Avant-garde poetry and the word-image interaction
Perez Alonso, Leticia
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"Avant-Garde Poetry and the Word-Image Interaction" discusses the impact of word-image relations on avant-garde aesthetic tradition, focusing mainly on the visual turn adopted by early twentieth-century poetry in Great Britain, Spain, the U.S. and Latin America. The conjunction of textual and optical aspects aids the reader in decoding the poem, as the concrete data provided by perception are more effective than concepts. Impressions thus help comprehend our environment and this poetry turns to it in an effort to reproduce an experience of the world, while engaging us in the interpretive process. The emphasis on the sense of sight set a precedent for the European avant-gardists as they concerned themselves with the full potential of the image to capture the essence of modern visual culture and translate it into their art and poetry. This gave rise to a series of transatlantic exchanges that eventually defined the aesthetics of Anglophone and Spanish American experimentalism. In order to discern their particularity, I pay close attention to the London-based Imagist and Vorticist schools, the Creationism and Ultraism of Madrid, in addition to later trends of High Modernism. All these tendencies transformed to their cultural contexts the graphic language of European vanguardism--Cubism, Futurism, Dadaism, German Expressionism, French Surrealism--, producing highly original works of art. These movements were successful in assimilating modern visual culture into their poetry and thus built bridges between the word and the image.