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The Dinner at Gonfarone'sSalomón de la Selva and His Pan-American Project in Nueva York, 1915-1919$
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Peter Hulme

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781786942005

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781786942005.001.0001

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The Changing of the Poetic Guard (1915)

The Changing of the Poetic Guard (1915)

(p.75) Chapter Three The Changing of the Poetic Guard (1915)
The Dinner at Gonfarone's

Peter Hulme

Liverpool University Press

An account is given of de la Selva’s teenage years in New York and Central America, before the focus moves to the last visit to New York of the greatest living poet in Spanish, the Nicaraguan Rubén Darío, who, as the guest of Archer Huntington, gave a reading of his last major poem, “Pax”, at Columbia University. Darío then spent several weeks in hospital but still produced a remarkable modernist chronicle, the first of a series of Hispanic pieces about Manhattan that this book analyses. 1915 also saw the publication of de la Selva’s own first poems. Determined, too, to write about, and translate, US poetry for a Latin American readership, de la Selva introduced himself to the most brilliant of the young US poets, Edna St Vincent Millay, initiating a correspondence – and friendship – that lasted until her death. At the same time de la Selva got to know the young Dominican intellectual, Pedro Henríquez Ureña, who would became his mentor and friend. They took an apartment together on the Upper West Side and began to put de la Selva’s pan-American ideas into practice, welcoming the Peruvian poet, José Santos Chocano, who himself composed a series of intriguing poems about the city.

Keywords:   Salomón de la Selva, New York, Rubén Darío, José Santos Chocano, Hispanic Society of America, Pedro Henríquez Ureña, Edna St Vincent Millay

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