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Urban space in the poetry of Rafael Arráiz Lucca and Yolanda Pantin Hernández, Kimberly Reisner

Abstract

This thesis examines the urban space of the 1980s as evoked in a selection of poetry by Rafael Arraiz Lucca and Yolanda Pantin. It establishes links between the poems and the urban spaces they describe by looking at the relationship between the form of the message and the message itself. Through the technical and content analysis of the poems, it unveils similarities and differences between the urban poetry of these two Venezuelan writers. This work adopts as its critical foundation Carlos Bousofio's Teoria de la expresion poetica in which he explains that the poem has to show what poetry is in the same manner that the concept "apple" develops from the sight of several individual apples. His theory suggests that language is manipulated through poetic devices that cause language substitution, enabling language to go beyond generic (dictionary) meaning and thus into the realm of poetic expression. Bousofio's method questions zones of the poem to propose that "la voz lirica" comes always in proportion to a substitution made in language. To be poetic, language has to go through a transformation process that causes it to appear to be individualizing, whereby an illusory psychic sensation is produced in the reader. Two processes in this investigation are taking place simultaneously, and each relies on the other for completion: the urban Caracas images of the 1980s are juxtaposed with Bousofio's theory. This enables the images to come into focus and be further understood. The six poems are examined in order to decipher how language is manipulated to cause a poetic sensation (made possible by the application of Bousofio's theory); how the said poetic language places the reader, by the recreation of images in the psyche, in an urban setting.

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