Alberti, Rafael

Alberti, Rafael

(räfäĕl` älbĕr`tē), 1902–99, Spanish poet. After abandoning an earlier career as a painter, Alberti published his first book, Marinero en tierra [sailor on dry land] (1925), which was widely applauded. He was a member of the "Generation of 1927," which also included such figures as Vicente AleixandreAleixandre, Vicente
, 1898–1984, Spanish lyric poet. He won the national prize for literature for La destrucción o el amor (1935, tr. 1976) and the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1976. His earlier verse, often free in form, is pessimistic and surrealistic.
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, Luis BuñuelBuñuel, Luis
, 1900–83, Spanish film director, b. Calanda, Aragón. In his best films, he used poetic, often bizarre imagery and black humor to question and undermine all claims of authority and knowledge.
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, and Federico García LorcaGarcía Lorca, Federico
, 1898–1936, Spanish poet and dramatist, b. Fuente Vaqueros. The poetry, passion, and violence of his work and his own tragic and bloody death brought him enduring international acclaim.
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. Alberti's poems show the influence of Juan Ramón JiménezJiménez, Juan Ramón
, 1881–1958, Spanish lyric poet, b. Andalusia, studied at the Univ. of Seville. In his youth Jiménez was influenced by the French symbolists; he wrote the romantic Almas de violeta in 1900.
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 and of the Spanish classics, especially of GóngoraGóngora y Argote, Luis de
, 1561–1627, poet of the Spanish Golden Age, b. Cordova. Of a cultured family, he studied in Salamanca and became a prebendary (1585?) and later a priest (1617). In his youth he was carefree and pleasure loving.
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. His poetic brilliance is revealed in Concerning the Angels (1929, tr. 1967), a collection of introspective lyrics with surrealist overtones. A Loyalist in the Spanish civil war, Alberti sought exile in Buenos Aires, Argentina, after Franco's triumph in 1939. Temporarily living in a number of cities including Paris and Rome, he did not return to Spain until 1977. His later poetry is enhanced by an intimate, spiritual lyricism. Alberti was also a noted playwright.


See selected poems tr. by M. Strand (1973) and by J. Elgurriaga and M. Paul (1981).

Alberti, Rafael


Born Dec. 16, 1902, in the village Puerto de Santa Maria, Cädiz province. Spanish poet; communist.

Alberti’s first poems, dating from the 1920’s, are close to the traditions of folk poetry. The growing revolutionary struggle in Spain and the fall of Primo de Rivera’s dictatorship in 1930 introduced new content into Alberti’s work. He dedicated his play Fermín Galan (1931) to the life and heroic death of that revolutionary; the cycle of poems, Spanish Peasants, which was included in the collection entitled Slogans (1933; Russ. trans., 1934), was devoted to the daily life and struggle of Spanish laborers. During the Spanish Civil War (1936–39), Alberti played an active role in the Union of Anti-Fascist Spanish Intellectuals. His poetry from those years was published in the books Poet on the Street (1936) and In Crisis (1937).

After the defeat of the Spanish Republic, Alberti emigrated to Argentina and published the following collections: Between the Carnation and the Sword (1941), Surf (1944), Stanzas of Juan Panadero (1949; Russ. trans., 1956), and Ballads and Songs of the Paraná River (1954). They all were dedicated to the people’s struggle for peace and freedom. Alberti also wrote plays, including A Night of War in the Prado Museum (1956; Russ. trans., 1960). In 1959, Alberti published two volumes of memoirs entitled The Lost Grove (Russ. trans., 1968). In 1964 he was awarded the International Lenin Prize For Strengthening Peace Between Nations. Alberti now lives in Rome.


Poesía (1924–1944). Buenos Aires, [1946].
La arboleda perdida. Libros I y II de Memorias. Buenos Aires, 1959.
In Russian translation:
Ispanskie krestiane (Estramadura). Stikhotvoreniia. Moscow, 1934.
Stikhi. Moscow-Leningrad, 1963.
Stsenicheskie stikhi. Moscow, 1966.
[Poems] in Zvezdnoe nebo. Stikhi zarubezhnykh poetov. Translated by B. Pasternak. Moscow, 1966.


Kel’in, F. V. “Rafael’ Al’berti i Maria-Teresa Leon.” Internatsional’naia literatura, 1934, no. 3–4.
Plavskin, Z. I. “Strofy Khuana Panadero Rafaelia Al’berti.” Uchenye zapiski LGU. Seriiafilologicheskikh nauk, 1955, no. 184, issue 22.
Marrast, R. “Essai de bibliographic de Rafael Alberti,” Bulletin Hispanique, 1955, vol. 57, no. 1–2.
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