"Andrew A. Anderson, Ernesto Giménez Caballero: The Vanguard Years (1921-1931)" by Andrew A. Anderson.
Ernesto Giménez Caballero (1899-1988) was a key figure on the Spanish literary scene in the 1920s. He is best known for his editorship of La Gaceta Literaria (1927-1932), an exceptional literary journal that still today offers a remarkable depth and breadth of insight into art and letters over the latter half of the twenties in Spain. Alongside this magazine, Giménez Caballero is also sometimes remembered as a prolific journalist, an indefatigable lecturer and traveler, the co-founder (with Luis Buñuel) of the CineClub Español, a filmmaker, the proprietor of La Galería, and the inventor and sole practitioner of the new mixed-media genre, the cartel literario.
As a writer, he will be associated for many with some of the foundational ideological texts of Falange Española, but before he began to produce those books (from 1932 onwards) he had already published nine very diverse volumes. Modern research on Giménez Caballero has tended to focus mainly on his intellectual biography, whereas the goal of the present study is to offer a primarily literary-critical approach to his output from 1921 to 1931.
Notas marruecas de un soldado (1923), Los toros, las castañuelas y la Virgen (1927), Carteles (1927), Yo, inspector de alcantarillas (1928), Hércules jugando a los dados (1928), Julepe de menta (1928/29), Visitas literarias de España (wr. 1925-1928, pub. 1995), Circuito imperial (1929), and Trabalenguas sobre España (1931) are diverse texts both in genre and content and in style and tone. They range from travelogue, social, political, and cultural commentary, literary criticisim, and book reviews, through to avant-garde short stories and creative prose. Giménez Caballero’s influences range from Ortega y Gasset to Ramón Gómez de la Serna, from Nietzsche to Freud, and far beyond.
Ernesto Giménez Caballero: The Vanguard Years (1921-1931) dedicates a chapter to each of these listed volumes, and closes with a tenth that engages with the very substantial body of criticism that Giménez Caballero published over these same years on the topic of avant-garde literature and film. In this way the study provides an intrinsic critical analysis of each and every of his early books, an assessment of his first growing and then later decreasing engagement with the avant-garde in his own writings, and a parallel account of his critical commentary on other Spanish, French, and Italian writers and filmmakers involved in the same movement. The conclusion addresses the appeal and fascination that the avant-garde held for him, how he came to be involved in it, and how subsequently he came, slowly and reluctantly, to leave.
Andrew A. Anderson is Professor of Spanish in the Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese at the University of Virginia. He holds a B.A., M.A. and D.Phil. from Oxford University. Before coming to Virginia, he taught at Oxford University and the University of Michigan. Specializing in later nineteenth-century and twentieth-century Peninsular literature, his research is principally concerned with Spanish poetry and theatre from the 1890s through to the 1930s, as well as literature and film of the Spanish Civil War.
He published the first critical edition of the original manuscript of Lorca’s Poeta en Nueva York in 2013. Other publications delve into the origins and foundation of the Spanish historical avant-garde movement and document and analyze the reception of Cubism, Futurism, and Dada in Spain in the 1910s and 20s.
ISBN 978-1-58871-202-8 (PB, 340 pp.) $30