A noise for the sick of indolence

The news of that day was published and posted in various corners of the city. “Current,” it said. “Vanguard Blade”. No more. It attracted a lot of attention. It made a lot of noise and caused a rumble. And is that … how not to be scandalized by reading the following ?:

“On behalf of the modernist avant-garde of Mexico, sincerely horrified by all the notarial plates and consecrated labels of cartulariso systems, with twenty centuries of effusive success in pharmacies and drug stores subsidized by law, I focus on the eclacing vertex of my irreplaceable presentist category , equilaterally convinced and eminently revolutionary, while everyone who is off-axis contemplates spherically astonished with twisted hands, imperatively and categorically I affirm, without exception, the diametrically explosive “players” in phonographic lights and cornered screams, that my strict stridentism to defend against the literal stones of the last intellectual plebiscites: Die the priest Hidalgo, Down with San Rafael, San Lázaro, Esquina, It is forbidden to post advertisements. “

At the bottom a note: “Compressed Stridentista by Manuel Maples Arce”. And then several rubrics: Germán List Arzubide, Salvador Gallardo, MN Lira, Mendoza, Salazar, Molina, two hundred more firms. It was, without hesitation, a manifesto consisting of fourteen points where the first stated: “My madness is not in the budgets. The truth is, it does not happen nor does it ever happen outside of us. Life is just a method without doors that rains at intervals. Hence, it insists on the insurmountable literature in which perfumed telephones and dialogues that are strung together by conducting threads stand out ”.

The avant-garde had reached national soils and from the city towards sounds. It was called Estridentismo and it was born 100 years ago, at the end of 1921. It was a response, a brother, a resonance, of the artistic movements that emerged in Europe after the First World War. The expression of a humanity fed up with everything but admirer of speed, steel, the technical and industrial, the breakdown and the stupid pretense of the arts. It proclaimed a desire to break with the past in all fields, especially the intellectual. And so, with that flyer, our soft homeland responded to “Futurism”, “Cubism”, “Ultraism”, “Creationism”, “Dadaism” and “Surrealism”.

The Mexican estridentistas proposed a drastic and scandalous renewal of the history of national poetry and literature. The famous Manifesto scandalized many, as was its purpose, but it also attracted many. About that moment, Germán List Arzubide –poet, stridentist, who died to the world in October 1998 – recalled in an interview:

“One morning the manifestos appeared on the street corners and at night they were kept awake at the Language Academy, doing guards in turn … it was believed that an assault was imminent.” And then the creations began.

The main texts of this period – Luis Mario Schneider and Vicente Quirarte have said – immersed the reader in that effervescent atmosphere of the new and incredible wireless telegrams or the dizzying 80 km / h, with the smell of gasoline, passing through the Paseo de the Reformation and like savoring a novel and about to reach the last pages. Because both List Arzubide, such as Manuel Maples Arce, Germán Cueto, A, Leopoldo Méndez, Árqueles Vela, Salvador Gallardo, and all the others, knew that the movement would be ephemeral, but it would end up shaking consciences, perhaps erasing the boredom, and perhaps becoming an effective tool.

Manuel Maples Arce, founder and first signatory of the three Estridentista manifestos not only proposed a change in the way of writing poetry, but also turned the city into a theme, character and the highest of the purposes of a new and transformative art. his poetic revolution exalted the machinism of the modern world with its locomotives, bridges, factories, piers, ocean liners and automobiles, all of them viewed through a prism that dazzled like steel. In the tenth point of his Vanguard Blade, he says it clearly:

“Let’s cosmopolitan ourselves. It is no longer possible to be held in conventional chapters of national art. The news is distributed by telegraph, on the skyscrapers, those wonderful skyscrapers so reviled by the whole world, there are dromedary clouds, and between their muscular tissues the electric elevator moves. Forty-eight floor. One, two, three, four, etcetera. We have arrived. And on the parallels of the open-air gym, the locomotives choke for kilometers ”.

Germán List Arzubide, another of the members, founded the magazines Vincit and Ser and in 1923, together with Maples Arce, he wrote and published Manifesto No. 2 and also the third. His poetic work ended up being recognized and he received several tributes (In this hour of disjointed sticker- one of his poems says: – The hands of laughter / They are sowing wings) and many of his verses became favorite phrases: “You perfume yourself with gasoline and you know the madness of the sun ”. However, the end of his third manifesto was unforgettable and he continued to make noise: “Estridentismo is the warehouse from which everyone is supplied. We will put out the sun with a hat. Long live the Mole de Guajolote! “

The roar was effective. After that leaf, which appeared 100 years ago, nothing was the same again.


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