Poetry and the Realm of the Public Intellectual
The Alternative Destinies of Gabriela Mistral, Cecília Meireles, and Rosario Castellanos

Karen Peña

Legenda (General Series)

Legenda

14 December 2007  •  240pp

ISBN: 978-1-905981-33-5 (hardback)  •  RRP £75, $99, €85

SpanishFiction


Gabriela Mistral, Cecília Meireles, and Rosario Castellanos were three of the most important Latin American women writers of the 20th century. Prolific, contentious, and widely read and discussed from Spanish America to Brazil, they pushed the boundaries of what it meant to be women poets from the 1920s to the 1970s. Karen Peña explores how these three writers used poetry to oppose patriarchal discourse on topics ranging from marginalized peoples to issues on gender and sexuality. Poetry was a means for them to redefine their own feminized space, however difficult or odd it could turn out to be.

In this study, we see how Gabriela Mistral travels to Mexico and finds the countryside a way to declare her own queer identity; many years later we find her re-imagining a frightening feminine space where she contests the terrible fate of Greek heroines. In Cecília Meireles, we discover a writer at odds with her femininity, who declares herself androgynous. Like Mistral, she too travelled extensively, and we see her arguing against the wealth of capitalism and industrialization when she travels to the United States in 1940. Rosario Castellanos straightforwardly argues for women's procreative rights in almost all of her poetry. And in an illuminating re-reading of Mistral, Castellanos allows the shadow of her predecessor to vocalize the tragedies of the inability to control woman's reproductive choices.

Reviews:

  • ‘By bringing together three of the principal Latin-American authors of the twentieth century, Poetry and the Realm of the Public Intellectual contributes enormously to our understanding of what inspired and motivated them as authors. Peña proves to have a very thorough understanding of poetry, providing a painstakingly close readings of the three poets analysed. She also demonstrates a great deal of familiarity with both Spanish and Portuguese bibliographical sources in her studies of each of the writers... A valuable contribution to the field of Latin-American poetry, especially in its discussion of the question of gender and the place of female intellectuals in Latin America.’ — Vivaldo Santos, Bulletin of Spanish Studies 87.7, 2010, 1020-21
  • ‘Resumiendo, se trata de una contribución valiosa e importante sobre la conflictividad americana mediada por las voces femeninas. Por encima de todo, Peña nos muestra que la poesía es más vital y resonante en sus momentos de rebeldía.’ — Roland Spiller, Iberoamericana 43, 2011, 200-01

Bibliography entry:

Peña, Karen, Poetry and the Realm of the Public Intellectual: The Alternative Destinies of Gabriela Mistral, Cecília Meireles, and Rosario Castellanos (Cambridge: Legenda, 2007)

First footnote reference: 35 Karen Peña, Poetry and the Realm of the Public Intellectual: The Alternative Destinies of Gabriela Mistral, Cecília Meireles, and Rosario Castellanos (Cambridge: Legenda, 2007), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Peña, p. 47.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

Bibliography entry:

Peña, Karen. 2007. Poetry and the Realm of the Public Intellectual: The Alternative Destinies of Gabriela Mistral, Cecília Meireles, and Rosario Castellanos (Cambridge: Legenda)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Peña 2007: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Peña 2007: 21.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)


This Legenda title was first published by Modern Humanities Research Association and Maney Publishing but rights to it are now held by Modern Humanities Research Association and Routledge.

Routledge distributes this title on behalf on Legenda. You can search for it at their site by following this link.


Permanent link to this title: