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A poetics of search and paradox: The poetry of Francisco Brines

Mark Cannon Aldrich, University of Massachusetts Amherst


Although critics agree on the inherent unity of vision found in Francisco Brines' poetry, no one had undertaken a comprehensive study of the poet's work from a perspective that does not rely on recourse to philosophical traditions. This dissertation fills that void. It investigates how Brines' unified cosmovision is established in his initial work, Las brasas, and how it develops in later collections. The theoretical and methodological framework for this study is provided principally by the criticism of Michael Riffaterre, in particular his Semiotics of Poetry (1978). Riffaterre's theory of poetic meaning allows us to identify important intertextual relationships and thereby establish poetic significance in a manner that is neither reductionist nor reliant on generalizations of a philosophical nature. Chapter One, the Introduction, identifies the essential characteristics of Brines' poetry and its relationship to the work of other poets of his generation. Riffaterre's theory of poetic meaning and its particular usefulness in explaining the work of Brines are also treated. Chapter two accounts for the essential unity of Las brasas and identifies important intertextual relationships with the poetry of Antonio Machado. Chapter three studies the love poems of Palabras a la oscuridad (1966), Aun no (1971), and Poemas a D. K. (1986). Particular attention is paid to intertextual relationships with the poetry of Luis Cernuda. Chapter four investigates the self-reflective qualities of Insistencias en Luzbel (1977) and how they are manifested through intratextual relationships with the author's previous work. Chapter five discusses the essential unity of El otono de las rosas (1986) and attributes that unity to the reader's ability to (re)articulate the collection's intratextual dependence on the poet's well established cosmovision, especially with regard to the road of life metaphor. By considering the whole collection as a single text, this chapter reveals how the work is ultimately a meditation on the paradoxical nature of knowledge. The short concluding chapter argues that search and paradox are the key concepts that confer uniqueness upon Brines' poetry, which is, indeed, a highly unified work.

Subject Area

Romance literature

Recommended Citation

Aldrich, Mark Cannon, "A poetics of search and paradox: The poetry of Francisco Brines" (1991). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI9120846.