Please join us to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and the publication of two new books by Dr. Diane Forbes on Mexican poet Manuel Maples Arce, a major force in the historical avant-garde and active poet and essayist.
Maples Arce (1900-1981) began writing poetry as a teenager and burst into the spotlight of the Mexican literary world with his avant-garde manifesto “Actual Nº 1: Comprimido Estridentista de Manuel Maples Arce” in late December of 1921 and the publication of his “Andamios Interiores” in 1922. Maples and his Estridentismo group of poets, artists, and musicians attacked the sleepy literary establishment and brought Mexican letters into the 20th century along with the Mexican Revolution. His Cubist poems brought a new modern perspective to image and metaphor. The group worked in Mexico City and later in Jalapa, the capital of the state of Veracruz, publishing their work and promoting social causes with progressive governor Heriberto Jara. When Jara’s government was forced out in 1927, the estridentistas broke up and each went his own way. Maples Arce moved to Europe to study art history and French and began his long career in the Mexican diplomatic corps (ambassador to many countries over four continents). He continued to write and to grow and evolve with the 20th century, relating his poetry to history, art, the mid-century wars, and eventually his own aging and contemplation of the end of life (for example, in his dialogue with Hamlet about “to be or not to be.”)
Dr. Diane Forbes will present her analysis of Maples’ poem “Prisma,” the opening poem of “Andamios Interiores” (1922). Maples Arce takes a situation of separation and shows it like scattered pieces of a broken mirror in which images are reflected and refracted in a jumbled puzzle. The reader must put the puzzle pieces together to understand the picture.
When and Where
Open to the Public