Del Centro a la Periferia: Surgimiento y Caida de los Poetas Intelectuales en America Latina
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My dissertation studies the end of the poet as a public intellectual in Latin America. I analyze the works of Rubén Darío, particularly El Rey Burgués, the nonfiction works of Jorge Luis Borges, and culminate with the analysis of the essays of Octavio Paz, specifically El ogro filantrópico, The three mention poets elaborated a vision of the dilemma of new intellectual as a public figure; they defied the Status Quo, personified by the “Rey Burgués” and the “Ogro filantrópico”. Furthermore, they witnessed the end of the intellectual writer as a builder of Nations. In the XIX century politicians were intellectuals as well: humanists, writers, philosophers such as Bello, Sarmiento, among others. With the new world order brought by the economic shift, the role of politician and writer parted ways and became specialized. Now, the intellectual poet confronts the power of the State. The writer strives to survive in the new economic order: he becomes journalist, teacher, and bureaucrat, among other things. He is now the poet in El Rey Burgués, who dies, the poet who consumes himself in the library, or deals with the Ogro filantrópico in order to survive. Paz seems to be the last of these “Hombre de letras”.
Rodriguez Nacif, Murat (2014). Del Centro a la Periferia: Surgimiento y Caida de los Poetas Intelectuales en America Latina. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from