Shaughnessy, Lorna

The Developing Poetic Philosophy of Pedro Salinas: A Study in Twentieth Century Spanish Poetry
1995 0-7734-9012-4
The study assesses the degree of thematic unity present in the complete poetic works of Pedro Salinas. The principal thematic thrust of his work is best captured by his own phrase la reconquista de la entereza del hombre. This quest for 'entereza', or wholeness, has emotional, ontological and linguistic resonances, and is evident in Salinas's poetic expression, as he subverts inherited semantic order built on Cartesian models. Accordingly, the categories of human experience traditionally regarded as antithetical are absorbed in his all-encompassing vision. Chapter titles point up the erosion of distinctions between such categories as abstract and concrete reality, the metaphysical and the physical, absence and presence, and the processes of accumulation and elimination. The critical emphasis given this poet's pre-1936 love poetry has overshadowed his public voice, and the predominantly social concerns of his later work. Whether as a theme or a linguistic aspiration the concept of 'entereza' represents an important unifying factor in his extensive and varied works.

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