Poetic creation and the riddle of suicide: Hart Crane i Alejandra Pizarnik

This essay explores the relationship between the literary imagination, poetic creation, and suicide through the work of two poets who took their own lives: Hart Crane and Alejandra Pizarnik. Drawing on authors from the psychoanalytic field such as Vincenzo Marzulli, and literary critics such as Al Alvarez and Allen Grossman, the essay takes Gabriel Ferrater’s poem “Literatura” as its starting point, in order to posit how poetic creation entails a kind of violence directly linked to language and to the attempt to express the ineffable. Under certain circumstances, this violence might turn against the poet himself. The essay examines the ways in which Hart Crane and Alejandra Pizarnik articulate their relation to the violence of representation. In Crane’s case, he attempted to transcend it by postulating a regime that abolishes sexual difference and aspires to a kind of unmediated communication: the traumatic encounter with lack and excess is resolved by means of a mystical solution that cannot stand nor sustain the demands of the flesh. In the case of Pizarnik, this relation to the violence of representation is constructed by means of an identification with an existential void, leaving the poet vulnerable to a malign logic that reduces the subject to a pure linguistic object, ultimately articulating a desire for death.

Keywords
Suicide; psychoanalysis and literature; language and violence; poetic subjectivity; Hart Crane; Alejandra Pizarnik

Josep Anton Fernàndez
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