Pedro Salinas Biography


(Poets and Poetry, Complete Critical Edition)

Jorge Guillén, poet, critic, and intimate friend of Pedro Salinas, divided Salinas’s sixty years into thirty years of preparation and thirty years of production. The early years Salinas spent in Madrid, obtaining his primary education from the Colegio Hispano-Francés, his secondary education at the Instituto San Isidro, and his licentiate degree in romance philology from the University of Madrid (1913). He then left for Paris and the Sorbonne, where from 1914 to 1917 he taught Spanish literature and completed his doctoral dissertation on the illustrators of Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote de la Mancha (1605, 1615). While in Paris, he married Margarita Bonmatí; they later had two children. During the years in Paris, Salinas came into contact with many of the prominent writers and literary trends of the time. These modern influences, in combination with an attachment to the Spanish literary tradition, are evident in his poetry and in that of the other members of the Generation of ’27.

Salinas was the oldest of this group of poets, whose prominent members include Rafael Alberti, Vicente Aleixandre, Dámaso Alonso, Manuel Altolaguirre, Luis Cernuda, Jorge Guillén, Federico García Lorca, and Emilio Prados. The Generation of ’27 (sometimes referred to as the Generation of 1927—the year of the three-hundredth anniversary of the death of Golden Age poet Luis de Góngora y Argote) was responsible for rehabilitating the reputation of Góngora, for many years considered a writer of mostly obscure and frivolously ornate poetry. The revival of Góngora was...

(The entire section is 649 words.)