The diverse literary expressions comprised in the concept “Hispanic literature” —Catalan, Castilian, and Basque as well as the literature from Galicia— form a polysystem of great hermeneutical possibilities, according to the model proposed by Itamar Even-Zohar. A common historic and institutional context gives cohesion to this polysystem, but the existence of particular national traditions introduces differences within it. The study that we present in this article centers on a precise time and genre —post Civil War poetry— and should be considered as another aspect of this vast analytic territory, which could be extended to other periods and other genres.
The Castilian system has been at the center of the polysystem, due in large part to political factors. In the 1960s Castilian hegemony gives rise to a form of polycentrism that would have its most innovative and dynamic foci in Castilian and Catalan literatures respectively.
The symbolism-realism dialectic —inherited from the pre-War time— extends across the entire period. Francoist refression produced a politicization of literary creation that subordinated forma aspects to the will to denounce. The realist repertoire, which except for the Basque system manifested mainly in exile, is the principal cohesive factor of the Hispanic systems. When this closed code automates itself in the 1960s, codes that had been marginalized will emerge.