During the last dictatorship in Argentina of the Junta Militar and the Falklands War, tens of thousands people were either killed or “disappeared,” while others, more “fortunate,” could taste the bitter flavor of exile. A huge number of the persecuted were artists and intellectuals, who denounced and opposed the state of terror through their plays, paintings, poems, music, dance, and films. Despite the passage of 30 years, memories of the more than three hundred concentrations camps that were built in this South American country, are still fresh in the memory of its population. Therefore, it is necessary to start working on an accurate representation of those years, when hundreds of thousands of Argentineans were forced to leave their country in the face of a monolithic and hegemonic takeover of the country.
This investigation consisted of a detailed analysis of one of the least studied, yet most important poets of the time period, Humberto Costantini (1924-1987), an Argentinean writer of Italian and Jewish descent. Costantini completed his works in these politically unstable years, hiding and escaping from the strong hand of the militarized state, all the while maintaining a creativity and imagistic freedom that surprises the readers.
In the 1970s, Costantini was a politically active member of the revolutionary left, together with other writers including Harold Conti and Roberto Santoro (both of whom are still considered missing.) They are among the “desparecidos,” or, the disappeared ones. Costantini was the victim of political persecution and blacklisting, and was forced into exile in Mexico, where he fell in love with an American writer, Janet Brof. At least three aspects of Costantini's work were considered as key focus points of this investigation:
1) The preoccupation of Costantini's poetic voice regarding his progressive loss of freedom to speak, by expressing his feelings in poetic images and sounds, and by articulating his anguish and fears in his own voice.
2) The revelation of the literary and mystical relationships that Costantini fostered in two key cities, Buenos Aires, where he was born, and Mexico City, where he was exiled. These relationships are reminiscent of the experiences of previous Argentinean exiles, including Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, José Mármol, and Julio Cortázar, in their separation from their native contexts, and will be contextualized by references to them.
3) The simplicity with which Costantini developed an exciting theory that he called the lunfardo poetical experience, which is, basically, an analysis of the poet's use of Argentinean slang to explain, create, and reveal his own word. The use of lunfardo is the strategy Humberto Costantini employed to fight against the crisis of identity produced by exile.
The relationship between exile and creative voice in Costantini's poetry will afford an excellent opportunity to open a new critical door to understanding exile and literary products in the context of Latin American Studies. By rekindling the role of the artist during the dark times of the oppression, this study illustrates the mode in which Costantini approached his internal conflict between his love for Buenos Aires and the wrenching and sorrowful distress that he feels for what was never to be due to his exile.
|Publisher:||Mellen, Edwin Press, The|
|Edition description:||Spanish-language Edition|