Bulletin of Hispanic Studies

Creative Entropy in Rafael Alberti's Sobre los ángeles

Bulletin of Hispanic Studies (2011), 88, (1), 59–78.

Abstract

Rafael Alberti's Sobre los ángeles has been read as the expression of the poet's personal and religious crisis and as a manifestation of the crisis of modernism and the social and political upheavals affecting Europe and Spain in the early decades of the twentieth century. While taking into consideration these valid approaches, this paper approaches Alberti's book by establishing an analogy with chaos theory, not simply as another discourse or vocabulary but because the properties found in the physics theory of complexity are also found in Sobre los ángeles. Like others in his generation, Alberti articulates his crisis in images from physical, material reality. Radical changes were taking place in physics, and relativity, electromagnetism and thermodynamics were being discussed widely at the time of this book's composition. Prigogine's theory of creative chaos serves as framework for Alberti and his creation out of the ashes of youthful romantic constructions.

Sobre los ángeles de Rafael Alberti se ha leído como expresión de la crisis personal y religiosa del poeta, reflejo de la crisis del modernismo y de los trastornos socio-políticos en Europa y España a comienzos del XX. Sin descartar estas lecturas, este ensayo se aproxima al libro de Alberti mediante una analogía con la teoría del caos, no como otro discurso sino porque las propiedades en dicha teoría física de la complejidad se encuentran también en Sobre los ángeles. Como otros miembros de su generación, Alberti articula su crisis mediante imágenes de la realidad física. Cambios radicales estaban teniendo lugar en la ciencia física de entonces, y la relatividad, el electromagnetismo, y la termodinámica se discutían ampliamente. Prigogine y su teoría del caos como fuente de creación sirve de marco para analizar la obra de Alberti a partir de las cenizas de sus juveniles construcciones románticas.

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Salinas de Marichal, Solita, 1968. El mundo poético de Rafael Alberti (Madrid: Gredos). El mundo poético de Rafael Alberti Google Scholar

Serres, Michel (1977). La naissance de la physique dans le texte de Lucrèce: Fleuves et turbulences (Paris: Minuit). La naissance de la physique dans le texte de Lucrèce: Fleuves et turbulences Google Scholar

Spang, Kart, 1991. Inquietud y nostalgia. La poesía de Rafael Alberti. 2nd ed. (Pamplona: Ediciones Universidad de Navarra). Inquietud y nostalgia. La poesía de Rafael Alberti. Google Scholar

Ter Horst, Robert, 1966. 'The Angelic Prehistory of Sobre los ángeles', MLN, 81.2 (March): 174–94. The Angelic Prehistory of Sobre los ángeles MLN 81 174 94 Google Scholar

White, Eric Charles, 1991, 'Negentropy, Noise, and Emancipatory Thought', in Chaos and Order. Complex Dynamics in Literature and Science, ed. N. Katherine Hayles (Chicago, Ill., and London: The University of Chicago Press), pp. 263–77. Negentropy, Noise, and Emancipatory Thought Chaos and Order. Complex Dynamics in Literature and Science 263 77 Google Scholar

Alberti, Rafael, 1968 [1924]. Marinero en tierra, con ilustraciones del autor (Madrid: Biblioteca Nueva). Google Scholar

Alberti, Rafael, 1975. La arboleda perdida. Libros I y II de memorias (Barcelona: Seix Barral). La arboleda perdida. Libros I y II de memorias Google Scholar

Alberti, Rafael, 2003. Sobre los ángeles. Poesía I, ed. Jaime Siles (Barcelona: Seix Barral). Sobre los ángeles. Poesía, I Google Scholar

Bloom, Harold, 1973. The Anxiety of Influence. A Theory of Poetry (London, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press). The Anxiety of Influence. A Theory of Poetry Google Scholar

Bloom, Harold, 1982. Agon. Towards a Theory of Revisionism (Oxford, New York, Toronto and Melbourne: Oxford University Press). Agon. Towards a Theory of Revisionism Google Scholar

Clarke, Bruce, 2002. 'From Thermodynamics to Virtuality', From Energy to Information. Representation in Science and Technology, Art, and Literature, ed. Bruce Clarke and Linda Dalrymple Henderson (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press), pp. 17–33. From Thermodynamics to Virtuality From Energy to Information. Representation in Science and Technology, Art, and Literature 17 33 Google Scholar

Clarke, Bruce, and Linda Dalrymple Henderson (eds.), 2002. From Energy to Information. Representation in Science and Technology, Art, and Literature (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press). From Energy to Information. Representation in Science and Technology, Art, and Literature Google Scholar

Culler, Jonathan, 1981. The Pursuit of Signs. Semiotics, Literature, Deconstruction (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press). The Pursuit of Signs. Semiotics, Literature, Deconstruction Google Scholar

Geist, Anthony L., 1986. 'Hell's Angels: A Reading of Alberti's Sobre los ángeles', Hispanic Review, 54.2 (Spring): 163–82. Google Scholar

Havard, Robert, 2001. The Crucified Mind. Rafael Alberti and the Surrealist Ethos in Spain (London: Tamesis). The Crucified Mind. Rafael Alberti and the Surrealist Ethos in Spain Google Scholar

Hayles, Katherine N. (ed.), 1991. Chaos and Order. Complex Dynamics in Literature and Science (Chicago, Ill, and London: The University of Chicago Press). Chaos and Order. Complex Dynamics in Literature and Science Google Scholar

Jiménez Fajardo, Salvador, 1985. Multiple Spaces: The Poetry of Rafael Alberti (London: Tamesis Books). Multiple Spaces: The Poetry of Rafael Alberti Google Scholar

Manteiga, Robert C., 1983. 'Ecos becquerianos en Sobre los ángeles de Rafael Alberti'. Nuevas perspectivas sobre la generación del 27 (Ensayos literarios), ed. Héctor R. Romero (Miami, FL: Ediciones Universal), pp. 47–61. Google Scholar

Morris, C. B., 1960. 'Sobre los ángeles: A Poet's Apostasy', BHS, 62: 222–31. Sobre los ángeles: A Poet's Apostasy BHS 62 222 31 Google Scholar

Morris, C. B., 1996. 'Introducción', in Sobre los ángeles y Yo era un tonto y lo que he visto me ha hecho dos tontos, ed. C. B. Morris (Madrid: Cátedra). Introducción Sobre los ángeles y Yo era un tonto y lo que he visto me ha hecho dos tontos Google Scholar

Pérez Sánchez, Alfonso E., and Eleanor A. Sayre, 1989. Goya and the Spirit of Enlightenment (Boston, MA, Toronto, and London: Bulfinch Press). Goya and the Spirit of Enlightenment Google Scholar

Porush, David, 1991. 'Fictions as Dissipative Structures: Prigogine's Theory and Postmodernism's Roadshow', in Chaos and Order. Complex Dynamics in Literature and Science, ed. N. Katherine Hayles (Chicago, Ill, and London: The University of Chicago Press), pp. 54–84. Fictions as Dissipative Structures: Prigogine's Theory and Postmodernism's Roadshow Chaos and Order. Complex Dynamics in Literature and Science 54 84 Google Scholar

Prigogine, Ilya, 1980. From Being to Becoming. Time and Complexity in the Physical Sciences (San Francisco, CA: W. H. Greeman and Co.). From Being to Becoming. Time and Complexity in the Physical Sciences Google Scholar

Prigogine, Ilya, and Isabelle Stengers, 1984. Order out of Chaos. Man's New Dialogue with Nature (Toronto, New York, London and Sydney: Bantam Books). Order out of Chaos. Man's New Dialogue with Nature Google Scholar

Prigogine, Ilya, in collaboration with Isabel Stengers, 1997. The End of Certainty. Time, Chaos, and the New Laws of Nature (New York, London, Toronto, Sydney and Singapore: The Free Press). Google Scholar

Rugg, Marilyn D., 1983. 'Sobre los ángeles: The Poetic Voices of Rafael Alberti', MLN, 98.2 (March): 259–67. Sobre los ángeles: The Poetic Voices of Rafael Alberti MLN 98 259 67 Google Scholar

Salinas de Marichal, Solita, 1968. El mundo poético de Rafael Alberti (Madrid: Gredos). El mundo poético de Rafael Alberti Google Scholar

Serres, Michel (1977). La naissance de la physique dans le texte de Lucrèce: Fleuves et turbulences (Paris: Minuit). La naissance de la physique dans le texte de Lucrèce: Fleuves et turbulences Google Scholar

Spang, Kart, 1991. Inquietud y nostalgia. La poesía de Rafael Alberti. 2nd ed. (Pamplona: Ediciones Universidad de Navarra). Inquietud y nostalgia. La poesía de Rafael Alberti. Google Scholar

Ter Horst, Robert, 1966. 'The Angelic Prehistory of Sobre los ángeles', MLN, 81.2 (March): 174–94. The Angelic Prehistory of Sobre los ángeles MLN 81 174 94 Google Scholar

White, Eric Charles, 1991, 'Negentropy, Noise, and Emancipatory Thought', in Chaos and Order. Complex Dynamics in Literature and Science, ed. N. Katherine Hayles (Chicago, Ill., and London: The University of Chicago Press), pp. 263–77. Negentropy, Noise, and Emancipatory Thought Chaos and Order. Complex Dynamics in Literature and Science 263 77 Google Scholar

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Gala, Candelas