Carlos Bousoño (born 1923) is a Spanish poet and literary critic. His work is frequently associated with the post-Spanish Civil War literary group.
Bousoño was born in Boal, Asturias in 1923. When he was two years old, his family moved to Oviedo, where he completed the first two years of a Philosophy and Arts degree. He moved to Madrid when he was 19, graduating from the Central University (now known as Complutense) with the Extraordinary Prize in 1946; he completed his master's degree there in 1949, being the first to write a master's thesis about a living writer, Vicente Aleixandre. By 1950, his work La poesía de Vicente Aleixandre ((English) The poetry of Vicente Aleixandre) became widely recognised, and today it remains one of the best and deepest works about Vicente Aleixandre's poetry.
His passion for poetry, along with his intelligence and curiosity, helped him make early inroads within the world of literary theory. In 1952, he published Teoría de la expresión poética ((English) Theory of poetic expression), in which he analyzes the secrets of the poetic mystery. He became a renowned interpreter of Spanish literature and an influential literary critic.
Bousoño taught Spanish literature at several American universities, including Wellesley, Smith, Vanderbilt, Middlebury, and New York University. He then became lecturer of Stylistics at the Complutense University of Madrid, where he remains a Professor Emeritus. Among his students of poetry who credit his teachings as influential to their careers is the Puerto Rico poet Giannina Braschi, author of "Yo-Yo Boing!" and "United States of Banana".
In his book Épocas literarias y evolución ((English) Literary times and evolution), Bousoño analyzes the history of literary ages and their corresponding movements and evolution. He has also studied the evolution of metaphoric expression, from classical examples like "your hand is like the snow", to more complex surrealistic metaphors, for example: "swords like lips" (in reference to one Aleixandre's most famous books, Espadas como labios ((English) Swords like lips).
René Wellek has said that Bousoño was his preferred theorist in all of Europe.
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