Huidobro, Vicente

Huidobro, Vicente

(vēsān`tā wēthō`brō), 1893–1948, Chilean poet, founder of the aesthetic movement known as creacionismo, which emphasized the value of the poet as verbal magician, exploring the deepest sources of poetic creation. He lived for many years in Paris and was a founder of the review Nord-Sud. Influenced by Guillaume Apollinaire and Pierre Reverdy, Huidobro is widely considered among the most important of the century's Latin American poets. His philosophy is ilustrated in his masterpiece, Altazor (1931), as well as in Tour Eiffel (1917), Manifestes (1925), and Ultimos poemas (1948).


See also selected poetry in English (1981); study by R. de Costa (1984).

Huidobro, Vicente


Born Jan. 10, 1893, in Santiago; died Jan. 2, 1948, in Cartagena, near Santiago. Chilean writer who wrote in Spanish and French.

Huidobro founded the theory of creationism, which he expounded in the manifestos Non serviam (1914) and Manifestos (1925) and in the programmatic poem “The Poetic Art” (1917); in these works he summoned writers to use poetic imagination and literary language in order to create a reality distinct from that of the surrounding world. Huidobro’s narrative poem Ecuatorial (1918) and his Elegy on the Death of Lenin (1924; Russian translation of excerpts, 1943) were marked by topicality, associative and strained imagery, and an effort to use words to their maximum capacity. The narrative poem Altazor (1931; translated into Russian as High Flight, 1931) reflected the drama of a poet fettered by his own theory.

Huidobro also published the poetry collections Suddenly (1925), To See and Feel (1941), The Citizen of Oblivion (1941), and Final Poems (1948), the novels Mío Cid, Campeador (1929) and Saltpeter (1938; Russian translation, 1938), and plays and prose poems. He attacked Spanish and German fascism during the National Revolutionary War in Spain (1936–39).


Poesía y prosa. Madrid, 1957.
Poesías. [Havana, 1968.]
In Russian translation:
[“Stikhi.”] In the collection Poety Chili. Moscow, 1972.


Alegría, F. Gorizonty realizma: Chiliiskaia literatura XX v. Moscow, 1974. (Translated from Spanish.)
Bajarlia, J. J. La polémica Reverdy-Huidobro: Origen del ultraísmo. Buenos Aires, 1964.
Diego, G. “Poesía y creacionismo de Vicente Huidobro.” Cuadernos hispanoamericanos, June 1968, no. 222.
Arenas, B. “Vicente Huidobro y el creacionismo.” In Los vanguardismos en la América Latina. [Havana, 1970.]
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