Abril, Xavier (1905–1990)

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Abril, Xavier (1905–1990)

Xavier Abril (b. 1905; d. 1990), Peruvian poet and critic. A leading member of Peru's avant-garde movement from the mid-1920s, Abril helped introduce surrealism and other modernist movements in Peru and Latin America, particularly with his contributions, both poetry and criticism, to Amauta, the leading cultural journal of the period.

His early poetry, usually ascribed to surrealism, is collected in Hollywood (1931) and Difícil trabajo: Antología 1926–1930 (1935). In these books of verses and short prose, oneiric images of natural elements and human anatomy present a self in the process of fragmentation, and a desire for reintegration.

Abril's literary criticism includes studies of the work of Stéphane Mallarmé and the Peruvian poet José María Eguren; he is best known for his works on the poetry of César Vallejo: Vallejo: Ensayo de aproximación crítica (1958), César Vallejo o la teoría poética (1962), and Exégesis trílcica (1980).

Abril's focus on literary criticism, particularly his writings on Mallarmé, seems to coincide with a shift in his poetry to a more controlled use of imagery. Another factor in this change is the influence of Spanish medieval and Golden Age poets, which is reflected in his use of more conventional poetic forms, including traditional meters. Although this shift is apparent in his third collection, Descubrimiento del alba (1937), it is the determining element of his later poetry, which is marked by abstract symbolism.

See alsoVallejo, César .


Luis Monguió, La poesía postmodernista peruana (1954), pp. 158-160; Creación & Crítica no. 9-10 (1971).

Washington Delgado, "La calle, la locura, el hogar y el mundo," in Dominical (El Comercio), 3 February 1980: 12.

Ricardo González-Vigil, Poesía Peruana: Antología general, vol. 3, De Vallejo a nuestros días (1984), pp. 65-67 and 471-472.

James Higgins, A History of Peruvian Literature (1987), p. 170.

Additional Bibliography

Lauer, Mirko. Antología de la poesía vanguardista peruana. Lima: Ediciones El Virrey, 2001.

                                        JosÉ Cerna-BazÁn