Carlos Bousoño

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Carlos Bousoño (9 May 1923 – 24 October 2015) was a Spanish poet and literary critic. His work is frequently associated with the post-Spanish Civil War literary group.

Bousoño was a recipient of both the National Prize for Spanish Literature and the Prince of Asturias Award for Literature.


Bousoño was born in Boal, Asturias in 1923.[1][2][3]

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 (The poetry of Vicente Aleixandre) became widely recognised, and today it remains one of the best and deepest works about Vicente Aleixandre's poetry.[citation needed]

From 1946-48, Bousoño traveled in Mexico and the United States, teaching literature at Wellesley College in Massachusetts before returning to Spain.[4]

On 24 October 2015, Bousoño died at the age of 92.[4][5]


Bousoño published his first book of poetry, Subida al amor, in 1945.[4]

Academic career[edit]

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 (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.[citation needed]

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.[6] 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".[citation needed]

In his book Épocas literarias y evolución (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 (Swords like lips).[citation needed]

In 1979, Bousoño became a member of the Royal Spanish Academy.[7] He remained occupant of the Academy chair 'M' until his death in 2015.[8]


René Wellek said that Bousoño was his preferred theorist in all of Europe.[citation needed]

Spanish author and critic Luis Antonio de Villena called Bousoño "one of the most outstanding poets of the postwar generations" and "an outstanding poetry theorist, upholding the most profound sense of irrationalism and surrealism, that is, that the magic of the irrational can be understood".[9]

German-born poet Scharlie Meeuws wrote an 'Elegy on the Death of Carlos Bousoño'.[10]



  1. ^ Chandler, Richard Eugene; Kessel Schwartz (1991). "Carlos Bousoño". A new history of Spanish literature. Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Louisiana State University Press. pp. 286–287. ISBN 0-8071-1735-8. OCLC 23254058. Retrieved 2009-02-16.
  2. ^ Who's Who in Italy S. R. L. (2007). Who's Who in Spain 2006 Edition. Who's Who In Italy. p. 432. ISBN 8885246605.
  3. ^ Pérez, Janet (1993). "Carlos Bousoño". In Germán Bleiberg, Maureen Ihrie and Janet Pérez (ed.). Dictionary of the literature of the Iberian peninsula. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 231. ISBN 0-313-28731-7. OCLC 20993644. Retrieved 2009-02-16.
  4. ^ a b c "Carlos Bousono | Spanish poet and critic". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2017-06-14.
  5. ^ Muere Carlos Bousoño, que supo aunar la excelencia en la investigación y en la poesía (in Spanish)
  6. ^ "Complutense University of Madrid". Retrieved 2017-06-17.
  7. ^ "Carlos Bousoño. Literature. Biography and works at Spain is culture". Retrieved 2017-06-15.
  8. ^ "La RAE convoca la vacante de la silla M, la que ocupaba Carlos Bousoño". ELMUNDO (in Spanish). Retrieved 2017-06-15.
  9. ^ "Goodbye Carlos Bousoño | Blog Fundación Loewe". Retrieved 2017-06-15.
  10. ^ "Elegy On The Death Of Carlos Bousoño Poem by Scharlie Meeuws - Poem Hunter". Retrieved 2017-06-15.
  11. ^ a b ": : : : : Premio de%20la%20Cr%EDtica%20(castellano) : : : : :". Retrieved 2017-06-14.
  12. ^ a b c "Premio Nacional de Letras Españolas". (in Spanish). 2011-09-01. Retrieved 2017-06-14.
  13. ^ a b c Tecnologías, Developed with webControl CMS by Intermark. "Carlos Bousoño - Laureates - Princess of Asturias Awards - The Princess of Asturias Foundation". The Princess of Asturias Foundation. Retrieved 2017-06-14.

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