Remembering things past: Reading history, writing memory, and the poetics of agency in Ernesto Cardenal

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Abstract

Ernesto Cardenal's citation of the historical document has received abundant critical attention, yet there has been little discussion of the concordance between this strategy and the poet's goal of utilizing poetry to forge a new individual and a new society. This essay situates Cardenal's historical poetry in the context of monastic devotional practices to argue that the poetic remaking Cardenal promotes is modelled on a textual practice of meditation. Cardenal's use of the historical record both destabilizes a discourse erected as totalizing and imrnutable, and furnishes the contents of history to individual memory in a way that orients the reader toward a political agency made possible by Cardenal's subversive poeticization of history.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)361-381
Number of pages21
JournalBulletin of Hispanic Studies
Volume85
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory

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