Alberto Girri, or poetry as hermeneutic reason

Celestino Alberto Villanueva-Ghelfa, Florida International University


One of the main factors that makes the poetry of the Argentine Alberto Girri (1919–1991) a whole world of its own is my argument that in a fragmentary world like the present, poets search for a formal integrity which in the act of reading creates not only their own inner world but also the readers'. It is important to insist on this turning point in which most of the Symbolist work is circumscribed. Later, this would be of capital importance for the avant-garde as well as for the post-avant-garde: Mallarmé's Un coup de dés jamais n'abolira le hasard would make poetry something absolutely modern. An original distribution of the white and black opened a new space for the text, shifting the then dominant phonocentrism. My close reading of this author as well as the given theoretical frame avoids the failure into an instrumental use either of the page or of the writing but ignoring physical reciprocity. What follows is, that this “shift” privileged heightened vision over audition of the “musical score”. Thus, an intense materialization of the language is achieved that increases the anonymity of the text. Following this new arrangement of words, so to speak, Girri's poetic work now drives deeply inside words in order to lend them dignity from meaning. I conclude that the best way to “render” this poetry with religious aim (L. “re-ligare” to bind the fragmented) is by way of the philosophy of language. I also propose that Girri's task as a translator, mainly from English poetry, represented—with Jorge Luis Borges—a paradigmatic shift in the Spanish American horizon which had been under “logocentric” French rule since the time of Independence. This seismic change of perspective in late Modernism and post-Modernism is represented by a radical screening of Romance rhetoric, it was a shift not only over the inherited mother tongue but over his own work which was increasingly moving towards transcendent and/or metaphysical poetry. Therefore, I did find that Girri's poem was constructed as a mirror closely related to that which was represented in the angelological tradition.

Subject Area

Latin American literature|Language|Rhetoric|Composition

Recommended Citation

Villanueva-Ghelfa, Celestino Alberto, "Alberto Girri, or poetry as hermeneutic reason" (1999). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI9936880.