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THE WOMEN IN THE MEN'S CLUB

Women Modernista Poets in Cuba

(1880-1910)

 

 

By

 

   CATHARINA VALLEJO     

 Concordia University

 Montréal (CANADA)

 


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ISBN: 978-1-937030-16-2

 2012

 

 

The feminine, or ‘Woman,’ was one of the main inspirations in Modernismo’s expression, and the still current exclusion of women poets from this movement’s canon is contrary to its own foundational concepts of innovation, rupture and the importance of personal expression. This book examines the philosophical and epistemological underpinnings of Modernismo to show that there were, indeed women who expressed beauty, broke with tradition and, in their search for a female modernista voice, were innovative. Concentrating primarily on three Cuban women who lived and worked around the turn of the nineteenth century: Mercedes Matamoros (1851-1906); Nieves Xenes (1859-1915) and Juana Borrero (1878-1896), the study’s perspectives include the female voice-as-gap, the gap as woman (the presence of absence), women’s presence in the historical present, and how these women did speak in their own voice, and on topics considered to be modernista—and feminine—such as art, love and beauty, thus creating a signifying space that was, in fact, just as (or perhaps more) innovative than many of the canonized (male) poets of Modernismo.

 

          CATHARINA VALLEJO received her PhD from the Université de Montréal; she teaches Spanish-American culture and literature at Concordia University in Montreal, where she is currently a Professor in the Department of Classics, Modern Languages and Linguistics. Her research interests and publications center on the contemporary Spanish-American short story and, especially, on nineteenth-century Spanish-Caribbean women writers. She has published editions of the works of Virginia Elena Ortea, Soledad Acosta de Samper, and Mercedes Matamoros, as well as critical work on these and other women writers of the region, and including Spanish-Caribbean women travelers writing on their visits to late nineteenth-century World Exhibitions in the U.S. and Paris.

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