She is like a big parenthesis in all this process, showing a taste for extreme radicalism and eccentricity along with clear discourses of militant and anarchists ways of expressing herself. Probably this is why she was not very well understood in her time and even in posterity. The content of her works tend to be very idealistic, with arguments and plot endings in rational and understanding ways, lacking dialectics and contradictions of representing reality. She likes to imply there are happy benefits for all people if good faith and good will are followed.
In her personal life, sometimes Capetillo would appear as a cross dresser dressed as a man in some public activities, which brought her some legal and social problems. This intriguing and intellectual personality, represents a big parenthesis and surprise in the history of our literature. These movements are a prelude to the avant-gardist movement and new literary modernity of innovative and dynamic city styles, which were fashionable since the s.
In these books, he presents literary models of transparent and direct anticolonial imagery convenient to the ideological and metaphorical dissidence of the twentieth century artists and intellectuals. He left many inspirational models for his contemporaries and lastly for those who were followers of the desired national myth and imaginary of liberationist hope of victory against colonial invaders. This is why his poems have been so appealing, especially to children. All of these poets and their works created the bases for a patriotic scriptural spirit that would last in until the 60s and the 70s.
They supplied the most creative metaphors and symbols of the century and its artistry can be matched with the best in Latin American literature.
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These are the poets who first encountered the imperial forces in their ideological effort to alienate the islanders from themselves, enforcing an education in the English language and Anglo-American culture having Puerto Ricans in general resisting the linguistic and cultural changes imposed by their "implicit" imperialism. Through their writings, these almost epic literary personalities were the initiators of the creative language and discourse that would give the tools the symbols and the cultural imaginary that necessarily opposed from the enormous USA colonial power.
The imaginary and symbolic idealism of patriotic culture also gave the national identity of the Puerto Rican literature for their future defense of national culture even thought the Island did not reached its independence and began having rivals of the own natives who were in favor of the American impositions and infiltrations in the national culture.
This Federal amerind power uses its instrument of repression which included death to the opposers like Albizu Campos. He pronounced himself against the dogmatism and the social and moral prejudices of his times, even from his own anti-national pairs, by means of his famous essays published as Paliques , which first appeared in El Dia Newspaper in Ponce an important and proud city in the south of the Island.
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He wrote two short novels, Hacia un lejano sol and Mi voluntad se ha muerto His irony makes him one of the cleverest and most powerful critics of his culture. In this period, we encounter many writers who have been either too liberal or extremely radical, and who showed a great fear of loosing what they considered their deep and unchangeable native and criollo identity.
We find, mainly in the lettered world, subjects which can feel free in their vernacular language and primary culture, and who feel that a complete and stable being and desire should not be changed absolutely, as if it were something natural and not cultural. This tension also included the rejection of people closely related and familiar to city life and its new subjectivities and behaviors so diferent from counter-side oriented people. The popular and more Americanized population had the tendency to adopt a colonial and political-modernity, which accepted and tolerated ideological relativeness and colonial-subaltern silences and negotiations.
This new psycho-social situation gives the artists and national writers the force for a social struggle against what was considered foreign and invasive. There was also rejection of the somewhat defiant outside symbols; and we can say this was including what could be considered valuable to the enrichment and advancement of culture in general.
The technological culture developing in the Island gave favorable views to the American culture. But against our globalized an cosmopolitan mentality of today, we should understand the national defensive feelings and movements under a proper context. They were precisely the aspect giving innovative and particular meaning and attractiveness to literature and its powerful cultural perspectives developed throughout a little more than the half of the twentieth century.
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The national literature and culture gave its best aesthetics views to the society and it kept the spirit of being Puerto Rican to its highest standard. Currently, younger cultural critics unjustifiably ignore the writings of this period for its nationalist content and form. After invasion, during the first decades of the century, given in part to the economical and political context, the absent North American bourgeoisie took the best lands and welt resources of the island.
But it not able to completely impose their Anglo cultural idiosyncracy on the native Puertorricans. Hispanic tradition was very different from the Anglo American customs and ethos , not assimilated because of its ethno-cultural strong differences and lines of origine and precedence, si different. These behaviours were very notizable especially in the lettered field. This gave a big contrast with the Old Spanish colonial ideologies, so obsolete. But the Puerto Rican literature kept more closely related with the European and Latin American literary tradition than the North American one.
One thing was cultural protection and another one political and ideological intervention which allowed some negotiations in other to give flow to the economical sphere. After the First World War, we see the eruption of a literary and cultural movement typical of Hispanic tradition in its thought and aesthetics.
I am referring to the Hispanic and Latin American modernization of artistic forms and ways of exposing symbols and the handling of language in general.
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In Puerto Rico, as in other places, the critics talked about the Vangardism. The literary movement had changes to what as called, postmodernism The Modernist poets praised preciousness and the former ones prefered wisdom and knowledge. We have to keep in mind that Modernism and Postmodernism were movements inspired in cosmopolitism. At the beginning of the s, poetic proposals became very aggressive and defiant in their Manifestos, but as the decade passed, poets and cultural artists seemed to be preparing the discursive expressions, especially the last Atalayistas of , who gave impulse to the foundations of the next generational writing.
This is a promotional group of artists, primarily insisting in giving special defense and continuity to the Spanish inheritance and its discursive insistant presence in Puerto Rico. Special attention was given during these times to the Generation of 98 and the Generation of 27 from Spain. In contrast the popular culture began having and showing its strong influence from the United States media, evident by the s in Puerto Rico.
Literary critics and historians have not analyzed properly these unequal cultural expressions, for a better undestaning of our cultural diversity and ideological complexity and contradictions. All this should be the subaltern ideology ample and its ways with creating diverse agencies within cultural performances. Culture should not be seen only from the lettered and literary perspective. Unlike the avant-garde, Generation of 's writers were not as inclined to the play of language, the using of experimental literary signs and aggressive textual manifestos. But they were not inclined toward the extreme formalism of avant-gardists language uses and theories, as we notice when comparing their Manifestos and the theorizing about culture and literary matters which they supported.
This new generation or promotion of writers were more inclined in presenting frontal struggle and defence of their Hispanic tradition, while confronting the North American invader with blunt language, and denounce their views and cultural and imperial aggressions.
They strongly opposed the use of English as a first language and rejected the imposition of the invaders ways of interpreting history and culture in general,. This is while important North American thinkers, in general, remained unknown. We do find some exceptions with some specially admired writers like Walt Whitman and Edgar Allan Poe. During the s, national independence became an obsession for the majority of the lettered people. This political ideal leads them not only to establish a frontal fight against the invader but also its materialist modernity.
This is perhaps given to the fact that this modernity, for the elitist intellectual and artist, was beginning to trap the attention of the masses and the general public by means of the triumphant industrialized propaganda and dynamics in financial marketing. The new type of modern and popular American ideology was very aggressive and visible on the Island to the amazement of the intellectuals who were very conservative in these matters.
The comercial and its consumerism were not seen compatible with art, in the artistic view. The new American social implementation also gave employment to many people and created a new middle class willing to assimilate the American ways. Latin American intellectualls began a paradigmatic resistance of cultural radical perspectives, new anti imperialistic views. The Arielism had a more philosophical manner rather than a realistic political stand because the socio-economical structures in general did not respond to these radical and liberal ideals it was the beginning of the Century.
Here we have the beginning of the pro-statehood people in Puerto Rico. Nevertheless, they were far away from translating their ideology into literary and clever metaphorical ways. Culture in the hands of intellectuals was becoming more leftist, nationalist and marxist. Nevertheless, we have to keep in mind that the poetic discourse of lettered artists was taking its expression in accordance to a long historic tradition of a scholarly artistic language. On the other hand, popular culture began to take its new city-like expressions from the radio, cinema and in the form of non-intellectual and light journalism.
The beginning of the s was a time of double perspectives in socio-cultural developments: on one side, we have the learned lettered sector, and on the other, the new mass and popular culture with their means of creating and entertainment. The prominence of modern means, like radio and cinema, were important in these changes, and allowed the popular voices to be heard and commercialized.
In the future the intellectual artistic expressions will have to to adopt to these new processes. The discourse of the masses was trans-formed by media and techno-economical sectors that were dominated by bank marketing and colonial and imperial propaganda coming from the United States. This included new devices like radios, films, newspapers and popular journals.
Literature, for its part, was still taking its inspiration from traditional country life with imagery not so related to industrialism. But the new modern and instrumental world in the long run began infiltrating the literary world, bringing in a new and different modern discourse.
Canonical Puerto Rican literature and old cultural views took a long time to accept changes and to get adapted to the city-like modernity and its commercial sphere and dynamics. Nationalist mentality, by its part, negatively rejected this process, mainly because it was brought by North Americans imperialism and imperial intervention. It should be acknowledged that the popular culture was not only coming from USA but also from the Latin American cultures that were not necessarily colonialised, like Mexico, Cuba and Argentina.
In reality, the popular culture adopted by the Puerto Rican audience was not the "American way of life". This takes us to consider that the socio-cultural situation was rather hybrid and complex. The growth of mass media culture and its proposal as a way of life would be more and more decisive in the construction of popular consciousness and imagery as the middle of the century advanced. Lettered artists, on the other side, were reluctant to participate or be part of such a process. We can argue that this is one of the reasons why the national discourse inclined itself towards elitist pessimism and took a political distancing from the less learned population's discourse.
This populist sector had the tendency to be timidly liberal, reformist or inclined towards conservatism. Popular culture was not willing or capable of rejecting frontally the colonial interventions from modern USA. However, these popular groups on the Island grew in democratic and geographical importance and had more presence and voice, mainly and decisively later, during the industrialized world of the s in Puerto Rico.
For example, musical groups, like Los Panchos, Cortijo and the Gran Combo, can show the emergence of a strong and creative popular culture. The Generation of the 70s will later rescue, and will accept these popular expressions and ways of creting and it incorporated them to their literature. That use it as a protest against the past literary promotions of the century. Nevertheless, there are some very distinctive writers besides these generalizations. He is known mainly as a writer of black oriented literature, even though he was not was not a member of that race, but his poetry was important in racial issues and consciousness he was aware of black writers from the New York area.
Black poetry in its content and form becomes part of this poet Vangardism and radical ideology. In general, until Pales Matos, the canonic criticism and its literature significantly ignored the symbolic importance of being black and and been part of a hybrid Caribbean culture. This was a contradiction racial alienation in a general mulatto culture like ours. Nevertheless there are some exceptions like Luisa Capetillo, and others.