Gertrudis Gomez de Avellaneda in the context of nineteenth century Spanish lyric

Maria Elena Vieira-Branco, University of Pennsylvania


This comparative study analyzes themes and techniques as employed in some of Gertrudis Gomez de Avellaneda's lyrical writings vis-a-vis selected poems by Jose de Espronceda, Gabriel Garcia Tassara, Gustavo Adolfo Becquer and Manuel Reina. Avellaneda's poetry taken as a whole thus reflects a historical period in motion; in her writings one can almost trace the changes from one system of norms to another, demonstrating the continuity of her genius as she anticipates motifs and themes of future literary currents. Her contributions transcend not only the limitations believed to be inherent to her gender, but the purely generational expectations one might have for a Romantic. In the course of the first Chapter I, I bring into focus the aspects of Avellaneda's character, literary vocation and Romanticism which have often been misinterpreted in the past. In a Chapter II, through a comparison of themes and metaphors used by Espronceda and Avellaneda in poems exemplary of Romanticism, I measure the span of Avellaneda's familiarity with the artistic and attitudinal dimensions of his poetry. Chapter III examines the thematic affinities found in the poetry of Avellaneda and her contemporary, Tassara. Their particulars invite one to hypothesize about a possible symbiotic affinity, a meeting of the minds, as it were, which may have developed between the two and resulted in reciprocal literary influence. Taking into account that Becquer and Avellaneda left their imprint on Modernism, Chapter IV directs attention to one of Avellaneda's poems, "El genio de la melancolia" as an important source of and a missing link in Becquer's literary development as a poet, considering that her lifespan, as well as her writings preceded his. In Chapter V, through a comparative analysis of specific characteristics found primarily in "Los Reales Sitios," Avellaneda will emerge as one of the first Romantics to embody a Pre-Modernist spirit in her poetry, becoming an important transitional link between the two movements. The Pre-Modernists' techniques as revealed in Reina's poetry, serve to heighten Avellaneda's identity as a Romantic who marshalled distinct features toward the Modernist camp prior to the conventionally hailed harbingers of the new age.

Subject Area

Literature|Latin American literature|Caribbean literature|Romance literature

Recommended Citation

Vieira-Branco, Maria Elena, "Gertrudis Gomez de Avellaneda in the context of nineteenth century Spanish lyric" (1990). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI9026664.