98-99 Pernilla Vizard


"Burned in a sea of ice and drowned amidst a fire": Existential drama in Nostalgia de la muerte"

Ms Pernilla Vizard

The poetry of Mexican Xavier Villaurrutia (1903-1950) shares many of its fundamental concerns with existentialism, particularly in the case of his best known work Nostalgia de la muerte. The 26 poems in this collection articulate a nightmarish experience of anguished solitude which the speaker seeks to relieve by inquiry into the nature of being and the ultimate unknowable, death. "Burned in a sea of ice, and drowned amidst a fire" are two lines from an Elizabethan love sonnet by Michael Drayton which Villaurrutia borrowed for the epigraph in his own book of poems. In this seminar, the nature of the dilemma captured in this quotation will be discussed in the light of a later composition, "Soneto del temor a Dios".

Centre for Mexican Studies

Room 1.51, First Floor - Block B East, O'Rahilly Building, University College Cork Ireland