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

Abstract

This dissertation observes and discusses the characteristics of Venezuelan poetry in the twentieth century as it relates to the transition from Modernity to Postmodernity. It first discusses the characteristics of Modernity and the development of Postmodernity in Western philosophical thought. These characteristics are then applied to the context of Latin America and, specifically, Venezuela. The concept of Modernity is discussed in terms of political and aesthetic developments in Venezuelan poetry during three distinct political and economic periods of the twentieth century. The first stage is presented as a period of authoritarian rule, the second as a fledgling, and struggling, democracy, and the third as a democratic charade leading to a "crisis of Modernity". This study demonstrates that there has been a steady movement throughout the century from Modernity to Postmodernity in the aesthetic production of Venezuelan poetic groups. It shows how and why Venezuelan poetic groups began to reject Modernity's insistence that the subject is capable of categorizing and ordering the world into a rational and progressive system of knowledge. As the century progressed, poetic groups began to consider the futility of seeking a systematic, logical, and controlled approach to reality. By the 1980s, Venezuelan poets tended to avoid the ideological "metanarratives" that had been prevalent in the poetry of prior generations.

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