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Behind the Masks of ModernismGlobal and Transnational Perspectives$
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Andrew Reynolds and Bonnie Roos

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813061641

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813061641.001.0001

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Unmasking the Journalistic Aesthetics of Spanish American Modernismo

Unmasking the Journalistic Aesthetics of Spanish American Modernismo

(p.72) 3 Unmasking the Journalistic Aesthetics of Spanish American Modernismo
Behind the Masks of Modernism

Andrew Reynolds

University Press of Florida

Andrew Reynolds speaks to the genre of journalism as mask for modernista writers of Spanish America. In this chapter, authors engaged in practices of cultural cover-ups in their quests for aesthetic autonomies-which in turn complicate traditional notions of “high” modernism. Writers from the Spanish-American modernista movement broke from previous canons to create an innovative poetic voice. Nevertheless, the vast majority of their writing was produced within the context of the journalistic “chronicle” or crónica. Modernistas published thousands of these brief pieces of literary journalism that often masked intentions of aesthetic renovation because their experiments with literary form and style took place within the market-driven format of the newspaper. All the while the group—including Rubén Dario, José Martí, Amado Nervo and José Juan Tablada—expressed mixed feelings on the journalism industry, often disparaging the “lesser” forms of the reporter, in an attempt to create literary prestige. This juxtaposition often led to tensions between literary writers and the market. Reynolds argues that the hybrid production of revolutionary literary forms masked by a market-driven aesthetic reflects a peculiar Spanish American modernism that accounts for local realities and paves the way for international Boom artists in the coming decades.

Keywords:   Spanish America, Journalism, Literary Journalism, Modernista

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