Rafael Alberti’s Poetry and Artwork: Final Update

After the summer’s research, I constructed a final paper which discusses Alberti’s relationship with Spain before and after his exile, using his poetry and artwork as the basis for my conjecture on how his exile both shaped his artwork and damaged his ability to connect with Spain at the same level, after so many years away. I also used several articles, and past speeches made by Alberti as evidence. I found that, although Alberti always maintained his role as the mouthpiece for Spain, it seemed more difficult personally for him to do so, a mix of survivor’s guilt and feeling that he could not connect with the new post-Franco generation. Instead, his work continued to focus on his deceased friends, and shifted to focus on the landscapes of Spain rather than the people. This most likely also influenced his decision to resign from his role in the local government of Cadiz, voicing that he feels other people would be more qualified and able to understand the needs of the people.

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Rafael Alberti’s Poetry and Artwork: Second Update

Rafael Alberti’s A-Z Collection of Paintings

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Rafael Alberti’s Poetry: First Update

After arriving to Cadiz, Spain and meeting with the organizing professor, I realized that I had to shift the scope and subject of my research. For one, I had initially planned on reading much more of his work than time actually allowed. I have now limited myself to one of his most famous poemariosEntre el clavel y la espada (Between the Carnation and the Sword), and to a short collection of poetry, Sonetos para la Diputación de Cádiz (Sonnets for the Deputation of Cadiz). The first collection represents Alberti’s works immediately after the Spanish Civil War, and the second, Alberti after a long period of exile. I own a copy of Entre el clavel y la espada, and am working on finding the sonnets, and plan on checking a rare book store this week. 

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Epistemology in Wallace Stevens

Wallace Stevens, a modernist poet who emerged in the 1920s and gained widespread popularity in the 40s, writes very philosophical poetry, and this element of his work sets him apart from his Modernist contemporaries. Stevens’ poems are about the relationship of human imagination and reality, the role of religion in humans’ understanding of reality, and the source of reality’s value. His poetry seeks to answer questions like: how can we know? How do human beliefs and perceptions affect our understanding of reality? Which version of reality is the true version? Epistemology, a discipline of philosophy that deals with the study of theories of knowledge, investigates similar questions. My summer research will analyze the philosophical ideas found in Wallace Stevens’ poems, focusing on how theories of epistemology illuminate the themes in his poetry.