This dissertation examines the interchange between individual and social love, eros and philadelphos, in the writings of four Latin American poets of the Cold War era: Pablo Neruda, Ernesto Cardenal, Gioconda Belli, and Raúl Zurita. Chronologically, I frame this work beginning with Neruda’s return to writing love poetry in the early 1950s, up until the breakdown of collectivist movements in the late 1980s with the expansion of capitalism and the return to democracy in the Southern Cone and in parts of Central America. Geographically, I focus on two countries that have had democratic revolutions in the twentieth century in which literature has played a social role: Chile and Nicaragua. Drawing on Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s theories on Romanticism and territorialization, I establish several major points of divergence between eros and philadelphos and then examine the ways each poet manages these differences in their attempt to create a committed poetry oriented towards expressing collective realities and promoting social change.
The intimacy of humankind: convergences and divergences and of love in Latin American poetry 1950-1990
Barbara Kelly Fraser
The University of British Columbia
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