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Manuel Gonzalez Prada and two trends in Peruvian poetry. Statton, Marian Joyce

Abstract

While González Prada was mainly a prose writer and ideologist, he did write poetry throughout his life, beginning perhaps even before he began to write prose. Although his poetry itself had little influence on other poets, the ideas which lie behind it did. The purpose of this paper is to show that there are two incipient trends of Peruvian poetry in Prada's poems: Modernism and indigenism. Prada’s tendency towards Modernism is found to be mainly theoretical and ideological, as his adoption of modernist style occurs when Modernism has already been established by Rubún Darío, and disappears after the publication of Exóticas in 1911. Chocano serves as a counterpoint to Prada in showing the extent to which the latter had any real influence on the development of a particular modernist poet, and to which the full development of Modernism differed from the innovations which Prada had envisioned. The incipient indigenism in Prada's poetry is represented in Baladas peruanas, although the point in which Prada anticipates twentieth century writers is that of the use of poetry as a vehicle for ideas, and as such is also evident in Libertarias and Presbiterianas. The nature of Prada’s indigenism is compared to that of Chocano in order to show the extent of the modernists' failure to develop the trends which Prada had foreshadowed.

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