e a s t a d e c l i n e i n our a b i l i t y t o i d e n t i f y the d i f f e r e n c e between t h e r e f e r e n c e and r e a l i t y . The weary s t e p s o f the o l d man s e t i n motion an expanding c o n t e m p l a t i o n o f h i s s u r r o u n d i n g s : - E s t a es t u c i u d a d , e s t o , t u p a i s , l a zona mas grande aun es A m e r i c a . Toda e s t a cosa redonda es l a t i e r r a que j u n t o a o t r a s da v u e l t a s a l r e d e d o r d e l s o l . (Antologia 85) These s u r r o u n d i n g s go beyond me r e l y the p h y s i c a l f o r , as we have a l r e a d y noted, " i t i s the body... which s e t s i n p l a y the p o s s i b i l i t y o f d i a l o g u i n g w i t h our b e i n g " (Chambers 72). The o l d man's e x a m i n a t i o n of h i s body speaks o f more than p h y s i c a l i t y but a l s o o f h i s t o r y , b oth r e a l and imagined, and community, s o c i e t y and e v e n t s . I n the p o e t r y of Yolanda P a n t i n urban space p l a y s an i m p o r t a n t r o l e i n the c r e a t i o n of i d e n t i t y . I n " V i t r a l de mujer s o l a " , f o r example, the n a r r a t o r c o n n e c t s t h e p h y s i c a l presence of s o l i t a r y women w i t h an immediate u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f t h e i r s t a t e of mind ( l o n e l i n e s s ) and a l s o c onnects the women's body w i t h images of t h e urban l a n d s c a p e : Las mujeres s o l a s no i n s p i r a n p i e d a d n i dan miedo s i a l g u i e n se c r u z a con e l l a s en m i t a d de l a v e r e d a se a p a r t a por miedo a s e r c o n t a g i a d o (Correo 62) Here P a n t i n demonstrates the importance o f the urban l a n d s c a p e on t h e e m o t i o n a l c o n d i t i o n o f t h e women who op e r a t e i n t h i s space. I n " V i t r a l de mujer s o l a " t h e women, as o p p r e s s e d s u b j e c t s , i n d i c a t e t he power r e l a t i o n s h i p between space and s e l f . The women observe t h e i r s u r r o u n d i n g s and d e s c r i b e themselves as l o v e r s (amantes) o f the s i d e w a l k s , mezzanines, and sewers: Las mujeres s o l a s m i r a n e l p a i s a j e y se d i r i a que son amantes de l a s a c e r a s / d e l o s e n t r e s u e l o s / d e l a s a l c a n t a r i l l a s / [ d e l s u b s u e l o De l o s s u b t e r f u g i o s (Correo 62) These are t h e b a s e - l e v e l spaces o f the c i t y and r e p r e s e n t the power p o s i t i o n o f women i n s o c i e t y . The l e a s t d e s i r a b l e realms o f t h e p h y s i c a l l a n d s c a p e a re the d e s i g n a t e d spaces of women i n t h e poem, and the "lowne s s " o f t h e s e spaces i s c o n s i s t e n t w i t h the lowness o f t h e e m o t i o n a l s t a t e o f the i n h a b i t a n t s o f the s e spaces. I n " V i t r a l de mujer s o l a " t he r e a s s u r a n c e o f p o s i t i v e change i n the s o c i a l c o n d i t i o n o f women as t h e y c h a l l e n g e t h e i r i n h e r i t e d spaces i s absent: La mujer que p i e n s e que su s o l e d a d es c u r a b l e no es una mujer s o l a es un e s t a d o t r a n s i t i v o e n t r e dos so l e d a d e s i n f i n i t a -[mente mas p e l i g r o s a s (Correo 62) The urban women o f t h e poem a r e a l i e n a t e d and r e j e c t e d by s o c i e t y and a r e l e f t w i t h o u t hope f o r change. The pessi m i s m of t h e i r p l i g h t i s m a n i f e s t i n t h e i r r e c u r r i n g t houghts o f deat h and p o s s i b l y o f s u i c i d e : y a veces p i e n s a n en l a muerte tambien p l a n e a n un l a r g o v i a j e . . . ( 6 2 ) Women are p r e s e n t e d as v i c t i m s o f t h e i r s u r r o u n d i n g s , and as l o n e l y , f e a r f u l s o c i a l o u t c a s t s . They a r e unable t o change t h i s c o n d i t i o n , and when, on o c c a s i o n , women e n t e r t a i n o p t i m i s t i c t h o u g h t s , t h e s e a re d i s m i s s e d by the p o e t i c v o i c e as "completamente f a l s o " . The s o l i t a r y woman's m a r g i n a l i z e d p o s i t i o n i s a k i n t o t h a t o f t h e homeless, t h e deranged and the c o n t a g i o u s ("Si a l g i e n se c r u z a con e l l a s en m i t a d de l a v e r e d a / se a p a r t a por miedo a s e r co n t a g i a d o " ) and th e y a r e p o w e r l e s s and i s o l a t e d i n a s o c i e t y i n which t h e y i n s p i r e n e i t h e r f e a r not p i t y . I n Yolanda P a n t i n ' s p o e t r y , urban space i s observ e d from a f e m i n i n e p e r s p e c t i v e . An example o f the p o i g n a n t space of t h e urban woman i s found i n " T r a g e d i a c o t i d i a n a o l a s r u i n a s de Tro y a " : E s t a es t u f i g u r a mas o menos t e t r i c a y yo soy a q u e l l a mujer (prim e r a f i l a una cabeza d e c a i d a ) que s u e l e i r a l c i n e s o l a a l l o r a r su d e s c o n s u e l o su e s t r u e n d o s a t r a g e d i a c o t i d i a n a ese f r a c a s o que a s p i r a a l heroismo (Correo 20) and i n "Horas en l a v i d a de una mujer" the b a n a l movements of everyday l i v i n g s e t t h e i s o l a t e d and l o n e l y tone of the urban e x p e r i e n c e : s i n fuego s i n v i d a s i n alma . se a c u e s t a se duerme (Correo 23) T h i s poem i l l u s t r a t e s t h e e m o t i o n a l detachment and a l i e n a t i o n o f the female p e r s p e c t i v e i n a male dominated s o c i e t y . For Yolanda P a n t i n , t h e d i r e c t i v e of Trafico's M a n i f e s t o , t o r e t u r n " a l mundo de l a h i s t o r i a , a l u n i v e r s o d i u r n o de l a v i d a c o n c r e t i s i m a de l o s hombres", i s extended i n o r d e r t o i n c o r p o r a t e a f e m i n i s t p e r s p e c t i v e o f t h e group's " c o n t e x t o h i s t o r i c o i n m e d i a t o " . In p a r t i c u l a r , P a n t i n c o n c e n t r a t e s her e f f o r t s on the d i f f i c u l t i e s e n c o u n t e r e d by women and, i n d o i n g so, she attemp t s t o w r i t e i n a way t h a t s u b v e r t s t h e i d e a l s o f t r a d i t i o n a l p h a l l o c e n t r i c d i s c o u r s e . P a n t i n ' s q u o t a t i o n of V i r g i n i a Woolf i n t h e f i r s t page of t h e c o l l e c t i o n ("Dios mio, he e s c r i t o t a n t a s veces l a p a l a b r a mujer, que e s t o y h a r t a " ) emphasizes h er foc u s on a woman's need t o w r i t e from her own r e a l i t y . V i r g i n i a Woolf lamented t h e d i f f i c u l t i e s e n c o u n t e r e d by women w r i t e r s i n a p r o f e s s i o n c h a r a c t e r i z e d by male dominated i d i o m (Woolf 76) and P a n t i n combats t h e s e d i f f i c u l t i e s by i n t e n t i o n a l l y " f e m i n i z i n g " her d i s c o u r s e w h i l e a d h e r i n g t o t h e p r e c e p t s o f Trafico. She does not fo c u s s p e c i f i c a l l y on t h e i d e n t i t y o f t h e Venezuelan, or even the L a t i n American, woman but r a t h e r on urban women i n g e n e r a l . I n "Two S e r i o u s Women", f o r example, P a n t i n l o o k s abroad, t o t h e women po e t s V i r g i n i a Woolf, S i l v i a P l a t h and A l e j a n d r a P i z a r n i k as her models. The d i f f i c u l t y o f the woman w r i t e r i s i n d i c a t e d i n t h e theme-of t h e poem, which a d d r e s s e s s u i c i d e , s u f f e r i n g , and l o n e l i n e s s . Yolanda P a n t i n ' s t h e m a t i c c h o i c e s i n Corre o del corazon i n c l u d e c e r t a i n m o t i f s and images t h a t , t o borrow from Peggy Kamuf 1 3, i n d i c a t e her e f f o r t s t o " w r i t e l i k e a woman". The i n c o r p o r a t i o n of t h e s e elements r e f l e c t t h e p o e t ' s e x p e r i e n c e o f and p r e o c c u p a t i o n w i t h womanhood. T h i s p e r s p e c t i v e i s found i n t r a d i t i o n a l f e m i n i n e spaces: In t he home: E s t o y mirando una c a s a l l e n a de l u z Donde no v i v i r i a una mujer que se a u t o e s t i m a ("A un nombre" 56) In the k i t c h e n : hay dos p a l a b r a s sobre e l p a p e l h i g i e n i c o de l a c o c i n a ("No hay p u e r t a " 55) In t h e bathroom: E l l a se va a l bano a p l a c a l a f u r i a con su mano maestra ("Conversacion..." 52) In the par k , w i t h t h e c h i l d r e n : Sobre un banco d e l parque una p e l o t a r o j a l a s madres con l a s c e s t a s en pequenas b o l s a s ("Now and Here" 52) And i n t h e bedroom: Por costumbre se a c u e s t a en l a cama a e s p e r a r a su marido que l l e g a siempre t a r d e ( " C o n v e r s a c i o n . . . " 48) The woman's p e r s p e c t i v e i s a l s o found i n the c h o i c e o f o b j e c t s such as " a r m a r i o s " , "hornos", " l a n e v e r a " , "una c a r t e r a " and i n a c t i o n s such as " r a s u r a r l a s p i e r n a s " , " v e r l a s t e l e n o v e l a s " and "comprar legumbres". The e f f e c t o f t h e s e c h o i c e s i s t h e c r e a t i o n o f a frame of r e f e r e n c e d i s t i n c t from the m a s c u l i n e , c a n o n i c a l r e f e r e n c e found i n the o t h e r members o f Trafico, but c o n s i s t e n t w i t h the urban f o c u s o f tho s e members. M a t e r i a l i s m i s p r e s e n t e d as a p o s s i b l e replacement f o r l o v e , which never a r r i v e s and, as we can see i n "Las c i u d a d e s i n v i s i b l e s " , p o s s i b l y does not e x i s t : E s c r i b i r sobre e l amor... se n i e g a suspicazmente . t a c i t a y o b l i c u a r e c o r d a r sobre todo que a q u e l l o que se ama no e x i s t e {Correo 18) The i n v i s i b l e c i t y , the c i t y t h a t does not e x i s t , i s an i n d i c a t i o n o f the c o n n e c t i o n between environment and i d e n t i t y . Man has e x p e r i e n c e d i n t h i s c e n t u r y an i n t e n s e p e r i o d o f u r b a n i z a t i o n unequaled i n h i s t o r y . . A s a r e s u l t we have become more aware o f o u r s e l v e s as i n t r i n s i c a l l y s p a t i a l b e i n g s , c o n t i n u o u s l y engaged i n the c o l l e c t i v e a c t i v i t y o f p r o d u c i n g spaces and d e v e l o p i n g our own environments and h a b i t a t s . I n V e n e z u e l a t h i s p r o c e s s o f u r b a n i z a t i o n was a c c e l e r a t e d by the d i s c o v e r y o f p e t r o l e u m . Between 1935 and 1988 the urban p o p u l a t i o n o f V e n e z u e l a i n c r e a s e d from l e s s than t h i r t y p e r c e n t t o over e i g h t y - f i v e p e r c e n t . The t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o f the urban environment was c o n s t a n t and " p h y s i c a l r e m i n d e r s of t h e p a s t were b u l l d o z e d o f f the f a c e of the l a n d s c a p e " ( H e l l i g e r 76). B u i l d i n g s , s t r e e t s , and even n a t u r a l landmarks were t r a n s f o r m e d a l o n g w i t h t h e s o c i a l t r a n s f o r m a t i o n of t h e c i t y . Yolanda P a n t i n h e r s e l f has remarked t h a t Caracas c r e c i a f r e n t e a mis o j o s , t e s t i g o s de un v i o l e n t o p r o c e s o de c o n s t r u c c i o n que i m p l i c a , desde l u e g o , l a d e s t r u c c i o n . C u a l q u i e r a que conozca a esa c i u d a d sabe que a l d e j a r l a , a s i sea por poco tiempo, no podra r e c o n o c e r l a l u e g o , t a l es l a desmesura de su c r e c i m i e n t o . ( " D e Casa o Lobo..." 49) In t h e p o e t r y of Armando Rojas G u a r d i a we can o b s e r v e a c o n s t a n t c o n n e c t i o n between the emotions of the p o e t i c v o i c e and the urban environment. A r e o c c u r r i n g theme o f Yo que supe de la v i e j a herida, i s a s e a r c h f o r l o v e and t h e l o n e l i n e s s w i t h i n t h e urban space of t h e speaker. L i k e Yolanda P a n t i n , Rojas. G u a r d i a uses h i s p o e t r y t o convey the a l i e n a t i o n o f the p o e t i c s p e a k e r . Love and d e s i r e are s o u r c e s of f r u s t r a t i o n r a t h e r t h a t j o y . Love i s d e s c r i b e d as a wound, caused by c u p i d ' s arrow, which i s c o n s t a n t l y i r r i t a t e d d u r i n g t h e d a i l y a c t i v i t i e s of the u n f u l f i l l e d l o v e r . A g a i n , as i n the p o e t r y o f P a n t i n , t h e s e t t i n g f o r t h i s u n r e q u i t e d l o v e i s the urban environment: Yo que supe de l a v i e j a h e r i d a Cuya sangre embriaga: l a s a e t a , La t e r q u e d a d s i l e n t e d e l f l e c h a z o Traspasandome l a l l a g a en l a o f i c i n a 0 a l s u b i r e l autobus...(33) D e s i r e i s d e s c r i b e d as "incomodo" i n i t s sudden appearance at i n o p p o r t u n e t i m e s . Love and d e s i r e are a c o n s t a n t presence as the speaker moves t h r o u g h the urban l a n d s c a p e . These emotions a r e not s a t i s f i e d , however, and the o b j e c t of d e s i r e i s " d i s t r a i d o " , much as P a n t i n ' s l o v e r i s d i s t a n t and uncommunicative i n "Pequena muerte". The d i s c o m f o r t caused by t h i s u n r e c i p r o c a t e d d e s i r e i s p r e s e n t e d as a dilemma o f e v e r y d a y l i f e . The ache o f l o n e l i n e s s i s f e l t i n the i n c o n g r u o u s l y crowded environment o f t h e bus and t h e o f f i c e . The p h y s i c a l space i s i m p o r t a n t i n Yo que supe de la v i e j a herida because the m e t r o p o l i t a n space o f the p o e t i c v o i c e i s i n t i m a t e l y r e l a t e d t o i t s i d e n t i t y . I t i s , t o use the words of I a i n Chambers, a "space of t r a n s f o r m a t i o n " (112) which, u n l i k e the space of o p p o s i t i o n seen i n Juan C a l z a d i l l a ' s P r i n c i p i o s de urbanidad, i s the space o f memories, d e s t i n y , and myth 1 4. The m e t r o p o l i s i s the s i t e o f s o c i a l development and i t s p r e s e n c e i s both a c o n s t a n t reminder of the i n d i v i d u a l i d e n t i t y , and an i n i t i a t o r o f t h a t i d e n t i t y . As a f o r c e of s o c i a l i z a t i o n , t h e urban environment i s used by Rojas G u a r d i a , and o t h e r p o e t s o f Trafico as a element of " d i s c u r s i v e f o r m a t i o n " 1 5 . Space, both c o r p o r e a l and urban, i s used by t h e p o e t s of Trafico and Guaire i n a manner which d i s t a n c e s i t from the t o t a l i z i n g d i s c o u r s e s o f . M o d e r n i t y . The s p a t i a l p e r c e p t i o n of t h e s e poets ensured t h e i r m a r g i n a l i z a t i o n from t h e consensus-based, c e n t r a l i z e d e l i t e . The p r e v i o u s g e n e r a t i o n of p o e t s , i n t h e 1970s, had been i n c o r p o r a t e d i n t o t h e " l i b e r a l d e m o c r a t i c " s t a t e t h rough t h e e l i t e ' s program of "party-dominan t s t a t i s t i n t e g r a t i o n o f s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n s " ( S a l a m a n c a 2 0 ) . T h i s was p o s s i b l e because the b i p o l a r concepts o f i d e o l o g y of t h e s e p r e v i o u s groups o f w r i t e r s and p o e t s f a c i l i t a t e d t h e i r i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z a t i o n by means o f s o c i a l p a c t s and c o n c e s s i o n s . The f r a c t u r e d , i n d i v i d u a l , and s o c i a l s p e c i f i c i t y o f the new .poets, however, d i d not conform t o the s t a t e ' s mechanisms f o r s o c i a l m o b i l i z a t i o n and c e n t r a l i z a t i o n . Trends i n p o e t r y i n the e a r l y 1980s p r o v e d t o a n t i c i p a t e s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l t r e n d s . The t r e n d away from a b e l i e f i n a t o t a l i z i n g b i - p o l a r p o e t i c d i s c o u r s e c o u l d l a t e r be o b s e r v e d on a s o c i o - p o l i t i c a l l e v e l w i t h t h e i n c r e a s e d s u p p o r t of community-based urban movements. These movements "c u t a c r o s s s o c i a l c l a s s b o u n d a r i e s " and p r e s e n t "the p o s s i b i l i t y t h a t communities can manage areas i n which the s t a t e has f a i l e d " ( S a l a m a n c a 206). The p r e s e nce o f the' s t a t e i n a l l a r e a s of V enezuelan s o c i a l l i f e , which was a r e s u l t o f consensus and c o l l a b o r a t i o n between p a r t i e s and s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n s , was c h a l l e n g e d when the b e n e f i t s o f o i l revenues d e c l i n e d . As the s t a t e l o s t i t s a b i l i t y t o appease a l l s o c i a l s e c t o r s by g r a n t i n g b e n e f i t s w i t h o u t r e q u i r i n g r e c i p r o c a l o b l i g a t i o n s , a t r e n d emerged w h i c h s u p p o r t e d community and neighborhood based p o l i t i c a l mechanisms. In F e b r u a r y of 1983 t h e problems i n t h e p e t r o l e u m market, r i s i n g f o r e i g n debt payments, and an i n c r e a s i n g c a p i t a l f l i g h t caused 'by economic u n c e r t a i n t i e s c o n t r i b u t e d t o a s t e e p d e v a l u a t i o n o f the b o l i v a r , the n a t i o n a l c u r r e n c y . The d e v a l u a t i o n , known as " b l a c k F r i d a y " , i n c r e a s e d economic u n c e r t a i n t i e s and l o w e r e d the p u r c h a s i n g power of wages. For a p o p u l a t i o n accustomed t o an o p t i m i s t i c economic f u t u r e , r i s i n g s t a n d a r d s of l i v i n g , and a low r a t e o f i n f l a t i o n , the sudden a n x i e t y f o l l o w i n g d e v a l u a t i o n r e s u l t e d i n m i s g i v i n g s c o n c e r n i n g the p o l i t i c a l d i r e c t i o n of t h e c o u n t r y . There was a sudden e r o s i o n i n the p o p u l a t i o n ' s " c o n f i d e n c e i n the a b i l i t y and i n t e r e s t o f p u b l i c o f f i c i a l s and p r i v a t e economic agents t o a c t a c c o r d i n g t o p r i n c i p l e s o f r a t i o n a l i t y " ( K o r n b l i t h 8 3 ) . By 1989, t h e s t a t e ' s c a p a c i t y t o borrow i n o r d e r t o s u s t a i n i t s d e m o c r a t i c charade had reached i t s l i m i t . The s t a t e , f o r c e d t o take d r a s t i c f i s c a l measures, i n t r o d u c e d an economic p l a n , el gran v i r a j e , which was t o implement deep s t r u c t u r a l changes t o economic p o l i c i e s . W i t h i n days of t h e announcement of t h i s adjustment p l a n a p o p u l a r v i o l e n t u p r i s i n g o c c u r r e d . There was w i d e s p r e a d l o o t i n g of commercial e s t a b l i s h m e n t s , a t t a c k s on m i d d l e and upper c l a s s neighborhoods, and an e x t e n s i v e d e s t r u c t i o n o f p r o p e r t y . The " e l i t e c o n c i l i a t i o n " t h a t had f u n c t i o n e d d u r i n g the p r e v i o u s decade of p l e n t y p r o v e d t o be i n a d e q u a t e i n t h e f a c e o f economic h a r d s h i p . The " d e m o c r a t i c " s t r u c t u r e u n r a v e l e d when the p o l i t i c a l i n s t i t u t i o n s , which were f r o z e n i n p l a c e by the Punto F i j o p a c t and post-1958 a c c o r d s , l o s t t h e i r a b i l i t y t o c o n t r o l s o c i e t a l p r e s s u r e s through a c e n t r a l i z e d d i s p e r s a l o f f u n d s . S i g n s o f t h i s breakdown i n c o n t r o l was the emergence, f o l l o w i n g " b l a c k F r i d a y " , of groups t h a t o p e r a t e d o u t s i d e p a r t y networks and o f f i c i a l l y s a n c t i o n e d i n s t i t u t i o n s . These new groups i n c l u d e d neighborhood a s s o c i a t i o n s , u n i o n groups, b u s i n e s s groups and c o o p e r a t i v e s . The urban v i o l e n c e o f 1989 showed t h a t the p a r t y , networks under e l i t e c o n t r o l had d e t e r i o r a t e d t o t h e p o i n t where they were no l o n g e r a b l e t o c o n t a i n c i v i l u n r e s t . F i n a l l y , the two f a i l e d m i l i t a r y coups of 1992 demonstrated a h i g h l e v e l o f f r a g i l i t y i n t h e l e g i t i m a c y o f the p o l i t i c a l system. F o l l o w i n g the coup a t t e m p t s , p a r t y monopolies and l e a d e r s h i p autonomy underwent a c r i s i s o f a u t h o r i t y as neighborhood movements c a l l e d f o r l e g i t i m a t e p o l i t i c a l s t r u c t u r e s . T h i s i n c l u d e d s p e c i f i c p r o p o s a l s f o r d e c e n t r a l i z a t i o n and a t r a n s f e r o f r e s o u r c e s and r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s t o l o c a l government. In a d d i t i o n , changes t o e l e c t o r a l r u l e s were s u c c e s s f u l l y advocated, which "undermined th e power of the t o p l e a d e r s h i p " ( C r i s p 151) and u l t i m a t e l y "gave g r e a t i m p o r t a n c e t o s m a l l - s c a l e economic a c t i v i t i e s t i e d t o c i v i l s o c i e t y , e s p e c i a l l y m i c r o e n t e r p r i s e s and c o o p e r a t i v e s " ( S a l a m a n c a 197). V e n e z u e l a , which had " p r e v i o u s l y f a v o r e d a p o l i t i c a l l o g i c i n i t s p a r t y and s t a t e d i m e n s i o n s " (Salamanca 198) underwent, i n the 1990s, a f r a c t u r i n g o f the p o l i t i c a l system. Much l i k e t h e changes i n a e s t h e t i c d i r e c t i o n i n i t i a t e d by the p o e t i c groups o f the e a r l y 1980, t h e p o l i t i c a l system began t o i n c l u d e more i n t i m a t e , " c l o s e r " frames o f r e f e r e n c e i n the l e a d e r s h i p o f c i v i l s o c i e t y . I d e o l o g i e s became l e s s i m p o r t a n t than urban movements t h a t " c u t a c r o s s c l a s s b o u n d a r i e s " ( S a l a m a n c a 206). The new p o l i t i c a l agenda i s fragmented and m u l t i - f a c e t e d . Where the s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l agenda once had been the maintenance of "democracy" by an e l i t e group i n a r e g i o n p r e s s u r e d by a h i s t o r y o f d i c t a t o r s h i p , i t became an attempt t o respond t o problems such as f o o d s u p p l y , employment, and h e a l t h by l o c a l government, communitarian groups, and o t h e r s o c i a l a c t o r s r a n g i n g from consumer and p r o d u c e r c o o p e r a t i v e s , women's groups, e n v i r o n m e n t a l o r g a n i z a t i o n s , and m i c r o e n t e r p r i s e s . Thus, Venezuelan p o l i t i c a l and s o c i a l development i n many ways m i r r o r e d the a e s t h e t i c development we have obse r v e d i n Trafico and Guaire. These p o e t i c ' groups d i s t a n c e d themselves from- i d e o l o g i c a l d i s c o u r s e i n f a v o r o f a p e r s o n a l and community based i d e n t i t y because o f t h e i r l a c k o f c o n f i d e n c e i n t h e poe t ' s a b i l i t y , and duty, t o r e v e a l t o t a l i z i n g " t r u t h s " . To t h i s end R a f a e l A r r a i z Lucca w r i t e s "Que me perdone C a r l i t o s Marx/ s i tampoco e s t o y creyendo/en su a p u e s t a / por l o s d i a s que v e n d r a n " ( G u a i r e 2 9 ) . The p o e t i c space does not presume t o extend beyond an immediate, i n t i m a t e environment. I g o r B a r r e t o w r i t e s , f o r example, t h a t h i s d e s i r e i s t o be " e l p o e t a de pequenos grupos/de v e i n t e o t r e i n t a p ersonas"(Soy el muchacho 33). T h i s a t t i t u d e o r i g i n a l l y p l a c e d t h e s e p o e t s on the p e r i p h e r y o f p o e t i c p r o d u c t i o n i n the V enezuelan environment o f l i t e r a r y workshops and s t a t e s u b s i d i z e d c u l t u r a l p r o j e c t s . By the 1990s, however, p o l i t i c a l and s o c i a l i n t e r e s t s were b e i n g r e o r g a n i z e d towards non-p a r t i s a n , community based, i n s t i t u t i o n s t h a t r e f l e c t e d the approach o f t h e p o ets of Trafico and Guaire. The b a s i c t e n e t s o f M o d e r n i t y , " t r u t h " , " r e a s o n " and " p r o g r e s s " , were f i r s t q u e s t i o n e d by t h e p o e t i c groups and were th e n i n c o r p o r a t e d i n t o t h e p o l i t i c a l realm. T h i s r e d i r e c t i o n i n p o l i t i c a l a t t i t u d e s was, of c o u r s e , a s s i s t e d by a worldwide breakdown o f b i p o l a r i d e o l o g y w i t h the f a l l of t h e S o v i e t b l o c , as w e l l as a marked i n c r e a s e i n t h e i n f l u e n c e and p r e s e nce of m u l t i n a t i o n a l c o r p o r a t i o n s . But, at any r a t e , t h e c r i s e s o f M o d e r n i t y i n V e n e z u e l a was e v i d e n t , i n the e a r l y 1980s, i n the p o e t i c space d e v e l o p e d by the p o e t s of Trafico and Guaire. CHAPTER 4 END NOTES •"•Elena Vera w r i t e s , w i t h r e s p e c t t o the p o e t i c workshops, t h a t , Algunos de e s t o s t a l l e r e s , que en un comienzo t e n i a n como p r a c t i c a l a a b i e r t a d i s c u s i o n de l o s t e x t o s de cada p a r t i c i p a n t e , t e n d i a n a c o n v e r t i r s e en " e s c u e l a s . d e p o e t a s " con un maestro o f i c i a n t e que d e t e r m i n a , conforme a modelos generalmente f o r a n e o s , e l t i p o de p o e s i a que debe o no e s c r i b i r s e ; en l u g a r de p r o p i c i a r l a busqueda l i b r e y p e r s o n a l de e s t o s j o v e n e s c r e a d o r e s . ( 9 6 ) 2 As M o n d o l f i o b s e r v e s , La p o e s i a de l a c a l l e , r e p r e s e n t a d a por e l «Grupo Guaire» y su gemelo «Trafico», i b a d i r i g i d a a l co r a z o n de l a c o t i d i a n i d a d y de l o urbano, s i n que mediara l a n e c e s i d a d de t r a s c e n d e r l a r e a l i d a d n i mucho menos de p e d i r l e p a s a p o r t e a l a H i s t o r i a . ( M o n d o l f i v i i ) 3 R i f f a t e r r e has obser v e d t h a t : o b s c u r i t y betokens l i t e r a r i n e s s by s y m b o l i z i n g the r e a d e r ' s p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n an a c t i v i t y r e s e r v e d t o an e l i t e : t h e p e r c e p t i o n o f t h e g e n e r i c i n t e r p r e t a n t presupposes t h a t enough t e x t s have been r e a d t o en a b l e the r e a d e r t o r e c o g n i z e them as c l a s s t o k e n s , b e l o n g i n g t o a genre.(150) 4 See J u l i o Miranda, "Zona Franca e Imagen" f o r a commentary on t h e c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of Zona Franca. 5 With r e f e r e n c e t o t h e e f f o r t s o f p r e v i o u s g e n e r a t i o n s o f p o e t s t o m a i n t a i n t h e i r s t a t u s as s o c i a l shamans the m a n i f e s t o s t a t e s , Los t r a p e c i s t a s de l a i m a g i n a c i o n s u s p i r a n por mantenerse en l a «realidad» d e s c r i t a p o r l a r u t a de sus a c r o b a c i a s , en l a medida en que se o l v i d a n de l a p o r t e n t o s a c a r p a de l a h i s t o r i a b a j o l a c u a l se d e s p l a z a n . En e l c i r c o e l mago es r e y : b a s t a un e s o t e r i c o g e s t o p a r a que p r o l i f e r e n l o s panuelos ( l o s duendes, l a s u b i t a a p a r i c i o n de l o s e s p i r i t u s ) . Pero, magos: Shasta cuando e l engano? ... cuando se han i d o l o s e s p e c t a d o r e s , cuando l a c a r p a se hace a l t a , no hay h e c h i z o . { M a n i f i e s t o 110) 6 The m a n i f e s t o s t a t e s , i n t h i s r e s p e c t , t h a t Para n o s o t r o s s e r p o e t a s r e p r e s e n t a s a l i r , en exodo c o n c i e n t e , d e l monologo d e n t r o d e l c u a l q u i e r e e n c e r r a r s e buena p a r t e de n u e s t r o s companeros de g e n e r a c i o n . Creemos que en p o e s i a no es l a r o t a c i o n de l o s s i g n o s en e l t e x t o l o que c o n s t i t u y e l a c l a v e e s t e t i c a d e l poema, s i n o l a forma en l a que accede a l o i d o de l o s o t r o s l a voz de una e x p e r i e n c i a h u m a n a . ( M a n i f i e s t o 111) 7 The m a n i f e s t o i s s p e c i f i c w i t h r e g a r d s t o the language and tone of t h e group's p o e t r y : Una p o e s i a que b u s c a r a a l o s hombres de San Fernando o E l C a l l a o donde e s t e n y como esten...una p o e s i a que i n t e n t a n d o r e c u p e r a r , como despues de un l a r g o entumecimiento g e s t u a l , l o s h a b i t o s d e l h a b l a y l o s ademanes c o n c r e t o s de l a s muchedumbres que nos rodean... (Manifiesto 113) The Manifiesto a l s o i n d i c a t e s the importance o f t h e c o n n e c t i o n between t h e poet and h i s p u b l i c . The poet does not work i n i s o l a t i o n . The r e a c t i o n s o f the audie n c e a f f e c t t h e p o e t ' s work as much as the poet a f f e c t s the a u d i e n c e . T h i s i d e a o f r e c i p r o c i t y and d i r e c t communication i s dev e l o p e d i n the m a n i f e s t o . The group e x p r e s s e s a d e s i r e t o C i r c u l a r e l poema en e l c i r c u i t o de un d i a l o g o c o n c r e t o , no-con un l e c t o r s i n r o s t r o , s i n o con l o s hombres y mujeres que en l a f a b r i c a y e l rancho, l a e s c u e l a y e l c u a r t e l , l a u n i v e r s i d a d o l a o f i c i n a , han p e r d i d o l a costumbre...de e s c u c h a r s e a s i mismo en e l v e r t i c e unanime de l a voz d e l p o e t a . (Manifiesto 111) The v o i c e o f the po e t , a c c o r d i n g t o Trafico, had d i s t a n c e d i t s e l f from i t s r o l e as " i n t e r p r e t e de v i v e n c i a s c o l e c t i v a s " and had been c o n v e r t e d i n t o a s e l f - c e n t e r e d and s e l f - s e r v i n g c o m b i n a t i o n o f words "que se f r o t a n p a r a a r r a n c a r s e c h i s p a s que no pasan de s e r un fuego f a t u o " ( M a n i f i e s t o 111). 9 Jamie B r a s s e t o b s e r v e s , " C a r t o g r a p h y f i l l s , f e e l s t he space i t moves i n . . . ( i t ) g l i d e s over t h e s u r f a c e i t maps, s l i t h e r s and s l i d e s a c r o s s t h e c o n t o u r s o f space which does not o r d e r t h e movement of t h e mapping"(9). W h i l e t h i s d e s c r i p t i o n o f c a r t o g r a p h y i s perhaps a l i t t l e p e r p l e x i n g , i t i s u s e f u l f o r showing t h e i n t i m a t e c o n n e c t i o n between p h y s i c a l space and t h e map o f t h a t space. 1 0 Berger d e s c r i b e s women as t h e "seen" and never the " s e e r " because, l i k e a r t , she i s on d i s p l a y and-her v a l u e i s dependent upon the r e a c t i o n o f the o b s e r v e r . As Berger w r i t e s , "men a c t and women appear. Men l o o k at women. Women watch t h e m s e l v e s b e i n g l o o k e d a t " ( 4 7 ) . The women i n Be r g e r ' s o b s e r v a t i o n are v a l u e d f o r t h e i r appearance, and a l s o , t h e i r s e l f - v a l u e i s dependent on t h i s e x t e r n a l , o b s e r v e d v a l u e . I n t h e Venezuelan c u l t u r a l c o n t e x t the " c u l t o f b e a u t y " i s e s p e c i a l l y c o n s p i c u o u s . The beauty pageants t h a t produce M i s s V e n e z u e l a a r e world-renowned, and, r e p u t e d l y , V e n e z u e l a b o a s t s the h i g h e s t p e r c a p i t a consumption o f make-up and beauty p r o d u c t s i n t h e w o r l d . 1 1 In postmodern d i s c o u r s e , t h e i s s u e o f i d e n t i t y seems t o o s c i l l a t e between o t h e r n e s s and autonomy. On one hand, i t s t r e s s e s t h e d e - c e n t e r i n g o f t h e s u b j e c t and the l o s s o f i n d i v i d u a l i d e n t i t y , and, on t h e o t h e r hand, the r i s e o f d i s u n i t y , d i s c o n t i n u i t y and f r a g m e n t a t i o n which h i g h l i g h t s i n d i v i d u a l c h o i c e . K e l l n e r s u g g ests t h a t the c o n s t r u c t i o n o f p e r s o n a l i d e n t i t i e s has become more complex i n the postmodern age, p r e c i s e l y because of t h e development o f t h e s i m u l a t e d r e a l i t y o f modern c u l t u r a l forms (148). I n contemporary s o c i e t y , i d e n t i t y has been r e c o n s t r u c t e d and r e d e f i n e d a c c o r d i n g t o a new, fragmented c u l t u r a l c o n t e x t . W h i l e modern i d e n t i t y was a " s e r i o u s a f f a i r " ( 1 5 3 ) which d e f i n e d an i n d i v i d u a l i n a d i f f i c u l t t o change, fundamental, c u l t u r a l c o n t e x t , postmodern i d e n t i t y i s a game of images: I d e n t i t y today has become a f r e e l y chosen game,-a t h e a t r i c a l p r e s e n t a t i o n o f t h e s e l f , i n which one i s a b l e t o p r e s e n t o n e s e l f i n a v a r i e t y of r o l e s , images and a c t i v i t i e s , r e l a t i v e l y unconcerned about s h i f t s , t r a n s f o r m a t i o n s and d r a m a t i c changes. (158) I d e n t i t y as a f r e e l y chosen game, however, i n c r e a s e s the l i k e l i h o o d o f a l o s s of i d e n t i t y . I f postmodernism i s c h a r a c t e r i z e d by d i s c o n t i n u i t y and f r a g m e n t a t i o n of the r e a l word, the same i s t r u e f o r i n d i v i d u a l s . The freedom t o chose one's i d e n t i t y r e s u l t s i n a d i v i s i o n o f i d e n t i t y , a s e r i e s . o f p o s i t i o n s which p r e v e n t t h e s u b j e c t from h a v i n g a sense of p e r s o n a l i d e n t i t y and coherence. In t h e t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y urban space has become more important, i n t h e e x p e r i e n c e o f the p o e t . C l a u d i a K e r i k remarks t h a t i n t h e t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y , La c i u d a d moderna imponia un mundo p a r a e l que no e x i s t i a un l e n g u a j e . E l p o e t a se v i o d e s a f i a d o por un problema de e x p r e s i o n . No se t r a t a b a s o l o de nombrar a l g o nuevo s i n o tambien de e n c o n t r a r o t r o modo de r e p r e s e n t a r l a r e l a c i o n con e l e s p a c i o , un e s p a c i o que en su c o m p l e j a e x p a n s i o n se h a b i a t r a n s f i g u r a d o y comenzaba a c o n d i c i o n a r l a v i d a humana en todos sus as p e c t o s . ( 3 3 1 ) K e r i k n o t e s t h a t t h e r o l e o f the c i t y i n the d a i l y l i f e of the poet was something w i t h o u t precedence. T h i s has l e d t o an " e s t a d o urbado de l a mente"(331) i n the development o f the p o e t . The po e t s of Trafico and Guaire a d d r e s s e d t h i s urban s t a t e i n t h e i r m a n i f e s t o and p u b l i c a t i o n s b e f o r e p r o d u c i n g p o e t r y . I n bo t h groups, t h e c h o i c e o f the group's name i s d e r i v e d from the urban e x p e r i e n c e and l a n d s c a p e . Both groups seem t o have been s e l f - c o n s c i o u s o f the c o m p l e x i t i e s of t h e urban i m a g i n a r y , c i t y - c e n t r i c c o n s c i o u s n e s s , and how t h e s e c o m p l e x i t i e s a f f e c t communication, a t t i t u d e s and d e s i r e s . The groups were formed " b a j p e l p r e s u p u e s t o de l o urbano como e s c e n a r i o . d e l a s imagenes de su p o e s i a " { E l Avion 16). 1 3 See Peggy Kamuf's a r t i c l e " w r i t i n g l i k e a woman". 1 4 I a i n Chambers d e s c r i b e s t h e m e t r o p o l i s as a myth, a t a l e , a t e l l i n g t h a t h e l p s some o f us t o l o c a t e our home i n M o d e r n i t y , t h e r e t o f i n d t h e new gods, the new myths, c a l l e d f o r by N i e t z c h e . The m e t r o p o l i s i s an a l l e g o r y ; i n p a r t i c u l a r i t r e p r e s e n t s the a l l e g o r y o f the c r i s i s of M o d e r n i t y t h a t we have l e a r n t t o r e c o g n i z e i n the v o i c e s o f B a u d e l a i r e , Benjamin, and K a f k a . To go beyond t h e s e b l e a k s t o r i e s o f e x i l e and t h a t grey, r a i n y c o u n t r y o f t h e an g u i s h e d s o u l , i s t o e s t a b l i s h a sense o f b e i n g a t home i n the c i t y , and t o make o f t r a d i t i o n a space of transformation r a t h e r t h a n t h e scene of a c h e e r l e s s d e s t i n y . ( 1 1 2 ) T h i s "space of t r a n s f o r m a t i o n " i s t h e space o f the p o e t s of Trafico: a l t h o u g h t h i s environment i s the space of a n g u i s h , i t can a l s o be t h e space o f j o y , f e a r , l o v e , hate e t c . because i t i s t h e dynamic s p a t i a l network which forms t h e c o l l e c t i v e c o n s c i o u s n e s s o f the a r t i s t . The c i t y i s t h e environment o f l o n e l i n e s s and l o n g i n g , but i t i s a l s o t h e space t o which t h e s e p o e t s , " h i j o s de una c l a s e m e d i a , " { M a n i f i e s t o 115) a r e bound t h r o u g h t h e i r own s e l f -c o n c e p t i o n . F o l l o w i n g t h e group e x p e r i e n c e , w i t h t h e d i s b a n d i n g of Trafico, t h e poets f e l t l e s s p r e s s u r e d t o conform t o t h i s space as t h e source o f s o c i a l awareness and development. 1 5 F o u c a u l t d e s c r i b e s d i s c o u r s e as C o n s t i t u t e d by a group o f sequences o f s i g n s , i n so f a r as t h e y are s t a t e m e n t s , t h a t i s , i n so f a r as. t h e y can be a s s i g n e d p a r t i c u l a r m o d a l i t i e s o f e x i s t e n c e . . . the law o f such a s e r i e s i s p r e c i s e l y what I have so f a r c a l l e d a d i s c u r s i v e formation,... (and) th e term d i s c o u r s e can be d e f i n e d as t h e group o f s t a t e m e n t s t h a t b e l o n g t o a s i n g l e system o f f o r m a t i o n ; t h u s I s h a l l be a b l e t o speak o f c l i n i c a l d i s c o u r s e , economic d i s c o u r s e , the d i s c o u r s e o f n a t u r a l h i s t o r y , p s y c h i a t r i c d i s c o u r s e . ( T h e Archaeology 121) Conclusions I n t h i s t h e s i s I have a t t e m p t e d t o i d e n t i f y and e x p l a i n the t r a n s i t i o n from M o d e r n i t y t o P o s t m o d e r n i t y i n the a e s t h e t i c development of Venezuelan p o e t i c groups, b o t h i n t h e i r m a n i f e s t o e s and t h e i r p o e t r y . I t was my c o n t e n t i o n t h a t t h i s t r a n s i t i o n was c l o s e l y l i n k e d t o p o l i t i c a l and s o c i a l events i n V e n e z u e l a . I b e l i e v e d t h i s t r a n s i t i o n c o u l d a l s o be o b s e r v e d i n o t h e r L a t i n A merican c o u n t r i e s but t h a t i t was p a r t i c u l a r l y e v i d e n t i n V e n e z u e l a . T h i s was due p r i m a r i l y t o the l a r g e number of p o e t i c groups i n t h a t c o u n t r y t h a t had o u t l i n e d t h e i r o b j e c t i v e s i n l i t e r a r y m a n i f e s t o e s . U s i n g t h e s e groups, I have a n a l y z e d a e s t h e t i c t r e n d s i n the l i t e r a r y m a n i f e s t o e s and t h e p o e t r y produced by p o e t i c groups i n V e n e z u e l a d u r i n g the c o u r s e of t h e c e n t u r y and I have compared t h e s e t r e n d s t o s o c i a l , economic and p o l i t i c a l e v e n t s . In the c o u r s e o f t h i s a n a l y s i s I have, indeed, seen a c o r r e l a t i o n between p o e t i c t r e n d s and s o c i o - p o l i t i c changes. I have o b s e r v e d t h r e e d i s t i n c t p o l i t i c a l and economic s t a g e s i n V e n e z u e l a : These s t a g e s can be i d e n t i f i e d i n terms o f t h e i r adherence t o the p r i n c i p l e s o f M o d e r n i t y . In each o f t h e s e t h r e e s t a g e s I have found, i n the c o u r s e o f t h i s t h e s i s , t h a t as M o d e r n i t y l o s t ground as t h e d r i v i n g f o r c e i n t h e p o l i t i c a l and economic sphere, t h e r e was a c o r r e s p o n d i n g change i n the a e s t h e t i c d i r e c t i o n o f V enezuelan p o e t i c groups. In t h e f i r s t s t a g e of V enezuelan M o d e r n i t y , d u r i n g t h e d i c t a t o r i a l p e r i o d , t h e i d e a of p r o g r e s s was an e x t e n s i o n o f K a n t i a n r a t i o n a l i t y and t h e s e l f - d e t e r m i n a t i o n o f the i n d i v i d u a l s u b j e c t . N a t i o n a l l i t e r a r y groups f o l l o w e d European models and e s t a b l i s h e d a d i s c o u r s e which conformed t o r e s o u r c e s , whether p h i l o s o p h i c a l , r e l i g i o u s , a r t i s t i c o r s c i e n t i f i c , t h a t gave meaning t o humanity. L i t e r a t u r e r e f l e c t e d t h e i d e a t h a t man was endowed w i t h t h e c a p a c i t y t o observe and a s s i m i l a t e t h e w o r l d by f i l t e r i n g t h i s o b s e r v a t i o n t h r o u g h accumulated knowledge. P o s i t i v i s t i d e o l o g y r e i n f o r c e d t h e concept of h i s t o r y as p r o g r e s s i o n and the s e l f - d e t e r m i n a t i o n and autonomy of the s u b j e c t . The p o e t i c groups t h a t d e v e l o p e d d u r i n g t h i s p e r i o d a ttempted t o c r i t i c i z e p o l i t i c a l and economic r e a l i t i e s by f o c u s i n g on s p e c i f i c i n s t i t u t i o n s , r a t h e r than th e system i t s e l f . C r i t i c i s m from t h e s e groups c a l l e d f o r a " r u p t u r e and r e n o v a t i o n " o f a e s t h e t i c s but d i d not q u e s t i o n the p r e c e p t s o f M o d e r n i t y . The e x i s t e n c e o f t r u t h and r e ason as a f u n c t i o n o f knowledge was not t a r g e t e d , but r a t h e r t h e e x i s t i n g o r g a n i z a t i o n and i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of t h a t knowledge. U n d e r l y i n g t h e Venezuelan p o e t i c group's c a l l f o r r e n o v a t i o n and change d u r i n g t h i s p e r i o d was a c o n t i n u e d c o n f i d e n c e i n the i n d i v i d u a l p o e t ' s c a p a c i t y t o know and a p p l y knowledge. I found i n t h i s c h a p t e r t h a t t h e f o c u s on i n d i v i d u a l i s m i n a e s t h e t i c s echoed the a u t o c r a t i c p o l i t i c a l model. In the second p o l i t i c a l p e r i o d i d e n t i f i e d i n t h i s t h e s i s I found t h a t . p o e t s began t o q u e s t i o n the p r e c e p t s o f M o d e r n i t y i n the wake of the m a n i p u l a t i o n o f the " d e m o c r a t i c " p o l i t i c a l system i n Ven e z u e l a by the dominant p o l i t i c a l p a r t i e s . A g a i n , I found i n t h i s s t a g e o f M o d e r n i t y i n Ven e z u e l a t h a t t h e r e was a c l o s e c o n n e c t i o n between p o e t i c developments and the s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l c l i m a t e . The p o e t i c groups a t t h e b e g i n n i n g of t h i s p e r i o d c l e a r l y l i n k e d a e s t h e t i c r e n o v a t i o n w i t h a c t i v e p o l i t i c a l i n s u r r e c t i o n . C l a s s - b a s e d r e v o l u t i o n a r y d i s t u r b a n c e s were common d u r i n g t h e 1960s i n V e n e z u e l a and one o b v i o u s s o u r c e o f p o p u l a r s u p p o r t f o r l e f t i s t g u e r i l l a a c t i o n was found i n t h e l i t e r a t u r e o f s e v e r a l p o e t i c groups. The l i t e r a r y m a n i f e s t o e s o f t h i s p e r i o d s t r e s s e d the p o l i t i c a l and s o c i a l r o l e o f t h e poet. Change was ad v o c a t e d and r a d i c a l i d e o l o g i c a l p o s i t i o n s were p r e s e n t e d t h r o u g h c o n t r o v e r s y and the a e s t h e t i c s o f n e g a t i o n . The p r e s s u r e s of u r b a n i t y were p r e s e n t e d as n e g a t i v e f o r c e s i n t h e p o e t r y o f the members o f t h e s e r a d i c a l , m a n i f e s t o - p r o d u c i n g groups. Poets such as Juan C a l z a d i l l a and C a u p o l i c a n O v a l l e s d e p i c t e d t h e urban environment as a space of s o c i a l p o l a r i t y which s t r i p e d the i n d i v i d u a l of c o n t r o l over h i s own d e s t i n y . By t h e 1970s,' however, t h e r e v o l u t i o n a r y p o e t s of the 1960s had been c o n v i n c e d , t h r o u g h s t a t e s u b s i d i e s and c u l t u r a l programs, t o l e a v e t h e i r m a r g i n a l i z e d p o s i t i o n s f o r government s a n c t i o n e d p o s t s . T h i s was t r u e f o r many g u e r i l l a f i g h t e r s as w e l l , who l a t e r became " p a r l e m e n t a r i o s s i n c r e d i b i l i d a d o achacosos miembros d e l g a b i n e t e " ( G a r m e n d i a 35). Thus, I saw a s t e a d y d e c l i n e i n t h e p o e t ' s a u t h o r i t y as an i n t e r p r e t e r of r e a l i t y . For the f i r s t time p o e t s began t o show a r e j e c t i o n o f t he t e n e t s of M o d e r n i t y . T h i s was, as I have shown, a d i r e c t r e s u l t o f t h e unique " d e m o c r a t i c " p o l i t i c a l and economic system o f government i n Ve n e z u e l a a t t h a t t i m e . A t h i r d s t age o f M o d e r n i t y i n Ve n e z u e l a began when t h e s t a t e ' s a b i l i t y t o m a i n t a i n an e l i t i s t "democracy" t h r o u g h a l i b e r a l d i s p e r s a l o f funds began t o f a l t e r i n t h e wake o f a d e c l i n e i n o i l p r i c e s and a subsequent r e d u c t i o n i n s t a t e revenues. A l t h o u g h t h e t r u e e f f e c t o f t h e d e c l i n e i n revenue was postponed through massive f o r e i g n l o a n s t h r o u g h o u t the 1980s, w i d e s p r e a d d i s c o n t e n t w i t h the p o l i t i c a l system e v e n t u a l l y o c c u r r e d . T h i s d i s c o n t e n t was not c h a n n e l e d i n t o s u pport f o r a new p o l i t i c a l p a r t y , or even a new p o l i t i c a l system. The f a i l u r e of s o c i a l i s t p r o j e c t s around th e w o r l d , w i t h a few i s o l a t e d e x c e p t i o n s , d e t e r r e d Venezuelans from s e e k i n g improvement t h r o u g h a change i n the i d e o l o g i c a l o r i e n t a t i o n o f i t s l e a d e r s . I n s t e a d , a w i d e s p r e a d apathy among v o t e r s c o u l d be o b s e r v e d i n the r i s e of e l e c t o r a l a b s t e n t i o n . T h i s was r e f l e c t i v e not o n l y o f the v o t e r ' s l a c k of c o n f i d e n c e i n h i s a b i l i t y t o change p o l i t i c a l and s o c i a l r e a l i t i e s , but a l s o o f a d i s t r u s t i n i d e o l o g i c a l p r o j e c t s t h e m s e l v e s . The Venezuelan e l e c t o r a t e became a n t i - i d e o l o g i c a l because p o l i t i c a l p a r t i e s were " w i d e l y p e r c e i v e d as r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the d e c l i n e o f the economy"(Buxton 52). In t h i s t h e s i s I have shown a c o r r e l a t i o n between t r e n d s i n the a t t i t u d e o f t h e Venezuelan e l e c t o r a t e and the a e s t h e t i c p r o d u c t i o n of s e v e r a l p o e t i c groups. The l a c k o f c o n f i d e n c e t h a t c o u l d be seen by t h e l a t e 1980s i n V e n e z u e l a was a n t i c i p a t e d i n the p o e t r y of Trafico and Guaire. S p e c i f i c a l l y , I have shown t h a t these groups i n t r o d u c e d a p o e t r y t h a t i n c o r p o r a t e d t h e c r i s e s o f M o d e r n i t y i n i t s p o e t i c space. In t h e p o e t r y o f t h e s e groups t h e r e i s l i t t l e a n t i c i p a t i o n of a b e t t e r f u t u r e as a n a t u r a l p r o g r e s s i o n of t h e p r e s e n t . As a r e s u l t , t h e s u b j e c t tends " o n l y t o l i v e i n the p r e s e n t , surrounded by the s p e c t a c l e o f s i g n i f i e r s which have l o s t a l l c o n n e c t i o n w i t h t h e s i g n i f i e d " ( L a r r a i n 87). T h i s " l o s s of c o n n e c t i o n " l e d t o a sense of i s o l a t i o n , a l i e n a t i o n , absence, and s i l e n c e ; s e n t i m e n t s t h a t were i n d i c a t i v e of t h e " f r a c t u r e d " r e a l i t y o f P o s t m o d e r n i t y . I o b s e r v e d e a r l y i n t h i s t h e s i s t h a t the m i n i m i z i n g o f n a r r a t i v e s has l e d t o a more p e r s o n a l , s e l f - c o n s c i o u s and r e f l e c t i v e c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f t h e microcosm o f t h e w r i t e r ' s environment. These new p o e t ' s l a c k o f c o n f i d e n c e i n t h e power o f language, t r i g g e r e d l a r g e l y by a d e t e r i o r a t i o n i n the hegemonic models of M o d e r n i t y , has enhanced t h i s a s p e c t of d i s c o u r s e . P r e v i o u s p o e t i c groups, w i t h "su extrema c o n f i a n z a y su a b i e r t a a u t o i d e n t i f i c a c i o n y s e g u r i d a d en e l camino de l a l u c h a " ( U r r e l l o 24) p r e s e n t e d t h e i r programs o f r u p t u r e and r e n o v a t i o n from w i t h i n a b e l i e f • i n r e a s o n and i d e o l o g i c a l s o l u t i o n s . W i t h the a r r i v a l o f P o s t m o d e r n i t y i n V e n e z u e l a , i n the p o e t r y o f Trafico and Guaire, a q u e s t i o n i n g o f i d e n t i t y , o f language and t h e p o e t i c p r o c e s s , and of t h e a u t h o r i t y o f the poet was p r e s e n t e d . In t h e c o u r s e o f t h i s t h e s i s we have seen how, and why, t h e r e has been a s t e a d y movement thro u g h o u t the c e n t u r y from M o d e r n i t y t o P o s t m o d e r n i t y i n the a e s t h e t i c p r o d u c t i o n o f Venezuelan p o e t i c groups. We have seen why Venezuelan p o e t i c groups began t o r e j e c t M o d e r n i t y ' s i n s i s t e n c e t h a t t h e s u b j e c t i s c a p a b l e of c a t e g o r i z i n g and o r d e r i n g the w o r l d i n t o a r a t i o n a l and p r o g r e s s i v e system of knowledge. As t h e c e n t u r y p r o g r e s s e d , p o e t i c groups began t o c o n s i d e r the f u t i l i t y of s e e k i n g a s y s t e m a t i c , l o g i c a l , and c o n t r o l l e d approach t o r e a l i t y t h a t would r e s u l t i n an e x a c t knowledge of t h a t r e a l i t y . By the 1980s, as the " d e m o c r a t i c " p o l i t i c a l system began t o crumble i n the wake of economic t u r m o i l , V e nezuelan p o e t i c groups no . l o n g e r sought t o e x p l a i n t h e w o r l d , but s i m p l y attempted t o be p o e t s "de pequehos grupo s / de v e i n t e o t r e i n t a -p e r s o n a s " ( I g o r B a r r e t o , Soy el muchacho 3 3 ) . The c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s we have seen o f t h e s e p o e t i c groups i n V e n e z u e l a may be i n d i c a t i v e of g e n e r a l t r e n d s i n L a t i n American l i t e r a t u r e . An i n t e r e s t i n g c o n t i n u a t i o n o f t h i s s t u d y would be a s u r v e y of t h e e f f e c t s o f r e c e n t g l o b a l p o l i t i c a l f r a g m e n t a t i o n on p o e t i c p r o d u c t i o n i n L a t i n A m e r i c a . I t would be i n t e r e s t i n g t o l o o k f o r t r e n d s i n o t h e r L a t i n American c o u n t r i e s t o see whether the case o f V e n e z u e l a i s i s o l a t e d o r not from c u r r e n t t r e n d s . I su s p e c t t h a t a s t u d y of t h i s n a t u r e would i n d i c a t e t h a t poets and p o e t i c groups o f o t h e r r e g i o n s i n L a t i n A merica have undergone s i m i l a r changes i n -response t o the e r a s u r e o f c o n f i d e n c e i n u t o p i c i d e o l o g i c a l models. I t would be i n t e r e s t i n g t o see i f t h e b a n k r u p t c y of l e f t i s t p r o j e c t s i n the S o v i e t Union and o t h e r c o u n t r i e s has eroded t h e c o n f i d e n c e of p o e t s i n o t h e r r e g i o n s , as i t has i n V e n e z u e l a , i n t h e concept o f Reason and u n i v e r s a l t r u t h . BIBLIOGRAPHY Abastado, C l a u d e . " I n t r o d u c t i o n a 1 ' analyse des m a n i f e s t e s . 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